Name: Keith Crispin
Industry experience: FMCG (Fast Moving Consumer Goods), Mid-range, Mainframe, Unix and Windows Computer Solutions, Telecommunications, Food Service Industry.Solutions include High Availability and Security.
Specialist areas: New Business Development, Major and Key Account Management, Channel Management – UK, Europe, EMEA.
Years of experience in sales: 30 plus
Attitude statement: Committed to customer satisfaction, Focused and Professional in all my dealings, Do the job right the first time.
This week we’ve had the pleasure of interviewing Keith Crispin after he signed up to be notified when CommissionCrowd launches. With over 30 years of sales experience under his belt, we wanted to find out more about him and his career as a professional self-employed sales agent.
Keith is currently seeking exciting new opportunities so if you would like to drop him a line we have included his contact details at the end of his interview.
Interview With Keith
Hi Keith, it is a pleasure to meet you and thanks for taking the time to share your story with the many companies that have signed up to hear about the launch of the ‘CommissionCrowd’ sales platform.
With a long and successful career in the sales industry to date, can you tell us where it all began?
I learnt my craft in FMCG (fast moving consumer goods), with the Nestle Company. However, my desire for a higher income and an interest in all things high-tech tempted me towards capital goods – initially telecoms and then onto the Computer Industry, where I have specialised in Software Sales.
What was the reason you decided to become a self-employed/freelance sales agent?
A good question! Several reasons really – certainly the desire to use my professional contacts to earn more but also I like the freedom to be in charge of my own destiny. Despite being freelance, my mindset is to work closely with the management of the companies I work with and to be part of the decision making process. My attitude is if I am successful for the company I work with, I will be successful for myself.
What would you say is your proudest achievement in sales to date?
Landing my first $1M (U.S.) project was pretty cool and so was leading the bid team to sell a £1M computer to one of the top banking groups in the UK. Being thanked by the customer for a job well done works for me every time.
In your opinion what sets a self-employed sales agent apart from an employee?
I think there should be no difference in attitude or relevance. Using freelance sales people is a lower cost/risk strategy for the ‘employer’ and a tax-efficient vehicle for the agent. Otherwise, personally, I like to be a part of the fabric of the company – ideally getting some of the advantages of employment, such as paid expenses.
As you know, we are launching the CommissionCrowd sales platform later this year. In your experience what would you say makes a commission-only opportunity attractive to a self employed sales agent?
As an entrepreneur I realise you have to take risks to succeed. Relying on commission only has its challenges, particularly in a downturned economy however, the financial prize of success can be high and very satisfying.
If you are employed, your commission structure/pay plan is likely to be burdened with a portion of the company overhead (pension plan, private medical cover, directors remunerations etc), whereas if you are off the payroll, you have no cost to the company other than a slice of the sales you generate.
Apart from new business, what most of us strive for is a residual income, based on the renewal of a service contract or recurring sale. Often this can be financially very attractive, especially where the agent has brought in the customer relationship.
Obviously we are very excited to be developing a platform that will potentially change the world of freelance sales forever. Which aspects of ‘CommissionCrowd’ are you looking forward to?
I am really excited about the launch of CommissionCrowd! The way you plan on bringing both companies and freelance sales people together in such a united and structured way is visionary.
I also really like the idea of an integrated CRM, the ability to build my own sales teams and and also the Commission payment environment as this should make life so much less stressful for both agent and ‘employer’. Also the ability to record, monitor and track sales opportunities in such a transparent way will help both the company and myself as the agent.
Can you tell us about the kind of opportunity you are currently looking for?
I would like to find an opportunity to become a key member of a bid team in the computer industry or managing channel/customer relationships. I am good at conceptual selling and focussing in on customer pain and providing solutions through leading-edge technology/software applications.
Thank you very much for your time Keith. It’s been a pleasure finding out more about you and we look forward to working with you when we launch.
Thanks it’s been a pleasure. I’m looking forward to using CommissionCrowd when you launch.
Contact Keith to discuss an opportunity that you feel he may be interested in: