Focus Group
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One of Focus Group’s longest-serving employees, Russell Clarke, is celebrating his 10th year anniversary with the company since joining us in 2006! We took a moment to ask Russell some questions about his time here, his career progression and some of his greatest achievements.

How has your job changed since you joined Focus all those years ago?

I was employed as an Internal Account Manager. I moved into Field Sales and now, while still in a sales role I run the Telesales department as Telesales Manager.

10 years ago my job involved looking after existing customers. We only had about 100 customers at the time, now we have over 10,000. I would call up the existing base and offer additional products to them. After a year or so I’d gone through the base and I needed more work to do, so I picked up the Yellow Pages and started cold calling businesses and booking appointments. Eventually I was booking so many meetings that the Directors recruited another Internal Account Manager as I was becoming quite successful at Field Sales.

I have now won over 1000 clients and some have been with me for 10 years! This volume of accounts can be hard to manage, but with the support of the Accounts, Operations and Internal Account Managers we get the job done. We all work together as a great team.

What attracted you to join Focus Group?

It was a small company at the beginning, with big ambitions. It also offered me the potential to further my career and have a better lifestyle really, compared to my previous job as a carpet fitter.

What do you love about your current role?

I love helping others, saving other businesses money, and reaping the rewards from it. It’s nice to actually manage accounts and look after businesses, help with cost-reductions etc.

I also enjoy developing staff. The Telesales team I manage is what we call the Focus Academy. We take on new members of staff who begin cold calling and are developed into either an Internal Account Management role or Field Sales, depending which routes they go down or if they excel in a certain industry for example Energy or IT. It is my role to identify their strengths and suggest where they should progress to.

If someone you know was thinking of applying here, what would you say to them?

I would say apply!

This is a great company to work for and there are great perks. I was talking to a friend of mine recently, we were comparing jobs and there was no progression path for them. Whereas it’s something that Focus Group can offer and are good at. Some of the people who have come through the ranks, so to speak, are doing very well.

We’ve had a lot of publicity; people know about the company. We’ve won a lot of awards for example the Comms Business Awards and Comms Dealer Sales & Marketing Awards this year and London Stock Exchange’s 1000 Companies to Inspire Britain, so people want to work here.

What has been your career highlight (apart from being at the company for 10 years now)?

My best accolade was winning the National Salesperson of Year award from Ericsson-LG in 2015. I sold the most amount of LG equipment in the UK, so for me this was probably the best highlight. Hitting my first £1m turnover for the business was another highlight as well.

The sales teams here have certain incentives for reaching targets, and last year my team won and we were rewarded with a trip to Barcelona!

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