7 October, 2020
Steve Smith is the Business Development Manager at ITWORX and joined the company in August 2019.
Steve’s main role is to identify new business opportunities in order to generate revenue to help ITWORX grow, whilst building and maintaining relations with existing and prospective clients.
In these times of Covid-19 and working remotely, I’m no longer up and about at the crack of dawn, trying to get to the office whilst avoiding rush hour traffic, so the alarm is no longer set for before 6am.
Before the day starts in earnest, I spend time on LinkedIn, seeing what my connections have been up to and sharing relevant content.
I’m not one for breakfast, so I’m in front of my laptop for my first email check of the day by 8:30am. My iPhone, iPad and laptop never miss a chance to alert me to my constant stream of emails, so unless I’m in a meeting, I’m able to be found via email at any time of the day or night.
I also spend a bit of time checking any support requests and tickets that have been raised for my clients since my last log in the previous afternoon. ITWORX use a system called AutoTask to run our support systems, CRM, quotes, etc and the information held in there is invaluable to me to look after my clients effectively.
A call to the office to catch up with a few members of the team. I talk to Jill Ross, our Commercial Director, to let her know my plans for the day and discuss any longer-term strategies. Then a call with Philip Mowatt, our Technical Director, to discuss upcoming technical audits that I need carried out for prospective clients, how busy the Helpdesk is and how present projects are going. This call is especially important while remote working as I can no longer just pop my head around the door or catch up at the kettle.
Now I know what’s going on internally, I’m now at the time that I can start my outbound day.
I’m a Business Development Manager and have been in this role with various organisations for 25 years. I understood quickly that people don’t want bothered by the likes of me early, or late in the day, so I always wait until 10am to start external communications. I make a mixture of phone calls and video calls, initially to present clients, to update on project timings, to discuss any present requirements, to update on outstanding technical issues and to discuss our performance in looking after their systems. We have a technical team that are very experienced, and customer focussed, the feedback requests I make always come back positively which then gives me the confidence that anyone we engage with will be well looked after.
Back on LinkedIn to make some new connections. Maybe today I’m looking to connect with IT Managers of larger companies to discuss Cyber Security strategy. Maybe, I’m looking for MDs of SMEs to discuss cost saving measures. It might be that I’m looking to engage with fellow members of Aberdeen or Dundee Chamber of Commerce. I make a dozen or so personalised connection requests, share a bit more content, then I’m off for a sandwich.
I’d generally look to take a couple of meetings with prospective new clients in the afternoon. These could range from discussing an IT Support Contract for half a dozen users, all the way up to a refresh of an entire network infrastructure, engaging two or three suppliers, a couple of engineers and everything else that such a job requires. After these, it’s back home to make sense of the copious notes I’ve taken and call the office to get the support from the rest of the team to get the ball rolling on any quotes and information I need to follow up on my meetings.
Usually, I’d probably be back in the shower to get ready for an evening with St Andrews Business Club, or a Chamber event, maybe even an SCDI dinner. Networking is a huge part of my life and has helped me immeasurably over the years to grow my profile in the North East, but it’s obviously not the ‘done’ thing right now. However, it does provide the opportunity for me to do a wee bit of extracurricular work instead. I’m the Vice President at Dundee and Angus Chamber, so I can carry out some work for them at this point.
I’m also a Business Mentor for Scottish Chambers and The University of Dundee, so I can catch up with my mentees and their progress. Trust me when I say this, but I learn as much from my relationships with these mentees as they learn from me!
I do what I do, both because I enjoy it immensely, also, because it gives me the time and money to look after my family. My two wonderful daughters aren’t with me full time, but any chance I get, I’m with them, and I adore being in their presence. Even at times, it’s maybe just a FaceTime call, but even this energises me and makes everything that I am doing more than worth it. I catch up with their gossip and settle down to a rock ‘n’ roll party animal night - in front of the telly. I definitely don’t check my emails and LinkedIn every ten minutes or so… Honest.