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Meet the… senior regional sales manager

Having started her career in the defence industry, Clear-Com's Nicola Milburn says don't be afraid to change roles or switch industries, and explains why colleagues in the media seem "less stressed and generally happier about life"

Nicola Milburn – senior regional sales manager, Southern Europe, Clear-Com 
Talk us through an average day in your role

There is no average day in a sales role, that’s the great thing about it! I could be flying somewhere to provide a product update or demo for one of our partners and customers (or doing the same via Microsoft Teams), I could be working with my colleagues to organise training or prepare a demonstration, working through a tender to provide technical information and pricing, attending an exhibition, preparing a forecast of potential sales for the coming months, checking courier tracking numbers to ensure a shipment will be delivered in time, or just saying “thank you” to someone for their order. We all remember a great purchasing experience in our personal lives, the nice feeling you are left with when someone went above and beyond to help you. For me, that is what a sales role is all about: working with my Clear-Com colleagues and our local partners each day to deliver not only great products but also a lasting positive impression on our customers.


How did you get started in the media industry?

I was previously selling test and measurement equipment to a lot of different industries and ended up focusing on broadcast and media for the past 10 years because it is a nice industry and feels very small (everyone seems to know everyone). Having worked in a few different industries, I always felt that people seemed less stressed and generally happier about life in the broadcast and media Industry (although people who work in live news often look shocked when I say that!)  

What training did you have before entering the industry?

My background is in test engineering and new product introduction. I completed an HNC in Electrical & Electronic Engineering at the start of my career whilst working for a manufacturer in the defence industry. I then worked in various test engineering and NPI roles over the years which included testing the first-ever Bluetooth ASICS at Ericsson Microelectronics. In those roles, I purchased a lot of equipment so I have experience on both sides and understand the importance of product knowledge and support in a sales role. I guess my route into the industry is not a traditional one, but it shows that anything is possible. 

Why do you enjoy working in the industry?

The technologies are always changing, so there is always something new to learn. In my experience, people in the industry are eager to engage with manufacturers to learn about what’s new and provide product feedback on what they would find useful, and play an active part in contributing to product features that would benefit many people across the industry. I guess it feels like there is a nice community spirit about it. 

What piece of advice would you offer someone looking to explore a role similar to yours?

Don’t be afraid to change roles or switch industries. There are lots of free networking events which take place in the broadcast and media industry throughout the year, so go along and chat with a few people to learn more about the industry (we really are a friendly bunch!). There are also some great organisations such as Rise that are helping to make broadcast and media a more diverse industry and helping to inspire young people to enter the industry through the Rise Up Academy (who are always looking for more volunteers!).