- Designation: National Sales Director
- Company: TomTom Telematics South Africa
- Career Summary: Joined TomTom Telematics in 2013 as a business development manager, which was in essence a sales support role. This grew into a sales manager role, and Justin was appointed national sales director in 2018.
- Sales force size: Four direct sales executives as well as channel partners across the country.
What do you attribute success in your sales organisation to?
Sales is all about aligning the right people with the right product.
We focus on understanding our client’s business and where their shortfalls are so that we can fill those gaps through our technology and solutions. This means our sales executives need to really understand the industries we operate within.
It’s also essential to prove how our solutions are generating efficiencies, cost savings or both. Without being able to show that return on investment and the value you bring to a customer’s business, it’s impossible to build long-term relationships.
How do you choose sales executives that suit your sales approach?
We try not to employ baggage, which means we don’t employ people from the telematics space. We’ve found in the past that if we take sales executives who have a proven track record at one of our competitors, all they do is come along with a huge amount of baggage. They don’t adjust to our approach to sales, but instead follow their previous habits.
People who come from the transport space, both on an operational and sales level, really understand the day-to-day challenges that fleet managers face.
What is your sales leadership style?
I come from a business analysis and project management background, and I joined TomTom Telematics as a business development manager, which was essentially a sales support role. I can very quickly understand a company’s business processes and see where the shortfalls are, and then start using our system to fill up those gaps.
As a sales leader this is where I focus. My team is trained to understand business and client needs, and to find solutions that fill those gaps, and I support them in that process. It’s important that we give the client what they need, not what they want.
We’re quite a mature sales team. We aren’t scared to walk away from deals if we see that a company needs our solution but isn’t ready for it. If our system isn’t going to be used to drive business efficiencies, then value won’t be created. A customer like that can damage our reputation in the market. We focus on the long-term integrity of our brand rather than short-term gains.
What advice do you have in attaining growth goals in sales?
Understand what those goals are, and then be specific in your approach and targets. A ‘spray and pray’ approach never works long-term. You end up spreading yourself too thin and relying on generic messaging.
Instead, we know the verticals we are targeting, and our messaging and marketing is specific to those verticals. In each industry we know exactly what the pain points are and we become subject matter experts in that space.
Sales organisations are often too scared to focus on a niche space. We take the opposite approach. We want to own a sector and then move on to the next niche. That’s how you really become the expert and when customers start to give you referrals.
Customers can be fiercely competitive in the transport space, but if a solution works for one, everyone knows about it and is willing to try it.