In his first year at Linten, Head of Sales Chris Bulmer has led major business growth. Learn more about Linten’s successes, new services and plans for the future.
Technology is dynamic. No one can afford to be left behind. I’m not just talking about businesses keeping up to date with the digital world either.
For over 25 years, I have mainly managed the growth of small businesses within the telecoms industry. But these days telecoms is just another IT service, not a solo package. Therefore, the best people to manage it are in IT. And so it was the right time to make the logical move: securing a role at IT specialists Linten.
Having now hit my one-year milestone, I thought it was time for not only celebration, but also for reflection. The last 12 months has seen far more than just a career change: with new clients, new systems and new staff. Linten is growing for the better – and at the heart of this is change.
The sales function was previously undertaken by one of the company directors. Linten brought me on board to fully control sales and to dedicate myself solely to facilitating the growth of the company.
I identified some necessary changes straight away; we switched to a devoted technology communications CRM, which enabled better management of our support tickets. This, in turn, provides a more streamlined customer experience.
Along with realigning some of our existing systems, I also considered the products we wanted to focus on, such as VoIP (or Hosted Phone Systems as we call them). With traditional telephone lines being phased out, VoIP is a key part of future-proofing. It was essential to grow our business in that area – and we have.
This isn’t the only part of Linten that has expanded – in the 12 months that I’ve been on board, the entire company has seen substantial growth.
Whilst our expansion is a combination of many factors, our strong, consultative approach has been key. Linten don’t offer a supplier relationship; for that, someone could simply go to Currys for their hardware. We’re a partner, any company can rely on us.
When potential clients get in touch, we ensure we’re the right fit and can bring something valuable to the table. We implement changes and become an integral part of their business. I believe that our customers appreciate this approach too. If they’re introducing a new service, then we’ll consult with them so they can fully understand the impact on their IT infrastructure. We also advise of any services that could help to improve efficiency. This has allowed us to become a valued and trusted partner, attracting clients from new and diverse streams.
Successfully enticing this new area of the market is another vital part of our growth. But this hasn’t taken our attention away from the solo-operating home workers we’ve been supporting for years. I recognised a gap in our services: the ongoing support of our existing customers. This resulted in the appointment of an Account Manager to guarantee their continued satisfaction. This appointment is one of many; the past year has seen our team double in size, in order to ensure that we can support the growth of our business.
We’re not the only ones experiencing change. Our clients are too, and we want to make this change as seamless as possible for them.
One such shift involves helping new clients to embrace next-generation IT. As a forward-thinking business, incorporating cloud IT is instinctive to us. However, when our clients have only ever had experience of one IT system, the fear factor is natural. In order to allay their concerns, we help with the migration process. This involves close guidance from us, but it provides vital peace of mind. We lead them on a transformation journey. The end result is that our client not only has access to cloud services, but has better control over costs, improved productivity and efficiency in the IT environment.
The biggest challenge to implementation is internet speed that is not up to scratch. This problem gives us the opportunity to offer more support to our customers. We’ll deal with their connection woes so that files can be opened in an instant, and they are able to complete twice as much work. It’s a small improvement, but this is what Linten do best: combining little tweaks to contribute to big changes.
Whilst the last 12 months have seen many successes, that doesn’t mean it’s all been plain sailing. There have been a few challenges, but thankfully they’ve been good ones and have enabled us to learn lessons for the future. Managing the speed of growth is a challenge for any organisation, not least for small businesses like Linten. We’ve retained control by placing key people in key positions so that we can move onto the next stage of our expansion.
Ever-evolving cyber attacks are another challenge we face. Dealing with this risk effectively is a continuous focus for us. We manage a suite of modern-age security services to offer the best protection for our clients and their staff, including a fully managed data backup platform. We provide clients with the most current security updates, and our customers have total faith in us thanks to our accreditations, including Silver Microsoft Partner Network membership.
Offering this level of protection is something that clients really value, and we’re incredibly proud to be able to help customers with their security.
It’s difficult to pick out the best parts of the past year. One highlight is definitely working with some large organisations, including Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM). We provided TfGM with robust Wi-Fi connections at the annual Polis Conference.
Improving Linten’s offering has also been greatly rewarding. Our incredibly strong, consultative approach has allowed us to deliver a real value-for-money service that clients resonate with. I’ve watched how the company has morphed into one of the city centre’s leading providers. IT is fundamental to the growth of Manchester – for safety, security, retaining staff and more. So it’s great to see success in the place that we call home.
This growth is something we’re proud to help with too – it will be a key part of the next twelve months at Linten. We’ll be focused on continuous improvement, we plan to further expand our sales department in order to propel this forward.
As we work towards our year end in April, we’ll be setting out strategies for 2019/20. I’m looking forward to this period with great excitement, and the successes and challenges it will bring.
Want to create a brighter future by making your own change? Call us on 0161 503 5050.