Agony Aunt

PCS Interview With Our Very Own Sales Agony Aunt, Gemma Warner

As a media sales and software trainer, Gemma Warner has been in a very privileged position. She’s used her experience to her advantage, and became an expert in dealing with salespeople and their recurring problems.

“When you are training you suddenly become an agony aunt – I found people told me things they wouldn’t normally reveal to their managers,” she says.

“This puts you in a fantastic position, because you find out what people need to become better at their jobs and happier at work. I know how sales works, as I’ve worked in the industry for years, so I come from a brilliant background to be able to offer advice and help.”

Gemma Warner started out in sales at the Midland News Association around 15 years ago, and her first step into sales-focussed technology was travelling out to funeral directors to implement the online self-service system they used for death notices. 

“I really enjoyed being highly involved in the self-service website and working with the funeral directors to show them how the system worked,”
says Gemma.

“It wasn’t long before I moved into training staff at the MNA how to sell, and how to use the system.“After completing an NVQ in business administration I trained new starters and mentored the reps while they were out in the field. 

“After completing an NVQ in business administration I trained new starters and mentored the reps while they were out in the field. Part of that was giving them the tools to be the best they could at their jobs, and often meant giving them the answers to tough questions from the customer.

“It was during that time that I saw how, if a rep had fast and efficient technology in place, it had a big impact on their sales.”

Gemma was training staff at the Midland News Association when the company adopted Knowledge Prospect – an advertising sales and customer management platform developed by the PCS team.

She was asked to test the system from a sales point of view, to find out what worked and what didn’t. When they were happy with the product she then trained sales staff, reception, marketing and promotions teams in how to use the software. Then when it went live she was there to support the employees as they got used to the new system.

“A few months later PCS offered me a position as a product specialist,” she says. “I now train new customers and existing ones on how to use Knowledge Prospect. “A crucial improvement to any sales team is fast and reliable software. With Knowledge Prospect you can show customers their bookings and adverts while you are with them, you don’t have to go back to the office to process anything.

“Not only is this great for time management and efficiency, but it also keeps the customers happy. Often we find that it ends up being the sales person’s job to deal with the invoices. Well, Knowledge Prospect makes sure there is just one invoice for the whole campaign, which both the customer and the sales person like.”

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