Employee Spotlight Of The Month: Karen Peacock – Sales Manager

26th May 2022

Welcome to the fifteenth of our ‘Employee Spotlight of the Month’ interviews! At Dakota, we believe that everyone within our organisation plays an equally important role in making the company what it is today.

Each month we will be sharing an interview with a member of staff in order to showcase their key responsibilities within the business and the benefits which they offer to our valued customer base.

This month we spoke with Karen Peacock, Sales Manager, to find out more about her role within Dakota.

1. How long have you worked at Dakota and how long have you been in your current role?

I was the fourth employee to join the team back in 2002 when I was specifically tasked to develop the Print Solutions Division. I later become the Head of the PSSI (Print Solutions Systems Integration) Division. In January 2021 I was offered the role of Sales Manager, a role which I have settled into well, working with a great team.  

2. What does the role of Sales Manager at Dakota involve?

I am thoroughly enjoying being part of the Management Team and in particular working closely with our Commercial Director and the internal and external sales teams. My main goal as Dakota’s Sales Manager is to continuously support the team with any opportunities which they need help with and to encourage each individual where I can to reach their sales targets, ensuring that these are met whilst maintaining an exceptional level of customer service. I also have a personal sales target which enables me to continue to introduce new business to Dakota and I am heavily involved with my Key Account Management, building client relationships and offering the best service I can to our customer base.  

3. What key attributes do you believe you need in order to achieve success within your role?

Having had 30 years’ experience within the AIDC Industry, I have gained a wealth of knowledge and understanding with regard to what our customers need and the application solutions which they require. Having experience within this industry enables me to communicate and build relationships with not only my colleagues but also our customers, as well as maintaining successful partnerships with our suppliers. Although I am sales focused and push to meet the overall sales target, I consider myself to be an approachable ‘people’ person and would not expect any member of the sales team to be tasked with anything that I wouldn’t do myself. It is also important to be adaptable within my role and being a good listener has its advantages - empathy and understanding also help!

4. What do you enjoy most about your role at Dakota?

I love working as part of the team and although we have three sales divisions within the company, we work as a collective. The camaraderie between the team members is great and because we each have different levels of industry expertise, whether it be data capture within the supply chain, healthcare, voice-directed technology or specialist knowledge covering label and ribbon applications. These individual specialisms enable us to provide the most suitable solutions to our customers. My area of expertise is my specialist knowledge of hardware solution offerings, supplies and consumables for a variety of industry-led applications. I love partnering with each member of the team, visiting both current and potential new customers, building working relationships and helping to fulfil our customers' varied requirements.   

5. What are the most challenging aspects of your role?

There are not enough hours in the day! Time management is important, so I have to juggle my time effectively to ensure that I not only support the team but continue to meet the demands of my key accounts whilst striving to provide the high level of customer service and attention that each and every one of our customers deserve. This has proven to be especially important during the volatile times that we are currently facing in the marketplace. Longer lead times due to global shortages of key components used in materials and hardware have proved challenging to say the least. We have however managed to keep the wheels in motion and due to planning and negotiating solutions with our suppliers, we have still managed to meet our customers’ expectations.   

6. How do you believe that your role positively impacts our customers’ experience?

Having worked for numerous years within this industry, my experience has not only enabled me to meet the demands of our clients, it has also allowed me to share my knowledge with the rest of the team. The ability to negotiate and work with our vendors to achieve creative solutions on behalf of our customers is also an advantage, while my desire to always provide an impeccable service is, I believe, also an added benefit.

7. And finally…..please give us an interesting or fun fact about yourself

It has become a standard joke within our Dakota Family that I have no sense of direction. Even with the help and support of ‘Sally Sat Nav’ I have been taken to some interesting and some not so interesting places! I have had to phone certain members of the team for them to guide me back to my intended destination even when I have uploaded the correct postcode to ‘Sally.’ Once, when visiting two companies on either side of the Dartford Tunnel, Sally took me nearly 15 miles out of my way when it was literally a two-mile journey! How do you explain that? I honestly cannot fathom it, but on this occasion maybe I did eventually realise that I had inadvertently requested ‘no toll’ for this particular journey. However, in preparation for the inevitable happening, when I am on the road, I always add 60 minutes onto my journey time just in case – as I really hate being late for my appointments!