Hannah Freeman

By: Hannah Freeman

Hannah is Marketing Assistant at Concirrus and is passionate about leveraging her skills to help grow Concirrus' overall marketing strategy with a particular focus on social media marketing and internal communications. Helping grow owned distribution channels, engagement and champion corporate culture. Hannah has a background in Sociology and graduated from Kent University in 2017.

15 Nov, 2019

CULTURE, INNOVATION, interview, WOMEN IN TECH, sales

Concirrus' Women In Tech - Meet Joanna Henson

 

What is it like to be at the forefront of selling and demonstrating software such as Quest?

Honestly, I’d never seen anything like Quest within the marine sector. It’s something that’s transforming the way the market operates, which is so exciting to me. I'm really proud to be part of a company that adds great value to the insurance market through such an innovative product. Demonstrating something so new, like Quest Marine Hull, can be challenging at times. You’re trying to teach people a different approach when they’ve been doing something a particular way for so long. As soon as they get onboard however, it's game changing.

What got you into the tech world?

I studied Psychology at university and whilst I loved it, I was hungry to go out into the working world and earn a living. My dad works in the tech sector, so I've always been exposed to it. Going into account/client management appealed to me as I'm very much a people person. I put two and two together and found this!

I love working in tech because it’s continuously evolving. It’s never going to come to a halt, so there’s no time to get bored. It’s an instigator of change which excites me as I've always wanted to be a part of an ever evolving industry.

What is your favourite part about your job?

I love interacting with clients every day, understanding their challenges and coming up with solutions. In sales you’re always challenging yourself and learning new things, putting yourself out there. It’s extremely rewarding to make a sale and see the positive impact your actions have on both client and internal teams. At Concirrus, there’s an emphasis on acknowledging achievement, which I think is really important.

In what way do you see the insurance industry changing in the future?

I’m convinced it will be even more data driven than it is now. The London market in particular has been very slow to digitise. It now has no choice but to step up and compete with other tech savvy insurance marketplaces. I also think there will be a further streamlining of processes, driving efficiency. I don’t think that traditional roles will disappear, however, I do think that the nature of roles will change. Such change should be embraced. I think there will also be much more collaboration within the market when it comes to tech. Using similar systems that can integrate with stakeholders across the value chain will drive competitive advantage vs alternative/legacy systems.

What advice would you give to someone looking to get into your field?

Build solid networks and strong relationships within the industry. I would also say knowledge is vital, know your stuff back to front. It’s also about having a positive attitude, the desire to learn new things and an ability to think outside of the box. Get out there, don’t be afraid to challenge yourself, get a foot in the door and meet new people. Listening is also critical, you need to be a good listener to understand the needs of your client fully.

What inspires you/gives you the most confidence? 

Seeing the benefit from the work I do gives me confidence and inspires me to do more. I really like knowing that my efforts are helping to grow the business. Concirrus has grown so much since I joined in January. It’s a huge transformation in such a short space of time! Knowing that we have a really good offering, which we’re proud to deliver, inspires me. I think the key to confidence is found in the people you surround yourself with. If you’re working with a team that encourage you it makes all the difference. 

What’s been the biggest challenge you’ve encountered in your career and how did you overcome it? 

At a previous company a major challenge was trying to sell a product with an ever changing scope. Projects were often deprioritised, so delivery was 6 months to a year late. It meant that the relationship that you’d built throughout the whole sales process was suddenly destroyed. You’ve got to maintain the relationship after the deal is signed, which is a challenge as you’re not in control. Communication was key to overcoming such issues. It allowed me to maintain expectations and ensure the team were aligned throughout the process. Working closely with colleagues to better manage client requests was also paramount.

What is your career highlight/are you most proud of?

I’d say my career highlight was when I made my first deal. It took 8 months and was a product that the company hadn’t sold before, so there was a lot of pressure. I was dealing with a Greek company which was fun but really complex as I had to liaise with a lot of people (many remotely) within the organisation both in the UK and in Greece. The competitors even went to their offices in Greece during the sales process and they still lost the deal to me! To finally get it over the line was an amazing feeling, managing the whole sales process from start to finish on my own validated the fact that I was good at my job.

What would you say to your 18-year-old self?

Be more confident, believe in yourself a bit more. Know that your voice matters. I would say at the beginning of my career I wish I'd been a bit more confident and had a bit more self-belief. I would just say, have respect for your elders and learn from others, but know that your opinion matters too.

Get to know more of our talented women in part one and two of our Concirrus' Women In Tech series.


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