Head of games business development Ann Hurley looks back at her 32-year long career, explains why you need to be a great listener to get in sales and tells us a bit more about Testronic’s 50% initiative
What is your job role and how would you describe your typical day at work?
As head of games business development, my day starts at different times during the week dependent upon my client requirements. So for example I was working from 4am this morning, introducing some of our Asian clients to my colleague out in Bangkok, Lily Gavin-Allen, who heads up our new office over there. The main cut and thrust of my day is to bring in new projects and to ensure my clients are being cared for. Skype calls, emails and the occasional cup of tea (when I remember): my day goes super-fast and is never the same. I love the fact that after 30 years within the games industry there is always something new to learn! I am lucky enough to work with a team of talented people who feel very strongly about delivering the best service within the QA sector, so internal team discussions happen twice a week to ensure we are delivering a bespoke quality service to all of our clients.
What qualifications and/or experience do you need in order to land this job?
English and maths is a great help and to have an understanding of the development and publishing process is an advantage. When I first joined the industry in 1986 I had no gaming experience, I came from the advertising sector. This didn’t prevent me from having a great career, which has taken me all over the world working with and for some inspirational people. My first role was as the telesales manager for a large games distributor in Birmingham, I then went on to run sales teams within US Gold, Ocean Software and Gremlin. The experience I garnered in distribution and publishing has all contributed to my move into the QA sector. I think the key quality you need for business development is to have a real interest in people, it is vital to be able to connect and build a rapport with clients in order to create long lasting business relationships.
If you were interviewing someone for your team, what would you look for?
Someone who has drive, passion, and wants to be a part of a team that is always moving forward! As a member of the business development team we are basically ambassadors for Testronic. We have the responsibility of connecting with clients. Through intelligent questioning we are able to understand their needs and then to ensure we are supplying the best solution to answer those needs. It always amazes me that good sales people are supposed to be great talkers. We are in fact great listeners! So give me a person who can listen and is able to create a good rapport (which is sometimes underrated) and I would be happy to have that person on our team. People prefer to do business with people they like – simple but true.
What opportunities are there for career progression for Testronic employees?
The team at Testronic is growing, so many opportunities exist. We actively look to promote from within, talent is acknowledged and rewarded. It is really important to us to retain a strong team of people. Also I would like to add that we recently launched our 50% initiative – which means the HR and management team are working to ensure we are looking at ways of encouraging more women to join us within all departments of Testronic.