Support, Sales, Consultancy, Marketing and Development. These are more than just departments at Smith Cooper they are teams of people that have brought the company to where it is today.
Many of you may not have interacted with any of these departments or you may have interacted with them all! Either way, this series is intended to introduce you to the people behind the titles, to give you insight into the people that make up Team SCSP.
Following on from our previous articles in this series, we are talking to Sam today. Sam is our Senior Solutions Consultant in the South and someone who many of you may know very well.
Keep reading to find out more about Sam and how his SCSP journey began.
How did your journey with SCSP start?
Having worked with another Sage/Microsoft Business Partner for a number of years, I decided that a change in my career was needed.
In a perfectly timed fashion, Chris Smith (SCSP MD) dropped me an email asking whether I was still happy where I was and we went from there. As with a lot of these things, the next step was a meeting at a service station on the M1 somewhere (he knew how to woo his perspective employees!).
Having worked with Chris in a previous life, I knew how he went about business and fully understood the ethos he was promoting at SCSP. Being “the good Sage guys to deal with”, was key in his vision for Smith Cooper. Not happy with resting on his laurels, he wanted to significantly grow the business organically, geographically and via acquisition as well as being keen to extend the Sage portfolio beyond Sage 200. All of this, plus the small business feel of SCSP – where everybody speaks to everybody and there is very little red tape, won me over!
What does a Senior Solutions Consultant role entail?
Adding value to the customer, be that either existing customers or prospects who are looking at Sage as a possible solution to the business (and selling!). For any customers that move their Sage support to Smith Cooper, I “meet” and pitch to them why SCSP are the right partner for them. I do this by trying to understand their current issues and how we can help them.
For new customers it’s about discovery sessions, arranging demo’s, putting a proposal together and ensuring they understand that Sage and SCSP is the best option for them! I still look after a few of our existing customers, again, it’s about looking at business objectives, helping them get the best value from the software, ensuring they are aware of any developments that may help them and facilitating issues/demo’s, as well as anything else they need.
Lastly, I’m heavily involved in the latest addition to the Smith Cooper product stack – Sage Intacct, Sage’s first true cloud-based solution for the Mid Market. I was involved in onboarding our team (support and consultants) ensuring they have the skills they need, learning the product myself and now starting to bring that to market – something which is exciting and will no doubt have a huge role to play in SCPS’s future.
How has your job and your customer interactions changed over the last year?
Things probably haven’t changed for me as much as they have for others at Smith Cooper. The main change is that I travel a lot less, I don’t miss the travel, but I do miss the face to face customer meetings. My role was split about 50/50 between seeing customers and being in the office because of geography and most of my “office” time was at home anyway. The big change was obviously not sitting down face-to-face with customers. While that did free up time as I wasn’t in the car or on the train, you do miss the interaction and the ability to get a really good feel for a business.
Did you always want to work in Sales, specifically Sage world?
After completing my A levels, I still didn’t really know what I wanted my career to look like, so I started down the accountancy path. Working in a small business back in the late ’90s, we didn’t really have an IT function – and as with a lot of places, the Finance team picked up the IT baton. Therefore, I spent many hours trying to fix the dial-up, install software, reconnect the printer or set the new PC up. So I suppose a combination of both made sense.
Having started in the Sage world on the support desk, I then moved into consultancy, then managing teams of consultants. I moved across (some might say to the dark side!) to sales around 8 years ago. I definitely wouldn’t class myself as a traditional Sales Person! While the fundamentals of Sales haven’t changed, I do believe the product knowledge I had built up over the years meant that customers had more trust in someone like me – I wasn’t just selling the dream.
That is all for this time around, thank you very much for reading and a huge thank you to Sam for sparing the time to answer our questions! In our next article, we will be speaking to the Head of Client Services, Victoria Riley.
Interested to know more about our Sage solutions?
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