Meet the team

Meet Shirley, Sales Manager and adrenaline junkie

September 26, 2023

Shirley Philips, Sales Manager

About Shirley

  • Job role: Sales Manager, UK & Ireland
  • Team: Northern Europe
  • Office location: Luton, UK
  • Time at Axis: 2,5 years
  • Fun fact: Just started acting classes and recently swam with sharks and stingrays.

What is your role at Axis?

I’m the UK & Ireland Sales Manager, and I work within the Northern Europe team. I joined Axis two and a half years ago as a Key Account Manager, but within 5 months moved into my current Sales Manager role.

What does a typical day at work look like for a Sales Manager?

I’m a very hands-on manager. I think it’s really important as a Sales Manager to be visible to your sales teams and customers, as well as dealing with all the operational and strategic aspects that come with the job.

I head both the internal and field sales teams, so a typical day for me begins with a morning check-in. I share some morning motivation, let them know how my day looks with available time slots should they need to reach me. As the day goes on, I will take part in various calls and meetings across the EMEA region, discussing events, projects, and strategies. I also carry out performance checks, goal setting, and oversee the day-to-day operations. We end the day with a check-out to see how everyone’s day has been, share stories and collect all that positivity.

“Many of our partners and customers class us as trusted advisors, and that is our overall aspiration as a sales team”

Shirley Phillips-Knight

How do you work with your teams?

One thing I did when I first came in was to get to know everyone better on an individual level. I spent some days with them out in the field or in the office, analyzed strengths and individual skillsets, and looked at how they could be better utilized for the team.

We all pull in the same direction, and it’s important for me that everyone knows it doesn’t matter what your job title is, if someone needs advice or support, everyone is available.

How does Axis work with customers and partners?

We work very closely with our partners. A lot of the collaboration we do with them is built on long-term trust. Many of our partners and customers class us as trusted advisors, and that is our overall aspiration as a sales team. We want the customers to think of Axis, because they trust us and value our input, help, and support. We have an exceptional group of colleagues who are very good at supporting customers through every step of the sales process. We have internal and external support, and we have dedicated account managers and subject matter experts in all the areas we work in.

Tell us about your journey at Axis?

Everything about Axis inspired me. It was a brand I was passionate about, and so I felt a natural connection. Everyone was so passionate about what they did, which made me want to be part of this amazing team.

I originally applied for a different role. During the interview, I asked about any reservations they may have. I hoped to turn them into a positive. They felt I was overqualified for that role, but a position was opening that was better suited for me. Rather than turn me away or put me in a role that would not have maximized my qualities, they looked at my attributes and potential, and maneuvered me into where they felt more success could be found.

Soon after the UK & Ireland Sales Manager role opened. I was invited to apply, went through the process and was successful.

My journey is unconventional, but it speaks volumes about Axis and why I love being a part of it here. If Axis sees the potential and the drive, they will look to help you get where you can be the most successful. There is always an eye on the future and the development of everyone who works here.

“The technology is incredible, and the fact that we are looking for new ways to drive innovation is exciting”

What excites you most about working in the tech industry?

The innovation. The technology is incredible, and the fact that we are looking for new ways to drive innovation is exciting. The industry is always moving forward, and I love that I work for a company that really does help to make a difference to the world.

What advice would you give to someone starting their career in sales?

Every day is going to be different. You’re going to get things wrong, you’re going to get things right, but above all you’re going to learn and grow. And that’s what is most important here. You’re not expected to know everything, but it’s important that you look to learn and have the courage to ask questions. I think a salesperson needs to be deeply passionate about what they do and the brand they’re selling. For me, I love the Axis stance on topics like sustainability, ethics, and innovation, so it’s easy to be passionate here.

I had this view as a manager years ago that everyone had to be like me, driven, proactive, a sort of ‘in your face’ sales type, but I quickly learned that it takes a diverse group of people, with different skills and backgrounds to make a truly successful team. It’s those sorts of traits I look for now when I’m recruiting, because I think if I had a team of people just like me it could be a challenge to manage, I’d be very tired! But we learn more from each other because we are all so different, and that’s what makes a good team. Together as one.

Do you want to work in tech sales?

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