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Personal insight: A day in the life of Kevin Barker

In our latest exploration into the working lives of personnel at BT Wholesale, we take a closer look at Kevin Barker, Sales Specialist for IP Exchange.

We spoke with Kevin Barker to see what excites him, what doesn’t and who he’d want round for dinner!

How long have you worked for BT Wholesale?

I’ve been in BT in various roles since leaving the RAF in 1986. Before joining BT Wholesale, I was a Business Channel Manager with BT Cellnet. I moved to Wholesale in 2000 to manage our sell-through SP/VSP mobile proposition and to co-ordinate the relationship between client and partners. I’m now a Sales Specialist in the Voice team, very focused on growing our IP Exchange product. This includes providing account manager, product line and customer support.

What is your usual daily routine?

A typical day revolves around closing any new opportunities and growing our share of existing customers’ spend if they aren’t just using BT for their IP minutes. I also receive a huge number of customer emails and calls relating to all the technical and commercial aspects of running an IP interconnect service.

What do you enjoy, what frustrates you and what are your key challenges?

I love going out and meeting my customers and I’m making a conscious effort to do this more often, rather than being desk-bound. All new potential customers will at least have an initial face-to-face meeting.

I hate not being able to meet all of my customers’ expectations. I support small Communications Providers (CPs), who are typically very fast-moving and require at lot of post-sales help. It’s frustrating if I can’t always move at the same speed and offer the reseller experience they want. I’d like to be able to change the balance between providing post-sales support and selling, as it’s swung far too much towards post-sales. I’m addressing that in my personal development plan and I’m using the BT Sales Academy to review and progress it. At the moment, we have a major new competitor and we’re trying to understand their offer so that we can show how our solutions will still be better for potential customers.

If you could have any other career or talent, what would it be?

I’d have loved to be have been a professional athlete if I could have been successful enough to have earned a living. Otherwise I’d have liked to have done something creative. Apart from being able to run faster than Usain Bolt, I’d like to be able to walk into a bar and play the piano to a captivated audience.

Who would be your ideal dinner party guest?

Seb Coe. I was lucky enough to have been a volunteer at the London 2012 Olympics but would rather have been good enough to have competed at Moscow and LA! I’d like to hear Seb talk about his plans for the IAAF now that he’s in charge.

How do you like to spend your leisure time?

I love travelling and have just had a fantastic holiday in Scandinavia. When I retire, I plan to take a year off to travel. Otherwise, I enjoy good quality TV and films, listening to music in the car and spending time with family and friends. Sometimes, it’s just having the luxury of doing nothing.

If you were granted one wish, what would it be?

I’d like a TARDIS. Or an Olympic gold medal.

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