Mats Engström, LEKAB's new VP Sales, has now been with us for a month. Read what Mats has to say about his new role, LEKAB's sales strategy and business model, his previous experience in IT and telecom and why curiosity is the key to building long-term customer relationships.
👋 How has your first month at LEKAB been, and tell us more about your role as VP Sales?
– It has been a very exciting first month. The focus has been on getting to know the company with colleagues in both Sweden and Finland, our offers, and of course, our customers. It is fun to come to a forward-thinking, close-knit team. It is also encouraging and honoring to see that we have customer relationships that stretch back more than 20 years. I have yet to learn a lot about our products and different business models.
As VP Sales, I am responsible for developing and enforcing a sales strategy that aligns with our overall short and long-term goals. Today, we reach the market partly through direct sales and partly through our partners. The customer solution we often deliver combines our standard modules, customer-specific development, and third-party products. Sales are the customers' representative for our continued product and business development. It is important to always keep an eye on the road ahead to remain as relevant as we have been for the past 25 years.
💼 Tell us about your past work experiences. What did you do before you began working for us?
– Since 1995, I have worked primarily in IT/telecom and security, focusing on larger customers in roles such as sales manager and CEO. I started my career at MFS Communication (today Verizon Business), where I was responsible for sales to our multinational customers in the Nordics. At MFS Communication, we had the privilege of being right in the market when the internet's capacity developed explosively.
– Then followed ten years where I worked to start and establish mobile operators. First Spring Mobil in Sweden, after which we took our concept for export under the OnePhone brand. After OnePhone, I was CEO of the security company Confidence International (today Level Security), which offers services and solutions in security technology. Before LEKAB, I was CEO of a regional construction company with 140 employees in my hometown Västerås.
– To conclude, I have almost exclusively worked with building teams that, with the help of a toolbox with services in technology, helped customers solve their challenges, which resulted in many long-term customer relationships.
🎯 What motivates you the most at work?
– Difficult question, but it is all about building and developing for me. When it comes to leadership and building well-functioning teams, I strive to create an environment where it is easy to be motivated, feel proud and happy. Everyone should know their role in the orchestra and what is expected of one. We must dare to try new ways, and sometimes it may go wrong. The most important thing is to try to avoid making the same mistake over again so that we can learn from our mistakes. The best results are achieved when we play in step within the department, and together with the company's other parts, then the well-being is usually at its peak.
– My role is to help my team achieve and exceed set goals by listening to suggestions, providing good conditions, support, and leading by example. I think it is super fun to contribute to the development of individuals.
– It is important to break down our long-term goals into smaller sub-goals, pay attention and celebrate when we reach our goals. The fuel in our creative process is joy. If we make sure to have it with us during the day, we can do wonders!
– When it comes to building and developing customer relationships, I am driven by trying to solve the customer's challenges, preferably tricky ones. My experience is that it usually pays to understand the customer in-depth and their challenges before a solution is presented. Curiosity is usually a good help to achieve good results in this matter. Building long customer relationships and high customer satisfaction is my goal and proof of success.
– With my previous experience in sales in the operator industry, I believe I have a good basic understanding of LEKAB's business model and am now putting effort into finding out what our customers expect from us as a supplier in the future. We must be on our toes and earn our rights as a supplier every day. I am thrilled to have been trusted to become a part of LEKAB and welcome you to contact me.
🎸 What do you like to do in your spare time?
– I like to spend time with my family in our country house and build and renovate. Working out, cooking, art and hunting are other interests of mine. I also spend much time on a couple of associations I am involved in, including Västerås Simsällskap, where I am vice-chairman and often an official at my children's competitions. We have three children, a dog, a boat, many good friends, and never-ending piles of laundry in the laundry room, so I have no problem at all getting rid of my spare time. I would like to have more time to read books.