Steve’s assignments have included working in an interim sales leader’s capacity for a number of mostly technology sector businesses. He interim-managed Acorn Computers’ UK sales team in the mid-90’s.
He has advised companies in sectors ranging from cloud-based technology to manufacturing, helping them to make sense of sales in the face of fierce competition, professional procurers, and downward pressure on margins. He spots the gaps quickly and implements the measures needed to close them. He is well versed in the methodologies & support tools needed to sustain the necessary improvements and leads from the front with credibility and finesse.
His first sales position was in FMCG at Carnation Foods. Taking to the sales environment like a ‘duck to water’, he became the district’s top salesman in his first full year.
He later joined the Commercial Division of Bowater-Scott Corporation. Over a 6+ year period he twice achieved ‘South East Region Salesman of The Year’ and ‘Top National Salesman’ awards, as well as the ‘Top National Account Manager’s’ trophy at the age of 24 when he personally generated 50% of the new business of a team of seven. He was promoted to a sales manager’s position in South East England at 26 which was the youngest ever sales management appointment in the UK history of Bowater-Scott.
He left to become the London & South East Regional Sales Manager at Muraspec Ltd — the UK market leader in contract wallcoverings. This region of the business (one of seven) was responsible for 50% of the company’s revenue. His team over-achieved against its revenue and margin targets despite being consistently down on headcount.
In the pre-‘Big Bang’ late 1980’s, he became the UK Sales Manager for a prominent desk-top computing re-seller where over a 12 month period he was instrumental in growing year-on-year sales revenue by over 40%.
At the end of 80’s he joined the world’s leading sales and marketing training consultancy. In a driven environment he was consistently on or over target, and built a six figure client base selling and delivering a range of ‘off-the-shelf’ and bespoke sales and sales management development programmes.
In the early 1990’s he was appointed Sales & Marketing Director of an IT services group. He prepared a comprehensive marketing plan for the organisation and was the architect of several seven-figure high profile new contracts which were a big factor in stabilising the business in the recessionary climate of the early 1990’s. The groundwork which Steve laid was widely acknowledged by the shareholders as a central factor in the profitable sale of the business some years later.
Steve & Jeff Downs learned a great deal from their first-hand, real world experience of the different drivers of change in a sales environment. The combination of this, and their appreciation of world class training methodology, was at the heart of Quantum’s foundation.
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