Being a sales manager especially during these times requires adaptability. Meet Lukáš Hora the Senior Sales Manager at Happenee. Learn about his journey and how he is building our sales team to be more agile during these times. If you are curious to join us this is an article not to be missed.
How did you begin your career in sales?
My first work experience was at Hewlett Packard, where I worked from 2004-2017. There I also met Zdeněk Hesoun. He later left and afterwards became one of the cofounders at Happenee. At HP, I cared for international clients and communicated primarily with people from Britain.
After 2017, I became a co-founder for Cook for Life a catering service. Our goal was to cook high-quality meals for offices. Before the start of the pandemic, we concluded that our business was too small for the three co-owners. We came to the solution that only one person will run the company and I left Cook for Life. After briefly offering consulting services I was approached by Zdeněk for a sales rep position at Happenee.
He described to me the vision of the company. Given how long I have known Zdeněk, I was confident that working together would be meaningful. In January 2021, I agreed to join the team and we decided it may be best for me to oversee the department as a sales manager. We are of course still growing and I anticipate hiring an additional five to eight people.
You described your career path to us. But how did it directly lead to the position as a sales manager?
It all started during my secondary school studies during my internship at Hewlett-Packard. There I worked in the sales department as an assistant sales director. I prepared various materials, worked in Excel. At that time, not many people were familiar with working in MS Office, so I had a significant advantage. My first task was to clean and cultivate the CRM data, which is still the focus in business today.
Slowly, I was able to work my way up through the ranks and gained recognition. Eventually, I transitioned over to sales thanks to the sales director, who opened the door for me years earlier. Even though I had no business experience, he took me under his wing to build a junior sales team.
Later on, I was promoted to a product-oriented job role; where I worked in a regional position servicing three clients. This enabled me to work across departments, regions and I started working with various departments in the company virtually.
Was it clear from the beginning that you would be a sales manager at Happenee?
Since I had sales experience it seemed like the best fit. Plus having started my own business there are a few insights I can offer as we grow in Happenee.
This mixture has me focused on learning the wants and needs of the customer. Certainly, this mindset and background are needed to work within a team.
As you build out the sales team at Happenee what are you looking for?
We are currently looking for junior people. We are ready to teach them everything they need. Honestly, less experience could be an advantage. We want to avoid outdated business techniques and introduce new methods. Our direction leans more on consulting. We ask and learn about the expectations from the clients. Our goal is to understand and empathise with the motivation behind their organising a virtual event.
To sum up, the candidates we want, I would say: they must be inquisitive. We are looking for people who want to create the future standard of virtual communication. This is not a job filled with a series of tasks. No matter how large we become will retain our friendly personable atmosphere. This is why character and soft skills play a role in our decision making.
Could it be said that the position is also suitable for graduates?
Yes. We are ready to provide them with training, we have a consulting partner company for that. So even if they don't have experience, training should bring them to a level where they know what to do and what is expected of them.
What can they expect from Happenee?
There will be a huge chance for growth, professionally but also personally. Since they will start in a junior position, we will help them develop into more senior roles.
What do you consider to be a challenge from the sales manager's point of view?
The biggest challenge for us is behind us. It took people time to trust virtual events. It is a shame the transition and full adaptation of this tech took a pandemic. Our desire to meet and follow a set schedule of meetings outweighed efficiency with our time and with little consideration for logistics. We are convinced that this rapid development in the market will have a lasting impact on how individuals will communicate. Our next challenge is how to define ourselves among the competition.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
I enjoy when we know customer's need and we manage to close a deal with a clear plan ahead. It also is a pleasure organising events that will be appreciated by both the client and participants.
What challenges does Happenee face in the short term, from a sales perspective?
One of the short-term challenges is certainly to build a functional sales department, which in the future, together with marketing, should function as a lubricated machine. We also plan to maintain our new and existing clients so that we can become a top company in organizing virtual events. Of course, then there is taking our services abroad.
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