Leadership Q&A – Jeremy Mead

Jeremy Mead is the National Sales & Marketing Manager for Hyne Timber, which is one of Australia’s largest producers of sawn timber products and an iconic supplier to the Australian construction industry. Jeremy has been a transformational leader and accountable for managing demand within both domestic and global export markets.

1. What was your first sales role and in which industry?
My current role is actually my very first role in sales! That said, having come from a marketing background, I have always worked closely with sales-based colleagues.

2. What was the first lesson you learnt on the job?
Alignment – both internally and externally.

3. How or why did you become a sales professional?
I was the Marketing Manager at Hyne when the National Sales & Marketing Manager’s role became available. The business wanted to promote from within, and I had a vision (that had been developed over my previous 4 years in the business) – supported by a track record – for where we needed to be and how to get there.

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4. How would you describe your approach to sales and what are the values that you live by?
My overarching approach is to a) think ‘strategy first’, b) understand the data, fact and detail of your subject matter, and c) be very clear and honest with people.

5. In your view, what are the three most important factors that determine sales success?
A sound strategy, well documented and communicated planning, and buy-in from all of the key people involved.

6. What did/do you love about sales?
At times, sales can feel like the toughest job in the world – which actually serves to make the good days great; a feeling of reward that I’ve not yet found elsewhere.

7. What did/do you dislike about sales?
The constant pressure to perform is always there, but it’s also what makes a sales role so exciting!

8. What is the best piece of advice a sales manager passed on to you when you were in sales?
The best advice I was given was to “… forget trying to be everything to everyone!”. This is sometimes hard for sales professionals to accept in the customer space, but the reality is that it’s simply not possible at all times. A well-constructed strategy and planning should assist in providing this direction i.e. what we are not doing, and with who.

9. What do you wish you had known when you first started out in sales that you know now?

The art of the humble enquiry.

10. What traits do you believe are critical for success in sales management and sales leadership?
Drive, organisational discipline, knowledge of your subject matter and excellent communication skills are the 4 cornerstones in my view. It’s also important, I believe, to have the ability to inspire your people.

11. What is the secret for sales leaders to get the best out of their teams?
Understanding what makes each individual team member tick. I do this through monthly 1-on-1 discussions where the topic is the individual and how they’re going, not the outcomes of the job that they’re doing.

12. How has your industry evolved in the last 10 years or so and what changes do you see coming in the next 10 years?
As an Australian manufacturer competing in a global commodity market, it’s become hugely important to leverage the available data and technology. This is absolutely true in the sales space also, where closely watched customer performance measures demand the best possible service level at the lowest possible cost base. Importantly, interpersonal relationships are far less influential and for many salespeople, this pivot towards a data driven customer decision-making process is a challenge. But for those who are agile enough to stay ahead of this evolution, an opportunity.

13. How do you balance life and work?
The more important something is, the greater the need to plan for it. So if having a balance in life is important, in my experience, you need to make sure your calendar reflects that accordingly. Time with family and friends, to spend on hobbies and simply to relax is always scheduled and within reason protected in my calendar.

14. What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
Eating out with family and friends, attempting to get fit and riding motorcycles!

About Hyne Timber

Hyne Timber is one of Australia’s largest producers of sawn timber products, a leader in preservative treatments and an iconic supplier to the Australian construction industry. Operating throughout the Eastern Seaboard and exporting timber to a number of global markets, Hyne Timber is a leader in technology implementation, product development and quality control with a world class manufacturing capacity and environmental standards that underpin our unwavering commitment to sustainably grown plantation timber production and supply.

For more information visit https://www.hyne.com.au.

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Joseph Sing is the Publisher of Head of Sales. Joseph’s marketing and media sales experience spans more than 15 years across vertical markets such as financial services, medical, legal, information technology, business and HR & recruitment. His clients have included notable organisation such as Google, Facebook, Westpac, CBA, Oracle, SAP, ServiceNow, Deloitte, Pfizer, Novartis, J.P. Morgan, Vanguard, Randstad, Hays and a long list of best of breed vendors. Joseph holds a degree in commerce from Macquarie University with major studies in economics and marketing. He has completed management courses at the Australian Graduate School or Management (AGSM) and communications at the Australian Institute of Management (AIM). Joseph worked across many areas of corporate events, publishing and digital media at a senior management level. He has experience in advertising, digital media, industry awards, exhibitions and conferences.