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DCL Connects with…

Mark Harris, Director, International Sales for Sprint

What was your first sales job?

Selling compressed voice equipment to Investment banks and Brokering houses in the City – 8 simultaneous voice calls over 64K was a breakthrough….

What technological advancements make your job easier now than it did when you first started?

We’ve rolled out Skype for business and SIP trunking to our entire global organization – the ability for me to be in touch with my teams around the world utilizing my Smartphone or tablet for voice and video calls has really helped me to cut costs, remain productive and for people to be able to contact me more easily while I’m on the road. Having my ‘phone number in the cloud’ means I can take full advantage of spending more time out of the office than ‘chained’ to it.

What makes your company better than your competitors?

Aligning everyone to common goals and objectives…that way we all share in the successes and failures equally, that’s a great motivator to work as a team and put customers first.

What will be the biggest challenges you will face in your job over the next 6 months?

Balancing the growth in our customer base around the world with the need to reduce costs

What are the biggest recruitment issues you are facing in your sector?

The talent pool continues to narrow around the world

Which part of a CV do you like to look at first?

References and outside interests. I figure that anyone applying for a particular role feels they have the experience and skills to do the job otherwise they wouldn’t be applying for the role – it’s the other skills that they will bring to Sprint aside from their ability to do the job that’s really key for me.

What is the strangest question a candidate has asked you in an interview?

‘Can I introduce you to my wife as she is a much better candidate than me….’

Top 3 excuses you have heard from sales people who fail to deliver?

Price, Price…and Price

Are people leaving education equipped to succeed within this industry?

Anyone prepared to listen, learn and be patient will work it out – it’s our responsibility as managers and leaders to take the time to mentor people, let them make mistakes and help them learn from our experiences, that’s the secret in my view.

How is the skill shortage affecting your industry?

Just adding more time to the recruitment process – the right candidates are out there, we just have to look harder

What are you doing differently to ensure you attract the best talent?

Being open and honest about the opportunities and challenges that exist…I’d rather have someone turn down an offer for the right reasons versus accept an offer for the wrong reasons

Why do you think people like to work for you?

You’d have to ask my team….

What do you think your customers say about you?

Again, please ask them – but I always focus on being accountable in both ‘calm and stormy waters’, so I’d hope that at least would come through in any feedback.

What motivates you to get out of bed in the morning?

It’s a cliché….but I just enjoy everything I do

How do you switch off from work?

Spending time with good friends, wine and food….

What was the last book you read?


What was your proudest achievement outside of work?

Seeing my children ‘find their feet’… and their realisation that the ‘world doesn’t owe them a living’

What technology could you not live without?

The internet…

If you were prime minister for a day what law would you pass?

I’d abolish inheritance tax

Which 5 people would you invite to your “ultimate dinner party”?

My wife and four best friends.…otherwise it would be both my ultimate…and last dinner party’….

Who would you like to star in the film version of your life?

Too many choices so I googled this and took the quiz…..it came up with Leonardo Dicaprio…that would work for me…

What talent do you posses that no one else knew until now?

Wait for the film to be released….