Tom Jeanes: Five things I’ve learned from five years at redk
In the first instalment of our Life at redk blog, we talk to Tom Jeanes, UK Commercial Lead.
Tom started at redk five years ago as a Junior Account Executive.
His current role is primarily focused on looking after new business, but he also helps to manage the conversations for our professional services team. Here, in Tom’s own words, are the five things he’s learned during his five years at redk:
1. The Only Constant is Change
During my first week at redk, someone said to me, “expect change and be ready for it”. Nothing is ever static within the business, no two days are the same. We’re always striving to find the most innovative way to work with our customers, whether that’s through new technology or new ways of working.
‘Always be ready for that change and be expecting it to come, no matter how settled things seem to be.’
It’s fascinating to see how we’ve adapted from where I started, where we only looked after two or three products. Now we look after something close to eight or nine main products. And we’ve grown our customer base by 50% in that time as well.
2. Teamwork Makes the Dream Work
This sounds a bit cheesy, but it’s very important. Nothing gets done within redk without a team being involved. And that’s true not only of those who are directly involved with the customer, but also those in the background who are not necessarily speaking to the customer.
‘That’s the best thing about redk – everybody understands that you need to work as a team.’
Although I head up the team that looks after sales, a lot of it is not actually delivered or organised by me. We hire people who are happy to take on responsibilities that could be considered outside their job role, but which give them the experience of working on something slightly different from what they’re expected to do – so they can help to push things forward, whether with a customer, internally or with our products.
3. The Importance of Curiosity: Understanding Trends and Technology
The main factor that has helped me grow within my role is being curious. It can be curiosity around the technology we have, understanding trends within the industry, or even looking in-depth at the specific roles of our team members, so we can appreciate their challenges.
‘There’s constantly something to keep me occupied, entertained, and curious at all times.’
This blends into working with customers – understanding the challenges they have and where we can help with these, finding out what we can do to help and where we can learn more. This has helped me grow quickly in this role – and it’s something that is strongly encouraged throughout the redk journey.
4. Different Brands, Different Cultures, Different Mindsets
This is something I didn’t expect when I started working at redk – the exposure to different brands, different cultures, and different ways of working.
‘It’s fascinating to come in every day and speak to somebody about something completely different.’
We cover lots of brands within redk – some of them extremely well known, some less so – and they all have different challenges. Whether in financial services, travel and leisure, or any other industry, we work differently with each of them to achieve success.
5. Making the Most of Your Role in a Unique Structure
We don’t have a linear structure in the way we manage our teams, so the responsibility is on the individual to make the most of their role. You have to be a self-starter, and that’s not just in my role, it’s across the business as well.
In addition to training new managers, redk also exposes you to some more difficult aspects, which really helps you grow much quicker. The company is open to giving you experience if you’re willing to take on the challenge.
My main piece of advice to anyone starting out in a sales career is to be enthusiastic about the area that you’re selling in. The more passionate you are, the more you’ll be consulting rather than selling – you’re just having a conversation. And that makes a big difference.
We at redk are grateful for our staff and love hearing their stories. If you’re interested in joining the redk team, reach out to us today. And make sure to stay tuned for more redk stories to be featured in our Life at redk series.