A Day in the Life of Adam Stout

This week we are talking to Adam Stout, Head of Sales

Tell us about yourself, your background and how you got started in the industry? What brought you to APT SKIDATA and led you to make this career choice?

I’ve been in sales since I left University (a while ago now, we still used fax machines put it that way!) and joined a graduate trainee scheme for a big corporate firm. Over the years I’ve worked for a few large multi-nationals, and a couple of companies near their start-up phase, and I’ve learned a lot via every role and via some great people and mentors. 

My background has always involved selling high value solutions in a business-to-business setting – from explosion proof critical-communication systems for the likes of nuclear power stations, integrated electronic security for prisons, hospitals and big global enterprise clients, and now on to Parking and Mobility as well as our Sports and Entertainment solutions here at APT SKIDATA. 

When I was in my early thirties, somebody saw something in me from a leadership perspective and I was trusted to run a large sales team for the first time. Within the same business I received a few promotions to run progressively larger sales organisations which really accelerated my personal development as I had to learn very quickly and adapt each time. 

Five years ago I was contacted by a member of the senior team here at APT SKIDATA, when they were looking for someone new to lead change in their sales organisation, and here I am today having enjoyed the last five years very much.

What is your current role?

I’m ultimately responsible for leading our sales team to meet our strategic objectives and deliver against a number of targets and KPIs. In order to do this it is my responsibility to set and communicate our strategic approach, ensure that we have the right people in place and to support them in their own roles to help them to develop and fulfil their potential. I’m a big believer that to be successful you need to enjoy what you do and to be clear about what success looks like and how to get there. 

What does a typical day look like for you?

This is a difficult one to answer, every day really is different in my role, but I’ll do my best! I aim to spend as much time as possible communicating with my own team, colleagues, partners and customers. This could be via phone, Teams/Zoom or in person. We do have a few regular diary meetings to discuss forecasts, management meetings, key objectives etc but in general I like to make sure I am available for as many conversations and meetings as possible as long as they are relevant to my role, that of the sales team or the development of our business. 

There is quite a lot of travel involved in my role, sometimes over to Europe but mostly around the UK (I live near Manchester so I’ll often travel down to Hemel Hempstead for meetings or take a train to London). With it being fairly early in the year we’re still bedding in some new key objectives and we have a number of highly significant customer projects under discussion so it is a busy time and I do sometimes have to react to other people’s timescales rather than my own (which is fine, I’m used to it!).

I also work closely with colleagues in Marketing around events and we’ll be attending a number that we’re very excited about this year – these always require a lot of planning as well as attendance on the day(s). 

What motivates you through the day?

I know that our sales team fulfil a vital role in our business and can truly make a difference through the work we do, this helps to keep me focused and motivated. I’m also very fortunate to work with great colleagues and customers and a bit of banter can generally help brighten up any day I find!

What do you most enjoy about your role?

I enjoy seeing members of our team achieve results and deliver value for our customers, colleagues and the business. It’s really nice when they surprise even themselves with what they have accomplished.

What do you find the most challenging?

I do sometimes encounter challenging situations but, having seen plenty over the years, I find the best way to succeed is to see any work-related challenge for what it is – namely an opportunity to learn and work together to improve.

What advice would you give someone who is considering seeking a career in this role and within this industry?

Understand your own ability to be resilient and remain focused on achieving positive results and transmitting confidence amongst others. Can you influence colleagues by communicating effectively to help you all succeed together? If you can do these things, and you understand what sales is really about, then you can lead a sales team well and be very successful I’m sure.

As far as this industry is concerned, I would say you should put a lot of time into understanding how you can add value to the various sectors we serve and make sure you build a strong team and network – I know a lot of fantastic people who know a lot more than me (and they probably know who they are!)

Finally, what do you know now that you wish you knew when you first started your career?

Don’t wait for everything to be 100% perfect before you make a big decision and act, generally you need to get on with it before someone else does…

I also wish I’d taken up golf when my body was still flexible enough to swing a club properly.

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