Today’s instalment of meet the team is Daniel Bolton-Allen – let’s find out more about him, his role, background, and interests!
So Daniel, what is your role at SMS?
I’m an Inside Sales Opportunity Exec.
To most people, that’s basically being paid to be an unexpected interruption to their busy day! However, it’s my aim to find and solve IT headaches for our existing customers and potentially new ones out there. We might not always be able to help everyone but we can’t find out if we don’t ask.
What’s your background?/education/past jobs?
Glass Collector. Till Staff. Call Centres. I’ve run the gauntlet of front-of-house jobs across a number of industries, but my career changed during my stint in a central government department. Across 4 years I worked in Customer Service, Outbound Services, Account Retention, Events & Marketing, across an enormous variety of business goods and services.
But sales for me really started when I was an Events Manager, representing the department at trade shows and conferences across the UK.
My time on customer service gave me a broad overview in everything we offered, meaning our department’s experts could talk stationary, supply teachers and staff with the school managers on a granular level. I could talk about tech, financial services, consultancy and get to the heart of the non-obvious things these highly educated professionals needed in their function. Becoming an expert in something and being able to help, especially in unexpected ways, is a big part of what drives me as a sales rep.
When did the SMS journey start for you?
I’d spent two years collecting business utility bills, then a year booking appointments for an outsourced B2B lead gen company. At that point, I knew I wanted to become a sales professional with a specialised knowledge set rather than flit from campaign to campaign. I interviewed with SMS, a Microsoft partner (where better to specialize?), and really enjoyed speaking to the team as part of that process. I joined just before Christmas 2022 and now here I am.
What do you enjoy about the work you do?
It’s corny but it’s spending time with people, finding out what’s important to them and helping them achieve their goals.
In tech, Microsoft is as ubiquitous and far-reaching as jeans with a t-shirt. And yet there’s so many different products offered (Microsoft 365, Azure, Dynamics, Power BI, Power Apps, I could go on) and so many specialised ways a business can use each one that it’d be a very long life long pursuit for anyone trying to master all of them. Getting a broad knowledge on all of those services and connecting our customers to experts in the field keeps my work fresh and provides endless new scenarios and challenges to solve.
Why should a potential customer choose SMS?
Looking through a lot of our existing customers, you see that they’ve been in business with us for 5-10+ years. Even through all the radical changes in tech, Microsoft service migrations and the hyper-competitive market space that is IT service management; we retain a loyal clientele and we’re extremely grateful to them. SMS must be doing something right up front for that seed to grow, and by having great customers who engage positively with us, we feel it’s only right that we improve our service over time as well. It’s that kind of positive feedback loop that helps make SMS what it is.
Which of the many solutions that we offer is most beneficial to your working life?
It’s a dishwater dull answer but I live my professional and personal life out of Excel spreadsheets. Sure, I’d be stuck without Outlook and Teams to reach people but keeping on top of tasks, tracking campaigns, tracking data, all in one big interlocked grid? Pure euphoria.
One thing I’d love to know more about though is Power BI. Excel, Dynamics, Database are all capable of holding huge volumes of data. But then being able to visualize it in different ways, utilize the vast information you’re sitting on to help your business grow; there’s so much to offer here just from what a business has within itself.
What do you enjoy doing when you are not working? Any hobbies?
Spending time with family, going out for a bite to eat, going to the gym, listening to music.
What are the three items you would take with you to a deserted island?
Sleeping bag, survival knife, water filter. I’m relentlessly practical to the point of being dull! If I had to take something not so sensible, it’d be some kind of device that could run Spotify. Music helps me focus and having something resembling a movie score to background your day really helps you feel more impactful and productive.
If you had to delete all your apps on your phone bar three, which three would you keep?
My banking app – No surprises here.
Discord – I use it talk to my friends a lot.
Shazam – This might be a bit left field but one of the things that drives me crazy is hearing a great song when I’m out and about and then it’s stuck in my head for six months and I don’t know what it is, didn’t hear enough of the words to Google it. Being able to immediately track down belter tunes at the press of a button is an instant relief to what is effectively a six weeks to six year migraine.