Transitioning from Virgin Venue to Virgin Media Business

Kunal Shah Blog

I’ve been working for Virgin Media for over nine years. In July 2017, I moved across to Virgin Media Business (VMB) and became a Regional Community Sales Manager. I never anticipated that I would leave Virgin Venue for a role within VMB. I was put in contact with the hiring manager and through our conversations he mentioned that he was recruiting for a Regional Manager. I decided to meet up with him and I liked what he wanted to achieve within his area. His ambition was clear and his vision for me was too good to turn down. 

I made the decision to move across because it was a new challenge and it excited me. Community Sales is a relatively new channel and their objective was to succeed in London. My view and position is to manage London and utilise my skill set and transfer these into my new role. 

What I have been tasked to do is build up a team of sales agents across London. Motivate them, manage them and get them to deliver on their targets. I started off with four staff members and now after five months, I have 19 staff and we are the biggest region in the UK. I’m also proud to say that we’re the top-performing region in terms of gross sales.

To achieve within this area of the business you have to understand what Community Sales is and what can be accomplished. Here’s how I would define Community Sales: If we were to market to a variety of business customers within an area, you will receive three types of responses based on your marketing/sales pitch. Some customers will say, ‘if you’ve got a good offer, call me up and if I’m interested, I will buy’. Another percentage will say ‘don’t call me, but email me the deals’. 50 – 60% of customers will throw away any marketing literature we share with them or say ‘I’m not interested do not contact me’. Although they say they don’t want to be contacted, that doesn’t stop us from knocking on their business to sell to them. That’s essentially how Community Sales was built or formed as a channel.

We spend a lot of money on marketing but just because they haven’t responded to us, that doesn’t mean that they aren’t interested. Maybe it was the wrong time or they were in a contract with their current provider. What we do now is we have a sales agent that works to a particular postal area. They work that patch for a period of time. The focus for them is building that relationship and rapport with the different businesses within that specific area. They will then become the local VMB person in the community.

Working in Community Sales is very fast paced. Every day’s a new challenge. VMB is a growth business and our channel is growing at a rapid rate. To give you some context, this channel started in 2016, there were five sales agents and they were doing approximately 25 sales per month. In over a year, we have expanded dramatically. There are now 70 sales agents and we’ve done over 2,000 gross sales. We are breaking records week in and week out. It’s an exciting time for us.

And of course, with rapid growth creates opportunities to develop. Take my team for instance; there are only so many people I can manage at frontline, that’s why I choose to delegate certain tasks to my team. This is crucial, not only to achieve a good work life balance but to also understand who within my team is here for career progression and who is here just to be a sales agent and focus on their target which is perfectly fine.

So when we are considering creating new roles such as Area Managers, Coaches, Analysts and Admin, we can look at our own people and see how we can develop them.

That’s the great thing about working in Virgin Media Business. We are very people focused. Within Community Sales there is a lot more working together as a team. Once a quarter we set up a national Whatsapp group where every sales agent within VMB Sales is in that group. For a week we have different incentives and various challenges such as region vs. region to win prizes. It’s a really great way to bring the team together and creating a competitive environment. 

There is a great team culture, it is very fast paced but it’s exciting. The best thing about working here is watching the channel grow and taking a group of sales agents along the journey. 

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