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Always be helping: A Q&A with Andy Hargrave, Davanti's newest Client Director

24th February 2021

Author Andy Hargrave

Nearly a month into his new role with Davanti, we catch up with Andy to find out more about him, his role and how he helps Davanti’s customers get closer to their customers.

 

“We are super excited to have Andy Hargrave join our team. Andy brings with him a wealth of knowledge and expertise in software and integration, and he’s also hugely likeable and reliable. Andy is already proving to be a true asset to us and to our customers, playing an instrumental role in helping us achieve our mission in life: to help our customers get closer to their customers.”

 

– Kat Carter, GM Industry & Alliances

 

Tell us about your new role – how does it help Davanti’s customers get closer to their customers?

I joined Davanti earlier this month as Client Director. My role is all about intimately knowing our customers’ businesses, their objectives and their challenges, and then making sure that Davanti puts its best foot forward to help them address these.

I also collaborate with subject matter experts within our business, and with technology partners like Salesforce and Mulesoft, to make sure that we’re always bringing the best of Davanti to the fore for our customers.

 

Tell us a bit about your background…

I started my career with TVNZ’s sales team pricing airtime, which involved a lot of Excel spreadsheets! That was my first foray into working in a sales team. From there I moved into my first sales role at Macquarie Bank. I worked there for a number of years before moving to IBM, where I got to know the enterprise software business, taking on responsibility for IBM’s WebSphere integration brand.

Most recently, I worked for IntegrationWorks, where, in addition to being responsible for managing customers, I was also involved in growing their integration practice. After a couple of years growing the team in Auckland, I was appointed NZ Country Manager.

My career has always been very much in the sales and marketing space, working closely with customers. And although the technology has changed over the years, as has the way customers like to buy, it has always ultimately all been about helping people and making them successful.

 

What attracted you to Davanti?

In my previous roles, I’ve worked with Davanti both as a competitor and a partner and have always really respected Davanti as an organisation. With Salesforce’s recent acquisition of Mulesoft, Davanti increasingly became an organisation that suited where I wanted to go in terms of the technologies I’ve worked with.

My catalyst for joining Davanti was Kat Carter. Kat and I worked together at IBM, and I have always really respected her customer focus and the work that she has done. I also really enjoyed my interactions with Davanti’s people over the years and heard good things about Davanti’s leadership, so that was the icing on the cake for me.

 

Tell us a bit about your mission in life – what gets you out of bed in the morning?

For me, the most important thing is being able to help. I saw something on LinkedIn the other day that said Always Be Helping, rather than the usual sales adage, Always Be Closing. I think that’s a much better way of looking at things.

In terms of what gets me out of bed in the morning, I really enjoy working with organisations that are looking to challenge the status quo. That might be a business that’s looking to disrupt an industry, or a business division within a more mature organisation that’s looking to launch a new product or service into the market. Often those disruptive business models need the type of technology that Davanti offers.

I genuinely enjoy learning about different businesses and industries. I love the fact that in my role, in the morning I could be meeting with somebody who’s in public utilities, supplying a service to members of the community, and in the afternoon, I could be talking to a financial services organisation that’s putting a new lending product out to market. I find the variety really exciting – and just when I think I know everything, I’ll learn something new that totally opens my eyes.

And while each situation may be very different from customer to customer, a lot of the underlying business problems are universal. I love being able to apply what I have seen and experienced across different industries and business models to help people find solutions to their particular challenges.

 

When you’re not busy helping Davanti’s customers get closer to their customers, what do you like to do?

I have three very active teenage boys, so my weekends are taken up watching a lot of sport, which I really enjoy. Having done that for a number of years now, I’ve got a pretty good handle on every reserve and field in the greater Auckland area!  It’s great seeing them participating, having fun and growing relationships with people through sport.

When we’re not doing that, we’re often in the water, and occasionally I’ll dust off my windsurfing gear or running shoes.

 

What are you most looking forward to in the year ahead?

Again, it comes down to being able to help our customers in a consultative way. I’m also looking forward to bringing some fresh thinking to the sales space, which has been disrupted in the last 12 months with restrictions to physical interaction and travel.

 

In the conversations you’re having right now, what’s top of mind for you and your customers as you look to the year ahead?

The first thing is all about doubling down on customer experience and a customer-first approach to business. These days, when it comes to retaining customers, the experience we give our customers is even more important than our products or services themselves. The second thing is planning for the unforeseen and making sure that as organisations we can interact with our customers in any environment – because, as we know, circumstances can change quickly!

 

What are you reading at the moment?

Searching for Charlie: In Pursuit of the Real Charles Upham by Tom Scott.

 

Sources of inspiration?

Kiwis succeeding in their chosen field on the world stage.