Here at Activo, we’re proud to work with some of the best in IT, Networking, and Telecommunications. Come with us to get to know our team members better, gathering insight into their career paths and what they love about Activo.
Get to Know Todd Russell, VP of Sales and Business Development
Todd Russell is the newest member of Activo’s senior leadership team, joining us as our Vice President of Sales and Business Development. He manages the sales team, helps drive business nationally, and is responsible for relationship management with our distribution and manufacturing partners.
Todd is more than just a sales leader; he has the business acumen to truly understand business decisions and their financial impacts on his client’s bottom line. Having managed large P&L’s in his career, he understands pain points from a business perspective in relation to his clients’ wants and needs.
We spoke with Todd to better understand how he got where he is and what makes him tick. He was excited to share his experiences.
What motivated you to work for Activo?
I’ve known the president, Jim Taylor, for many years. He has a solid reputation in the industry as a stand-up businessman who runs successful companies. He’s very genuine and a good person. His business acumen is amazing, and I look forward to learning more from him. I also appreciate that Activo has direct relationships with its end-user clients. Activo always gets close with their customers in order to provide solutions that best fit their client’s needs.
What inspired you to pursue the career that you have today?
I kind of fell into sales; I started in consulting, then worked my way into sales from there. I just enjoy talking to new people and having different conversations. I like the newness of sales – you’re always doing something different. I also enjoy being able to provide sound and leading-edge solutions to clients.
What is the best advice you can offer to someone who wants to join the Activo team, or this career path?
In sales, you need to listen more than you speak. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes, and don’t be afraid to ask questions. A lot of people don’t ask questions because they think they’re going to look dumb – they’re not.
If you want to join Activo, you must be a team player. Everyone here has the right attitude, and we all have each other’s backs. It’s a nice feeling knowing that you have that support structure behind you, that you have a motivated team. Here, everyone has the right attitude and is pointed in the right direction.
What’s your favourite part of coming to work?
Besides being given the direction to grow and try new ideas, I enjoy working with the entire team. We have a stable structure and sound foundation that gives us, and our clients, comfort in knowing that we are present and will be for a long time.
What skill do you think everyone should learn?
Listening. You can’t solve anything without listening to the problem. It sounds so easy, but I often find that people want quick fixes and band-aids that never really fix the root problem. The term trusted advisor has been kicked around a lot so let’s not go there. However, I like to think that if you listen and ask questions, you can then propose solutions that can help.
Can you recommend a piece of media and tell us what you enjoy about it?
My first thought is a very good book, Starts With Why, by Simon Sinek. He’s interesting, and his philosophies make you think. I gravitate to his posts when I see them.