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Duncan Beard is an integral part of Nokia’s UK & Ireland Sales team and is the Account Director for Everything Everywhere. We talked to Duncan to understand more about what he does, how he does it and what sparks his engine!

Rebecca Gloyne: A quick and easy one to start with Duncan! How would you best describe yourself in 140 characters?

Duncan Beard: Sure. I’m an experienced sales leader at Nokia, who is passionate about understanding, and delivering for the needs of our customers.

RG: Did you intend to go into sales when you started your career?

DB: Yes: I still remember seeing on my school geography report, that ‘Duncan would be better at sales than at geography’.

RG: What drew you to the mobile industry? Is that original fascination still alive within you today?

DB: When I moved into mobile, it was the boom and mobile industry was an incredibly exciting place to be.

Right now, it’s far more exciting and the future even more so. One of the biggest changes has been speed and innovation, the product lifecycles have got shorter and technology is constantly evolving.

RG: What’s the single most important quality you need to succeed as a sales person?

DB: Great question! I’d say a thorough understanding of your customer: what are their motivations, their pressures, and their requirements? Good knowledge of the decision makers, those that will make it happen, and those that can guide you through the organisation. A great attitude really helps too!

RG: Who has been a key role model to you in your career?

DB: I’ve learnt so much from so many at every stage of my career, and I am still learning every day. An early boss of mine taught me the importance of simplicity – the need to de-clutter and focus on the things that really make a difference. Presently I am being inspired by a leader who always provides optimism, clarity and support.

RG: Describe a typical day in your life as a Sales Account Director at Nokia?

DB: The joy of the job is that every day brings a new challenge. There is never one day the same, mundane this job is not!

Perhaps most importantly: never a day passes without speaking to the customer.


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RG: What advice would you give to someone following in your footsteps?

DB: Well, that you can never stop learning and trying to improve – every day, every week you will learn something new, that in the days ahead will give you an experience you can draw upon.

Don’t be afraid to take a risk. You learn more from mistakes, so it’s worth making a few.

However, a key piece of advice is to always communicate – keep your team and line manager advised of the actions you are taking, and the reason why, nobody likes surprises!

RG: Can you finish this sentence. “I always smile when asked……”

DB: (Laughter) The football results when Chelsea has won!

Thanks to Duncan for taking time out to talk to us.