Meet the team: Simon Martin
At Kalibrate, we believe our success is driven as much by our people as our technology. Here, we meet Simon Martin from our International Sales team.
Simon is often the first contact many Kalibrate clients have with us – so he’s responsible for understanding their needs and objectives, and working with our customer success teams to find the appropriate Kalibrate solution. He is, above all, a trusted business partner to our customers.
What is your role at Kalibrate?
I am VP for International Sales and have one of the best jobs in the business. I am often invited to speak at international events such as ReFuelForum, work across several teams in different offices, and I am now able to get back out to visit clients or follow-up leads which is always a valuable experience.
What does a typical day look like for you?
I’m responsible for managing our Sales team internationally; this means I’m focused on supporting the full spectrum of our commercial activities from business development to existing client management across our solution portfolio.
Most days I engage in activity with my team in client or prospect meetings; mainly virtually, but we are starting to see in-person interactions coming back strongly which is positive.
What do you love about your role at Kalibrate?
It’s so varied and dynamic; I’m very fortunate to get to work globally, in an exciting and relevant business that serves changeable industry sectors. This means grasping the fundamental needs of our clients and prospects across numerous different countries, marketplace conditions business types.
What is particularly motivating for me at present is that as part of my role I am leading the international expansion of our non-fuel location intelligence solutions, as well as continuing to grow our business in fuel retail. This is bringing even greater diversity and complexity to my role and it’s a set of challenges that I relish.
Why did you choose to join Kalibrate?
I joined Kalibrate in 2013 after having had several UK-based sales roles in different industries. I wanted to work for a business that offered solutions with demonstrable added value for its clients, presented an opportunity for career development, and served the needs of an industry that faces a high degree of change.
The opportunity to work in an international setting was also attractive; I am very fortunate that I have been able to travel extensively in my role – I see it as a real privilege to be exposed to so many different countries and cultures – it’s also a great challenge selling enterprise-class software and consulting services internationally.
What do you think are the greatest challenges and opportunities facing retailers?
Concerning the fuel and convenience retail sector, in my opinion, one of the greatest challenges for fuel retailers is evaluating and selecting the most relevant technology solutions that will contribute sustainable value to their business.
The pandemic accelerated many businesses into technology adoption – I’m hearing now more than ever comments along the lines of “it’s clear we need to leverage more from our data using technology” – but the question is which data, for what purpose or outcome, and which technology can deliver overall material return on investment?
Thinking more broadly about various retail segments, one of the most prominent themes I see at present is businesses grappling with what their customers want and need in the post-pandemic era and determining whether their locations and propositions are well set to meet those expectations.
Every business has customers, but the way those customers behave now is different, and for some segments less consistent, than before 2020. So, it’s essential now to have the technology and predictive analytics as enablers that will support the understanding of where customers are, how they move and through what channel(s) they want to engage with your product or service.
Where do you see the fuel, retail, or convenience markets heading?
What does the future hold? I think there will be a mixture of both uncertainty and change. The energy transition and growth of alternative mobility solutions are going to impact fuel retailers, but also retail segments in general.
If I’m an EV driver, the choices I make about where I re-charge my car on the move in the future are more likely to be driven by which coffee brand I prefer, rather than the fuel company brand that I may have identified with when driving an internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicle. In our latest report, The Electric Evolution, we found that 49% of drivers will shop for essentials whilst charging, so the choice of the c-store brand might be important too.
I think omnichannel, and the blend of physical and digital customer interaction will remain a key element of how businesses plan their customer-centric growth.
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