Interview: Jock Jordan, One4all

11 Jan 2018 | 04.04 pm

Interview: Jock Jordan, One4all

Field sales now constitute a more consultative role for larger accounts

11 Jan 2018 | 04.04 pm

Jock Jordan  (pictured) has been responsible for the strategic development of all the sales channels across One4all since the gift card business first traded in 2002. He previously held senior posts in Sony, Walt Disney and Aer Lingus and is incoming president of the Dublin/Fingal Chamber of Commerce. He tells Conor Morris, chairman of The Sales Institute of Ireland, what drives his passion for selling

 

What has been your most memorable job?

I loved my time at Disney, where I was the country manager for Buena Vista Home Entertainment and started the sales organisation. Bringing home entertainment as a new category to the supermarket sector for the first time in Ireland was a real achievement. However, nothing caps starting out with entrepreneur Michael Dawson with One4all, and building a sales organisation from scratch.

What do you enjoy about sales?

Sales is like sports. It’s a team game but allows individuals to shine and perform. The skills involved are multi-faceted, but the rewards are great. Nothing can replace the high of that big win.

What makes a good high-performance salesperson?

  • Self-belief, highly motivated and pure hard graft.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, along with strategic thinking, and a strong sense of humour.
  • One who shows resilience in the face of difficulty and learns from one’s mistakes.
  • Someone who truly wants continual learning and hones their skills.

How have customers changed over the past few years?

With technology at the customer’s fingertips, the purchasing decision is 80% through the sales cycle before human contact is made. This has meant big changes to the sales organisation. A move to inside sales and e-commerce is happening fast. Field sales is now a more consultative role for larger accounts, where an intimacy strategy is the best approach.

What impact is technology having on sales process and performance?

CRM, social media and the automated Sales Order Process enable sales people to keep on top of data, reduces admin and frees up sales people for sales activities. I call it getting the ‘Pay Time v. No Pay Time’ balance right.

How do you teach your team how to sell?

As a sales leader I’ve been very careful to hire the right people. I don’t necessarily look for skills at the outset, as they can be taught, but I look for individuals who share my passion, buy into our vision and fit our culture.

I believe in learning by doing. I spend a lot of time coaching my team leaders and expect them to do the same with their teams. Some skills can be taught in module format, but nothing can replace one-to-one coaching. You can’t teach until you really get to know your team and understand what motivates them, and what are their concerns and ambitions in life, both inside and outside of the office.

What makes a good sales leader?

Great sales leaders do just that – they lead. They lead from the front and clear a path for their sales people so that they can achieve their full potential, and then reward them for it.

Why is One4All a member of The Sales Institute of Ireland?

I’m not just a member – I’m a real supporter of the Institute, which promotes best practice in my profession. It teaches new entrants, provides forums and education for advancement and allows for excellent networking opportunities. Institute events are a shot in the arm for any sales or business leader.

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