Mark Wood, Group Sales Director
Career so far
I’ve been in the IT industry since I was 19 years old.
My first sales role was with Triumph Adler, part of a German organisation that was breaking into the computer market. It’s funny to think that at that time [before PCs were invented] I was selling ledger card machines that were much much bigger than my desk now!
From there I moved into the corporate IT space with the bigger players, working for Memorex for 8 years – by this time I was selling cassette tapes for bigger, better and faster machines. I continued to work in the large corporate market place working as Vice President of Sales for Memorex and also Computer Associates.
In 2000 I was given the opportunity to be MD of Planet Online – an internet hosting company that was part of Energis Communications Group. That was just when the .com marketplace was booming and ecommerce trading kicked off, so a really exciting time to be in the industry and watch it thrive!
I then spent two years as the MD at Netstore, an Oracle based managed services solution with two data centres based in Gateshead and Reading.
It was in 2007 that I was given the role as MD for the North region at TSG, a position that I thoroughly enjoyed and did for four or so years. Before becoming Group Sales Director at TSG I also managed the technical team for 18 months and even tried my hand at managing the Applications team!
In September 2014 David Stonehouse asked me to take up the role of Group Sales Director for TSG, to help drive the four point strategy and move us to the mid-market space.
If you could be anyone else for a week, who would you be and why?
I can't wait for my eldest to retire from football and take up a managers role....I'm going to go and help!
Has 2015 been a good, bad or ugly year? (slightly more than one word answer pls!)
It’s been interesting – I’m not allowed to say that I know!
But I’d always say a good one, my glass is always half full.
It certainly hasn’t been without its challenges but I’ve learned plenty of things along the way.
The shoots of recovery are there for TSG; we just need to capitalise on it and focus on the business strategy.
What would you have as your last meal?
Steak and kidney pie, mushy peas and mint sauce. Swilled down with a pint of lager and lime… plenty of lime!
What keeps you awake at night?
The execution of our business strategy keeps me awake often although my personal life keeps me grounded and rested. My life has changed dramatically over the last 4 years – I’m newly married and extremely happy!
What piece of technology could you not be without?
Would have to be my Fitbit Charge along with my Windows phone with my Fitbit app on it!
I’ve had it just over a year and its transformed the way I live generally – it tells me everything I need to know from a health perspective like how I’ve slept and how many calories I’ve burned in a day.
Working in sales you become accustomed to dashboards… and this is a dashboard of my life! What’s not to love?
Have any of your predictions come true this year?
I’m not sure ‘predictions’ is the right word, but I’m delighted that the attrition of our managed customer base has diminished.
We’ve been working hard to shift the focus back on the customer and deliver a first class service, and I think those improvements are clear now with our attrition rate in line with forecasts and budgets.
What is the best partner / customer trip you have ever been on?
I was flown to Australia when I worked with Computer Associates.
It was a magnificent experience – we were flown around Australia on 747’s. I remember visiting Aires Rock and it was raining for the first time in years!
I’m yet to be invited on one with TSG…. Steve Cox gets to go on them all!
What do you see as the channel’s biggest challenge in 2016?
Slight deviation, I think TSG’s challenge is to continue the execution of our strategy to move us to the mid-market. The market place will narrow and we need to ensure we are on point with our services and solutions. I strongly believe that people will buy from us because of the value we add to their business.