We caught up with Sean Hatherley, Navico’s new Senior Vice President of Sales in AMER (North, Central and South America), to ask him some questions around his background with Navico and his plans in his new role.
You have quite a complex history with Navico, has it helped you in your new role today?
I’ve spent most of my career in the marine electronics sector, which has (and will hopefully continue!) to help me.
I joined the marine industry in 1990 working for a small company called Nautec in Portsmouth UK as a Service Technician for autopilots and basic navigation instruments. A couple of years later the company was purchased by Raytheon (now Raymarine) and I moved to the US in 1994 in a Product Support role. I stayed there until 2008.
By the end of that year, I was looking for a new challenge and I joined Navico as Director of OEM business. I had a good team back then and we all worked well together. Some of that team are still here today and doing well within Navico!
I went to Intellian in 2010 as VP Sales AMER, a small Satcom company in the yachting and commercial marine markets, but I missed the technology and sales of boat packages to excited new owners. I returned to Navico in 2014, having watched it closely over the years I was impressed with how the brands had evolved and the tools that the company was using. Having held positions as leader of the wholesale team, Territory Manager and now SVP Americas, I’ve never looked back!
How are you finding your new role as SVP Sales Americas?
It’s challenging and exciting at the same time. Today in the SVP role I am hoping to do the same as I have over the past years: not only to lead the team, but to empower them and give them the tools to win and continue to grow the business.
Seeing the company shift its focus and efforts to a more sales driven team are exactly what is needed at this time. Further, being able to see the big picture for all channels to market should help us grow the business.
AMER is such an important region for Navico as a whole, what top three things do you think we need to get right in the region from a sales perspective?
That’s a big question! I’d say the top three things we must get right are the following:
- We must get all of our sales teams from the different channels aligned and on the same page to drive both sale in and pull through.
- We must focus on our core values of building the right products for our customers’ applications, i.e. our brand message.
- Finally, we must focus the team on areas of opportunity – for example – Large Retail and Boat Builders.
The COVID-19 situation remains serious in the US, how are you and the team finding it and is it impacting business?
The impact of COVID-19 so far on the recreational business has not been as we expected. We are seeing that consumers in the US are staying close to home and spending their money at home.
For me personally though, it has been a very unusual time. I’ve spent most of the past 25 years traveling constantly and visiting customers. After four months at home, I have not even left my home state!
The sales team have done a great job through these tough times, keeping themselves busy at the beginning and contacting customers and checking in on them. More recently, they’ve been getting back to face-to-face meetings (where it is safe to do so.)
We have all learnt a lot about our customers and the team is getting used to the ‘new normal’ of video calls. Business remains strong, even as we start to see new spikes in the virus and additional lockdowns. We’ll continue to monitor this and our first priority is always the safety of the team and their families.
Outside of work, what do you like to get up to?
I try to stay as active and healthy as I can, I enjoy mountain biking and snowboarding. Taking time with family and friends is also key for me.