Stephanie – My Technology Sales Story
By: Stephanie Hillen
From Newry to Barcelona, with a few stops along the way, it’s been 4 years since my first pitch – from Utilismart to all things finance, industry and ventures. Keeping up with the strategic demands of this fast-paced company, I have seen it all – Regulations like LIBOR, CAT, Brexit and becoming Google Cloud Global Technology Partner of the Year, it has been a great journey. These 4 years have been filled with all sorts of adventures, from my 3 months in London, spa days in Lough Erne and girls’ trip to Galway.
In the last 2 years, I have been more involved in training and have become a mentor. Being a senior member of the team, I train new starts, junior team members, as well as explorers, who start off their journey here in Newry before going out to a new city. Being a mentor involves providing support, helping to define their goals, and advice on their reviews and career path. From a friendly ear to a homesick colleague, I guide them with their city plans and assist them in pushing opportunities through their pipeline.
One highlight for me was representing Kx at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. With over 90,000 attendees, direct exposure to Managing Directors from huge organisations globally, it gave me the confidence to build long term relationships with C-level contacts. I even got to squeeze in some sight-seeing, from doing a red open-top bus tour to enjoying some pizza and wine in the evening along the famous bustling Las Ramblas. Safe to say, my credit card took a hit in Zara! I have also attended events across Insurance, MiFID, IoT and Retail in Dublin’s finest, Croke Park. It’s every girls dream to engage in conversations with the likes of Brown Thomas and Missguided.
Due to my success within the team, I was asked to jet over to London for 3 months to build out new clients within manufacturing, retail, and gaming. My time was very varied- one morning I would be at a MiFID breakfast in the city, onto Cambridge for discussions around research collaboration, and ending the evening at an Airbus aerospace meetup. Meeting the team in London also meant that I was able to expand my knowledge in other areas of the business, for example, our consultancy services. I have to say, I feel lucky to have exposure to SMEs across all areas of the company, who were able to help me strengthen my pitch day by day. I also couldn’t turn down paid accommodation, food expenses, Christmas shopping and living the high life in the big city that is London. My apartment was right by Canary wharf, with panoramic views of the city.
Last year, I was asked to join one of our new partners, in the cybersecurity industry, as part of our ventures team. I had to get involved in their sales and marketing strategy and be at the forefront of something brand new. This involved developing new messaging, building target lists from scratch, managing a pipeline as well as reporting to directors and the CEO. The aim was to help this startup grow and gain exposure, which has proven to be very successful. My colleague Paul and I have closed 20 deals within our first year – with one of my own opportunities being the biggest deal ever for the company so far. This also brings me on to our recent Partners Day out in the lovely Lough Erne Resort, in County Fermanagh. The day consisted of the men playing golf (in good oul Irish rain) while my colleague Nicole and I were treated to a luxurious treatment and full use of the spa. The perks of the job.
Being with FD for 4 years, I decided to go on holiday and take a trip of a lifetime – to South America! Due to the very rewarding remuneration package, I was able to save some money, and visit Brazil, Argentina, Bolivia, Peru, Colombia, Mexico and Canada. I got to see some wonders of the world, like Christ the Redeemer and Machu Picchu, were up there with my favourites. One of my favourite things about working at Kx is that I get the chance to live local in Newry, but grow my career and work with clients globally. It’s a perfect role for someone like me that enjoys being at home but still gets the chance to travel to different cities around the world with the job.