11 Apr “123, not out!”
123 working days into my new role as Commercial Director at Capventis, and I’ve much to ponder about career changes, software vendor partnering and the value of data.
My start back in October was initially intimidating because of the sheer volume of information and knowledge I needed to quickly acquire. We work with four different software vendors (Qlik, Oracle, Qualtrics and Alteryx), supporting over 100 customers across the UK and Ireland, in industries ranging from banking to meat processing and from e-retailing to health and policing services. So, no shortage of reading material and new people to meet.
I was reminded of a simple graph I’d seen years ago, showing how new hires’ confidence can quickly plummet when confronted with so much novelty, and how companies really need to work to ensure employees cross the chasm to being an engaged, contributing worker. But in parallel, nothing beats putting the head down and just focusing on learning as much as possible.
We have four completely different partnering models, which is very interesting in terms of understanding how the partner model changes as companies evolve, expand and struggle with commercial complexity.
The key challenges I’ve experienced have included;
- Who retains ownership of the customer relationship, particularly when large expansion opportunities arise?
- Bureacracy around simple issues such as navigating renewals and finding the right sales person for a particular opportunity
- Flexibility around pricing
- Flux in personnel
The most interesting part of the role has been visiting customers and gaining an understanding of how they’re benefiting from the solutions we’ve provided. Many of the meetings have related to Qlik, the world’s leading BI and data visualisation provider. I’ve seen realtime views of hospital operating theatre schedules, yield calculations in meat processing plants, highly complex supply chain management and financial consolidation on a massive scale. Data that would have taken weeks to compile is now available instantly, driving vastly improved analysis and insights. You can literally see money being saved!
So where am I on the confidence chart? I think the nadir has been passed, and the trajectory is upwards. But there will always be so much to learn!