What does it really take to succeed as a specification sales manager? Someone who knows is English motorsport and fitness fanatic Daniel Maxwell, who works in this very role at Axelent Ltd in Swindon.
Twenty-four-year-old Daniel Maxwell works as a National Specification Sales Manager at Axelent Ltd in Swindon, UK. He began his career at the company in the autumn of 2017, starting out as a Technical Sales Administrator.
Up until then, he’d been working in the motorsport and fitness industries, ever since graduating in motorsport technology. He’s always been interested in engines and fast modes of transport, and already as a 16-year-old he started working as a race technician at the British Superbike Championship. Five years later, he joined Triumph at the World Supersport Championship. In addition to motorsport, he has a keen interest in physical fitness. This made the move to working as a personal trainer for motor racing competitors a short one. When he’s not at the gym or working with fast motorcycles, he enjoys spending time with family and friends.
Can you describe your typical working day?
“No two days are the same, mostly because I work with so many different projects and challenges. A typical day could include visiting customers to discuss the scope of and design plans for a project they need help with. Then, when I get back to the office, I start to add drawings and plans in SnapperWorks. My job involves a great deal of project management, working closely with the principal contractors and architects during the projects to ensure that all requirements and deadlines are met.”
How would you describe the corporate culture at Axelent?
“There’s a very special atmosphere at Axelent. The office in England has worked really actively with ensuring that we’re all working towards the same goals. The fact that we’re a strong and capable team also makes it easier and more enjoyable to come to work each day. Everyone has a positive attitude and works hard, which creates a good working environment and a better foundation for us as a growing company.”
What’s Axelent like as an employer?
“During my relatively short time at Axelent, they’ve shown that hard work is always acknowledged and rewarded. The family-like atmosphere at the company makes it a very attractive workplace. I like that they encourage and offer many opportunities to develop both yourself and the company. Axelent is also innovative and tries to push technology and product design forwards to remain at the forefront and to offer our customers the best.”
What makes a good specification sales manager?
“Good communication skills and flexibility, but above all else perseverance. The ability to recognise and identify opportunities in the industry, as well as to deliver professional presentations and pitches whether it’s for an important supplier or a firm of architects. You also need to be prepared for the fact that all projects are hard work, especially at the start. You should even be good at managing working relationships within the project while also ensuring an efficient and flexible design stage. You should have the ability to listen to and act on customer needs and the established requirements too. Since upselling is an important factor, you should understand the importance of building workable, long-term relationships with customers.”
What’s the best part of your job?
“The best part is probably getting to work with a project from start to finish – from the initial meeting and startup through quotations to seeing your complex drawings realised at the customer’s premises.”
“I also like the fact that no two projects are the same. The challenges and tasks change every day. In my profession, it’s important to build strong relationships with large organisations in the industry. A good indication that we’ve succeeded at this is that 2019 has been a record year for us here in the UK, with several high-profile projects across the country, which is also very rewarding.”
What’s the most challenging part of your job?
“Most challenging is definitely time management, especially when you’re running several projects at the same time. Customers often have strict deadlines that must be met while maintaining high standards, and it’s our job to make sure that Axelent does just that.”
What’s your best advice for anyone who is interested in working at Axelent?
“If you want a career at Axelent, there are many ways to go about it. As far as I know, there aren’t that many global companies – operating in more than 50 countries – with a head office and a management team that are so involved and friendly. One example of this is that all new employees are offered the opportunity to attend Axelent Academy in Hillerstorp in Sweden. There you get the chance to learn more about the company’s history, manufacturing processes and corporate structure, including study visits to colleagues and different departments.”
“In short, Axelent is a great place to work with wonderful colleagues, a company that will offer you endless opportunities in the future.”
Read more about Axelent’s sponsorship of Ferry Svan on his way to becoming World Champion in Timbersport.
Axel loves to listen to music through his earphones at work. You can download his three latest playlists here: Swedish Bonanza, where Axel takes listeners on a journey through the Swedish music hall of fame, Songs about Food, which Axel usually plays just before lunch, and Axel’s Got Soul – music with that punch-in-the-gut emotion.
I still remember the first day I stepped in as the new CEO at Axelent. In fact, apart from a brief evening visit, it was also the first time I went to the company’s premises.
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