Meet Grad to Great Alex Bennett
Name: Alex Bennett
Education: BA in Digital Film Production from London South Bank University
Job Title: Head of Corporate Sales and co-founder of Smart Currency Business
Pareto start date: 2007
Hard work and constant development are the cornerstones of Alex Bennett’s success in sales. His dedication, long-lasting business relationships and skills quickly put him on the path to an exciting and fast-paced career.
A promising candidate from the word go, Alex’s starting position in sales was as the very first salesperson to work on the corporate side of Smart Currency, 10 years ago, in 2007. Like many starting out in sales, his role included cold calling, marketing and account management. However, the difference with Alex is he was also entirely responsible for all new business acquisition. As the first salesperson working on this element of Smart Currency Business, he was named co-founder in his very first job - quite an achievement.
“I really do believe you get out what you put in. It’s all about the graft and not being afraid to roll up your sleeves, that’s what makes a difference in sales. We say it’s 10% skill and 90% application - and that’s something you can’t learn at university.”
After being instrumental in building the business up from scratch, his role grew rapidly and Alex quickly progressed from Consultant to Senior Consultant, then on to his current position as Head of Corporate Sales. He talks passionately about his role within the company: “Starting up a new desk in the corporate side of the business was very exciting for me and it is definitely one of the proudest moments of my career. Now I enjoy developing and upskilling those who work for me in the company,” he says.
Under Alex’s steady guidance, Smart Currency Business now enjoys a 30-40% year-on-year growth in revenue. Alex claims these remarkable results come simply from working hard. “It’s a cliché,” he laughs, “but I really do believe you get out what you put in. It’s all about the graft and not being afraid to roll up your sleeves, that’s what makes a difference in sales. We say it’s 10% skill and 90% application - and that’s something you can’t learn at university.”
Alex enjoys the many responsibilities of his role. As Head of Corporate Sales he manages the sales team he recruited, trained and placed himself. He also manages client relations for the company and thinks it’s essential he provides them with both answers and actions for any issues they may have. He says: “I believe that, in our role of trusted advisors, a good salesperson needs to take the time to really understand the clients’ needs and pain points and provide them with all-encompassing solutions.”
Passionate about the future of sales - and about learning and developing his skills - Alex regularly takes the opportunity to speak at industry events. He also prides himself on his contributions to Smart Currency Business’ educational offering to those starting out in their career, as well as those looking to improve their skill base.
Only 10 years into his sales career, Alex has achieved some incredible things that have set him apart as a great in the field. But, in 2007 a career in sales wasn’t always a clear path for Alex. Working as a dinghy instructor with a degree in Digital Film Production, he felt he was simply treading water until he came across Pareto Law. A few friends had been placed by Pareto and had recommended the company to him after they landed exciting jobs.
“You have to have the right attitude from the start to put in all the work to get the best results. University degrees and grades, although important, aren’t everything. Skill and attitude makes the difference, so if you have that I strongly recommend you consider a career in sales.”
Eager to get started, Alex signed up for an assessment day and was quickly selected as an excellent candidate for a career in sales. It was Pareto that identified Smart Currency as the perfect fit to kick-start Alex’s path to excellence. He muses on the effect Pareto has had on him: “Their whole principle of the top 20% who make 80% of the difference has rung true throughout my career. In fact, I regularly go back to Pareto to hire new starters.”
Now, looking back, Alex talks candidly about everything he has learned from his work. He says: “Being a sales professional has taught me a number of skills, like how to build successful client relationships and identify exciting business opportunities. It has given me an understanding of what makes businesses work and practical experience in so many areas of selling.”
When he’s not working, Alex enjoys playing rugby, cooking and travelling as much as he can. He also regularly visits the Isle of Wight where he spends time with his friends and family.
With 10 years behind him and an exciting future ahead, Alex is also keen to pass on advice to those starting out in their careers. “You have to have the right attitude from the start to put in all the work to get the best results,” he says. “University degrees and grades, although important, aren’t everything. Skill and attitude makes the difference, so if you have that I strongly recommend you consider a career in sales.”
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