John Corden has just started a new role at SunSystems as EMEA managing director. After fielding many emails congratulating him on his promotion, plus some begging letters hoping to catch him in ebullient mood, he is settling down to the serious business of deciding where he should sit.
One option is to be located near the sales team, but the idea of being in the management suite is very tempting …
Day one in new job. Inbox is overflowing. Many are notes of congratulation, others hope to catch me in a generous frame of mind. Everything from approving a new hire (OK) to a request for an upmarket PDA (how I laughed). Need to decide whether to locate myself where I can keep an eye on sales or in ‘management suite’. Opt for the latter because, if I co-locate with sales, I risk treading on the toes of sales directors.
Meetings with HR and then our FD. Meeting with hardware manufacturer to discuss a partnership to offer pre-configured servers. Their eyes light up when we explain how around 40% of our blue chip clients are likely to buy new servers and desktops over next three years.
Addressed EMEA sales force to describe my goals for the rest of year. Mood is optimistic as we’ve just closed a $5m-plus sale with Seventh-Day Adventist Church. Back to office for meetings with one of the Big Five to discuss partnership in public sector where we have substantial market share they’d love to leverage.
Meeting with global networking and hosting provider on providing international customers with ASP solution. Stress that we need partner who can operate virtually anywhere. Lunch with Microsoft account manager who seems surprised that we have over 3,000 licences running on SQL server. Leave early to take valued customer and one channel partner sailing.
Dress down day. After rejecting Meat Loaf world tour T-shirt, elect to wear prized ‘20,000th SunSystems customer’ polo shirt. Arrive in the office only to discover that support director has committed me to meeting with a customer notorious for their formality. Urgently dispatch PA to buy shirt and tie. Invite some of the services team, who have been implementing SunSystems for a major brewer in Africa, to the pub for a pie and a pint.
Learn useful stuff about nightlife in Cameroon (but wonder if I should have asked).
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