A day in the life of a DigitalAir account manager
My day always starts with the fight and rush to get my daughter dressed and out of the door to get her to breakfast club ON TIME?! She's 5, she wakes up immediately and I'm sure saves most of her deepest questions for the morning. I've only got one of these things, for those with two or more, I don't know how you do it.
Because of the early start to my day I'm usually one of the first to appear at our offices in Poole, Dorset. The eager beaver award goes to Steve Vernon DigitalAir's very own operations manager. Monday's ritual usually starts by digging in to Steve about Liverpool's usual poor performance over the weekend. Having said I had to praise them for their one blip 2:0 win over Spurs which gave us (Chelsea) a little relief.
To say that an account manager's life is a busy one is an understatement and even more so at DigitalAir. The morning routine always starts with the mandatory inbox service. These come in thick and fast, any time, day and night. I have an email from our newly appointed Head of Managed Services, Darren Gauntlett that came in at 1am?! Yes, Darren is not a carbon-based life form. I'm sure it would have come in sooner however, he does allow himself some downtime to recharge himself, check for software/firmware updates. Once emails have been checked the wireless bridge team will get together and have a quick catch up and raise anything that needs to or just a good excuse to inhale a bacon turnover from Greggs.
No account manager's day is complete without getting on the phones. These calls are not about banging out those numbers people and asking for 'upgrading', it's a good opportunity to contact our existing and new customers, shoot the breeze, even offer a shoulder to cry on, even if you want to or not. We take a consultative approach to what we do so we take our time assuring quality over quantity. We spend a good few hours in the morning into the early afternoon on calls.
Once the morning early afternoon routine is complete, calls made, emails answered and actioned the rest of afternoon is typically for any new or existing projects and general house-keeping.
One task I absolutely love to do is a new link analyses. When we are approached by either a new or existing customer to look at whether a link is viable we first complete an initial desktop analysis. Once the locations have been identified I get to use a multitude of tools at our disposal from Google Earth to the various link analysis programs. This is a deliciously geeky thing to do which I like to spend some good time on. Ultimately the end goal is to confirm line of sight which typically results in three answers. Yes, no or maybe. If the answer is maybe what I like to do is get out in field and see the link in the real world, there's only so much you can gain from several year-old Google Earth renders. This is something we do free of charge. It's also great to get out and meet the people involved, so I like to get out even if I think the link is a yes. If it's no we'll explore other options however, there's no real way of getting around physics.
Today is a training day and training is usually scheduled for afternoons and we like to get these sessions in either from manufactures or in-house once or twice a month even if they're just refreshers. We have a wireless bridging manufacture coming down to give us the run down on a new product which we've been dying to get our mitts on. We're very lucky in that most manufactures we've partnered with are very attentive and make an effort to make their presence a real one. Also, another plus is it will inevitably end in a huge pizza order in for lunch. WIN!
PM & Onwards
DigitalAir account managers are an extremely varied role. We are juggling many day-to-day tasks as well as having active projects happening in the background so time management is key to keep your sanity, of course there are times when mask of sanity slips especially when you have multiple project overlapping but anything hard is worth doing, right? There's always a likelihood of needing to stay on after lights out. In truth, this is a welcome thing as workloads can get overwhelming at times so having a few hours to yourself to square that away can save your sanity, it's quiet, there's no phones and you could also get away with getting a sneaky take away in for dinner.
When I first started at DigitalAir I was a junior account manager and there were 3 additional full account managers. Within the (very soon to be) 4 years I've been here we have trebled that figure, there's a real mix of characters here spanning all the departments so there's a buzz about the office and the banter is plentiful. I've never worked in an environment as dynamic as DigitalAir Wireless. I've experienced a whole range of emotions within my time here and is certainly never dull. As in any sales environment, things get tense and sometimes heated, we've laughed, we've cried but I like to think we're all on the same page and we're all heading in the same direction.