Dave Lampard, Head of Business Development at Thornton & Ross, was the winner of the Pf Awards 2019 Field Manager Award discusses his win and how the performance of his team gave him confidence.
Tell me about you and your career
I’ve always been involved in selling. I started in retail, but I felt that there wasn’t enough scope for strategy or expert selling. Like many people who join our industry, I was lucky enough to meet someone who was a representative already and who let me shadow her for a day. This felt more like the type of selling I wanted to do, so I applied for roles and joined Merck (Merck Serono) in 2002 as a mobile representative.
I worked there for a few years before moving to Bristol-Myers Squibb, initially as a hospital specialist and then as the UK training manager based in the Uxbridge Head Office. After a couple of years, I was promoted again to National Field Operations Manager.
After my daughter was born, my wife and I moved back to the North East where I worked in the field again, before being offered a training role with Thornton & Ross. Whilst there, the Regional Business Manager for the north of England and Scotland retired and the National Sales Manager approached me about taking on the role. Of course, I said yes. I held that role until May of this year when I took on a new post at Thornton & Ross as Head of Business Development.
“I’ve had some great experiences in my career, but it is different when you bring the team with you”
Congratulations on your Pf Awards 2019 win, how did you feel when your name was announced?
Honestly, it was brilliant, but I was entirely shocked, too. I was pleased simply because my name was on the screen of finalists. I thought ‘I can walk away with my head held high’. I assumed that was the end of it, so I almost stopped listening. It was the reaction of the people around the table that woke me up when they announced my name. I was completely surprised, but utterly delighted.
Why do you think you won?
It’s difficult to say, the level of talent was very high. I chatted to some of the other colleagues from across the industry at the Pf Awards Assessment Day. There was one lady I spoke to at length and I thought she’s probably in with a very good chance of winning.
I don’t know what made me stand out, because you don’t get to see what everyone else does. I would hope that it was a combination of performing well in my coaching with the underlying knowledge that the team and I had a great year. I like to think coaching is one of my strengths given my learning and development background. I don’t view it as a challenge, I see it as a way of getting to know somebody new and us finding a way to work together to achieve success, not so different from successful selling. I think it helps that I don’t really get stressed or overwhelmed by things, which can be a help in a competitive environment.
Also, as I said, coming into it knowing that the team and I were doing well was a definite advantage. I knew that what we are doing in the field is working, and that as their field manager, I’m adding to that. So, representing them and our success at the Pf Awards gave me confidence.
Has winning the Pf Award helped your career?
It definitely hasn’t harmed it! There’s certainly a link. We underwent a recent restructure and having won the Pf Award put me in a good position to achieve a role in the restructured organisation. This business development role came available as part of the restructure, it was a brand-new role, I went for it and got it.
My Pf Award is for management, which is such a transferable skill, it means I can demonstrate I’m a good manager both internally and now externally. Also, for one year following the Pf Awards, I can say, with my tongue firmly in cheek, I am the best manager in the UK.
What’s been the best achievement of your career so far?
I would suggest it’s leading the team to success, which has a part to play in winning the Pf Award.
This is the first time I can hand on heart say it’s me and a team of people moving from place A to place B with success. I’ve had some great experiences in my career, but it is different when you bring the team with you. We can do so much more as a team, with a clear goal and a well-defined strategy.
What motivates you in your work?
To keep learning and challenging myself. It is one of the reasons I worked in learning and development. I enjoy finding solutions to problems and seeing other people develop and grow both personally and professionally.
Our industry is quite a select group of people. It contains some of the most intelligent people in the UK and being surrounded by those people is an enlightening experience. You’re in a position to constantly develop and share ideas.
Longer term, it’s the learning and seeing other people learn and develop that keeps me going, but the day to day interactions with really bright people, all of whom care deeply about doing a good job, is what makes it work.
What does the future hold for you in your career?
I’m fairly new to this role, so the immediate future is set out for me. I’m deeply committed to making sure that the generics and branded prescription sides of Thornton & Ross develop over the foreseeable future, because they’re crucial growth areas for us.
Longer term, I really don’t know. For me, it’s about continuing to learn and to challenge myself. Doing the things that keep me interested and entertained and challenging myself to do more and bigger things. I always want to do the best in the job I’ve got and demonstrate that success through sales growth.
Go to www.thorntonross.com
Looking for a career-changing win? The Pf Awards 2020 are now open for entries. Go to www.pfawards.co.uk
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