FACE to face with Jayne Hill - SEPT 2013

First published in the Professional Builders Merchants Magazine September 2013.

Vecta’s combined Sales Intelligence & CRM solution has been used by thousands of people on a daily basis in the building, plumbing and electrical supply sectors since 1996. Now truly mobile, VECTA is accessible anywhere via the cloud on Tablet and Smartphone, as well as the more traditional PC.

Proven to significantly improve sales effectiveness by boosting sales team performance and customer retention, VECTA equips every member of a sales operation with a visualisation of accurate and relevant information - at their fingertips. By analysing purchasing activity and trends, contact and communication history, it instantly alerts the team of gaps, link or up-sell opportunities and ensures every customer interaction is optimised. And all without a single spread sheet in sight.

PBM speaks with Jayne Hill, VECTA Brand Manager.

Q  How did you get into the industry and to your current position?

I wanted a new challenge, close to home and part-time to be around for the school run – the part-time bit didn’t last long! The software industry was new to me when I joined VECTA which was in its early days – however, I had come from a successful career within the travel industry and the VECTA management were keen to use my experience in business management, customer liaison, and non-tangible selling – all very transferable skills; my lack of technical expertise actually became a bonus as our offering is all about the results we deliver and ease of use.

I very quickly progressed through Operational, Customer liaison and Sales roles which gave me an in-depth understanding of the needs of our clients and how we could help their businesses. Since the ownership of VECTA changed 6 years ago we are delighted to have continued to achieve strong and consistent growth, and our objective as a team is to work with our customers in the way we would want a supplier to work with us.

Q  How do you feel the industry has changed in recent years?

The IT industry changes are constant, and so fast! Organisations merge and that immediately changes the ethos and operational style of the resulting business. IT costs have reduced – great for our customers but that means it’s vital that we show greater efficiencies. However, I think the biggest single impact is the move to the Cloud and Mobile devices; VECTA has always been ahead of the game in this area by providing Cloud solutions for the last 6-7 years. Our investment in moving to the Cloud is validated by recent studies confirming that Tablets have overtaken desktop PC’s this year and will overtake Laptops in 2014 – or perhaps sooner.

Q  What are the current challenges facing your company?

Having established VECTA as the market leading product in the UK since 1996 – we are also experiencing significant growth Overseas. Each local market creates quite specific additional requirements for the product which we undertake as part of VECTA’s development towards achieving a leading global product. The challenge is also in using that Crystal Ball to keep predicting the future. Will tablet devices still be the premium choice in 5 years’ time or will technology have moved on again to define the next big trend to affect sales led businesses?

Q  Which individual has influenced you most in your career?

I can think of two. Firstly, Tim Berners-Lee co-inventor of the World Wide Web has revolutionised how business is conducted, how we live, how software is delivered and how I work today. On a more personal note, a previous manager, who told me: ‘Success is not final, failure is not fatal it’s the continuing, perseverance, honesty and commitment that counts’. I found out later it was a take on a Winston Churchill quote so I guess he was an influence too!

Q  What has been your biggest challenge so far?

Managing a family and a full-on job during a time of increased competition and a tough economic climate, it’s been fun but very challenging! Restructuring our commercial model to SaaS and making sure our product remains innovative, delivering in areas that our customers don’t yet know they need, comes a close second.

Q  Where do you see yourself in five years’ time?

Still at the helm of VECTA, remaining ahead of the times and by then I will have engineered myself more time to spend travelling!

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"The IT industry changes are constant, and so fast! Organisations merge and that immediately changes the ethos and operational style of the resulting business. IT costs have reduced - great for our customers, but that means it's vital that we show greater efficiencies."