What it takes to really stand out from the crowd and be the best at what you do…





We’ve talked before in our blogs about key skills needed to be successful in business and as a telemarketing consultant. Two more of those skills are tenacity and focus - and this is something our featured team member in this blog has in bucket loads!


These key traits mean that there is 100% laser sharp focus when working on a client campaign to identify and seek out the right decision makers and to piece together a solid account plan and to execute that plan exactly in the way that the client expects. Working closely with their sales people and account executives to fulfill their expectations and producing a high level of quality information and feedback.


Choosing the right people who have these inbuilt skills and who have honed their experience over a number of years of working within the relevant industries is why we are able to gain the trust and repeat business of the high profile clients we work with.


Melissa Craven, next to feature in our ‘Meet The Team’ series is certainly someone with an abundance of determination and resilience, as we found out when we spoke to her.


After studying languages at University Melissa fell into a marketing role at Lexmark (part of IBM) via a recommendation from a family friend. Soon after starting in the marketing role, Melissa moved into a product focused role and started selling printers and then showing other sales people how to sell the printers. This led to a realisation that sales was more appealing and potentially much more lucrative especially as she understood the product so well, and knew exactly how to pitch it.


A move into the business side, selling high end printers to the utilities sector, proved to be a good one; Melissa did so well she qualified for the much sought after ‘Club’ (where the top sales people got to enjoy an all expenses paid holiday) two years in a row.


Melissa’s role in hardware soon started to flow into the software side of the business and after a colleague from HR moved to Cognos they approached her and suggested she move to a sales role selling BI in the finance sector.


It was an exciting time to be selling BI and Melissa landed her first million dollar deal at Cognos, qualifying for Club again and winning a much coveted Rolex watch! This didn’t go unnoticed in what, at the time, was a very male dominated industry. Mellssa’s approach of listening and understanding a customer’s requirements as well as surrounding herself with good pre-sales people and building a solid relationship with both them and the customer was a winning formula.


Next followed a role at Oracle as a technology sales rep selling the whole stack, followed by a move into selling BI Apps. Once again a good relationship with the sales team was key when it came to working with a key account, Vodafone, and led to another bumper year of smashing targets.


Melissa attributes much of her success to building good relationships with the whole team internally.


In total Melissa spent five years at Oracle before deciding to move away from the blue chip corporate world, and moved instead to a lesser known organisation, QlikTech, who had some exciting new BI technology. Melissa’s expertise in this area saw her become the global account manager for HSBC.


After a few years at QlikTech followed by SAS, Melissa joined the Next Call team. She had first come across Next Call during her time at Oracle where Next Call were working on some of the accounts.


Next Call was a perfect fit in terms of the flexible working approach, but also the experience and knowledge that Melissa had built up over the years was a perfect fit for the profile of Next Call’s client base.


Two years after joining Next Call, Melissa left to start a family, but has since returned and is now able to go back to the work she loves, and which she excels at, whilst still balancing family life.


Melissa’s background and level of knowledge are the epitome of what we look for at Next Call in our consultants: intelligence, ability to work and communicate at all levels especially at C-Suite level, an in depth understanding of complex business issues and solutions, and the experience to know how to adapt and develop sales campaigns to gain the maximum ROI from them.


During our interview with Melissa we also asked her some fun questions!


What talent do you have outside of your workplace successes and talents?

I’m a keen runner and have run both the London and New York Marathons. I have since added cycling and swimming to be able to compete in Triathlons, including the Olympic Distance Windsor Triathlon, and a Half Ironman in Antwerp.


What item that you don't have already, would you most like to own?

A Range Rover - or a Peloton Bike.


Who inspires you?

Joe Wicks, and Chris Evans.


If you could meet any living person for a chat over dinner, who would it be?

Lee Mack.


Can you play any instruments?

I used to play piano and flute.


What would you most like to be remembered for when you are reminiscing about your life in your old age?

Someone who doesn’t give up easily.


I think we can all agree that Melissa’s sense of determination has shone through in her work life as well as her hobbies and we at Next Call and our clients have reaped the rewards of that!



Are you interested in joining our dynamic experienced team?

Do you have what it takes to be a tenacious and focused telemarketing consultant here at Next Call? If you do, then please do get in touch as we are currently seeking to recruit some new team members. You can find out more about the role here and get in touch here.


If you'd like to know more about some of the others in the Next Call Team, you can find their 'Meet The Team' stories in these blogs:


Lawrence Keen is featured in 95 Days of January


Suzie Martin is featured in It’s a Team Effort


Lyn Stewart-Ashely is featured in What Does It Take To Be a Next Call Consultant


Alison Farrell-Price is featured in Improved Campaign Analytics: Getting Your Data Ready

Nikki Brooks is featured in As One Door Closes Another Door Opens: Looking ahead to 2020


Lisa Lawson is featured in The Key To A Successful Campaign Starts With The Data