People’s Choice – Reseller: Martin Smithson
At a Glance:
• Job Title: Sales manager, key accounts, Integral Technology Group
• Background: Management and sales
In current role: 18 months
• Quote: “If you can communicate openly and honestly at all levels, you’ll be able to build up that trust and credibility that underlies any successful business relationship.”
Martin Smithson, winner of this year’s IBM People’s Choice – Reseller award, enjoys working with clients, building long-term relationships and looking for ways to add value to every project. Smithson and his team look after the top 40 Integral Technology Group accounts.
He came to Integral after 15 years in sales and management positions in the UK. “I’ve worked on both sides of the table,” he says, “so I understand the dynamics of a successful sale, as well as the operational challenges of a high quality implementation.
“This helps me recognise opportunities in client businesses and uncover areas where Integral can help them operate more efficiently. We always keep the client informed of new solutions, services and other areas where we can assist them achieve their business goals.”
This background in management and sales gives him a distinct advantage in building relationships with clients.
“Integral have a wealth of experience in the New Zealand market and realise one of the keys to success is to understand our clients business drivers and pain points,” he says.
Farmers Trading Company is a key account managed by Smithson, and David Lean explains why Farmers ultimately chose Integral from the many other providers, “Integral proposed a great system which met all our needs, while being competitively priced. Plus, they have a lot of experience in this space. But much of it came down to the people and the company ethics. Integral are straight-up, they listen, they add plenty of value while being both agile and responsive, they can handle both high level and low level engagements and they go out of their way to make the customer happy. “
“To me,” continues Smithson, “it’s always about communications. If you can communicate openly and honestly at all levels, you’ll be able to build up that trust and credibility that underlies any business relationship.”
Smithson has been with Integral for about 18 months. “I started with Integral as an account manager and moved up from there,” he says. “When I came to New Zealand - my wife is a Kiwi - I was looking for a role and a company where I could add value based on my previous experience. I found this position through an employment agency; Integral was looking for skills in both sales and business and my background was a good match. I like the company, the people, the technology and the clients. I’m very happy in my role and look forward to continued growth.”
The other finalists for this award were Gen-i’s Dom Pringle and Cyclone’s David Bird.