Mika ”Miksu” Leppänen from Oulu has started as a sales and business developer at Unikie. The growth goals of Unikie got the eager salesman to take on new challenges. The long-term software development professional is now aiming at developing Unikie’s sales and acquiring new customers, while ensuring that a positive energy emanates at the Oulu office.
Leppänen, who is originally from Rovanimeni, has a long upward career at Neusoft behind him. The man was not planning to change jobs, but a tempting offer got Leppänen to join Unikie.
Leppänen lists out three things, which got him excited about his new employer. First of all, he shares Unikie’s values. Appreciating customers, honesty and openness are operating principles, which also fit his way of working.
Secondly, Leppänen is impressed with Unikie’s procedures. He feels that the way the organization is built will enable him to find a good support network for his own work.
– Before I used to do almost everything alone, but now even inside the company, there is a network that supports my own work greatly. This is an excellent starting point for my work, Leppänen rejoices.
Thirdly, Leppänen got excited about Unikie’s great desire to grow and to become more international. With these facts in mind, he told himself that it was justified to change jobs, seeing this as a wonderful opportunity to join a young growth company.
A long-term software development professional
Leppänen’s work history includes many kinds of work and various roles in a software company environment. For the last 13 years he worked at Neusoft, where he started with engineering, but quite soon was responsible for leading the product and process development teams.
Near 2010, Leppänen’s career turned towards management, and his work included finding new customers and being responsible for client relations. In 2012 he became responsible for Neusoft’s Finnish R&D for one year. After that, for the latest five years, the focus has clearly been on sales, and he has been responsible for leading Neusoft’s unit in Oulu.
– For the last five years, I have been serving my existing clients, travelling around Finland finding new customers, and developing business related to consultant services, Leppänen adds up.
The customer comes first
Leppänen feels he is at his best in sales, because being sales oriented is part of his persona. Meeting people, solving customers’ problems, and closing deals are central in sales work, which he enjoys.
– The best feeling is when things work out, when you get to high five the team, or enjoy a colleague’s success. Sales work is quite independent, which emphasizes everyone’s own responsibility in managing their time. This suits me well, Leppänen says.
In his new line of work, Leppänen will develop sales, do sales work, and also develop the company’s business activities. He can see his own strengths by looking in the rear-view mirror. His long and versatile experience in this field has given him perspective. He already has a good contact network and some experience in solution selling. In addition to this, experience in software development makes sales work much easier. He will now use this arsenal of experience in sales work at Unikie.
Leppänen’s sales work will focus in the northern part of Finland. Along with acquiring new customers, the whole customer process will stand close, including recruiting and staffing.
– Solution oriented sales work is versatile. The most important goal, which is also the greatest challenge, is to make demands meet. The customer needs a team just right for his project, or for example one expert, and our job is to offer just the right expertise for their use, Leppänen clarifies.
Success in particular feeds Leppänen’s work motivation. This can mean a good sale, a good recruitment, or helping a colleague to reach a desired end result.
– Of course, it is also motivating, when success can be compensated in the right way, Leppänen adds.
According to Leppänen, an even more important source for motivation than success, is the supportive, commendatory and invigorating atmosphere stemming from the company culture. He feels it is important that people find it pleasant to come to work. At Unikie, he finds the right atmosphere and a genuine passion to do things.
Leppänen, who emanates good positive spirit, is filled with ardor, and is looking forward to getting his hands dirty. Trusting his own work and that of the company gives an excellent start for his new job. He already praises his new colleagues: “Up until now I have only met with good characters. “
Importing golf supplies in his free time
The 38-year-old husband and father of two is fairly active in his free time. Riding a snowmobile, ice fishing and skiing are all part of his winter. At summertime he spends time golfing. The sworn golfer is looking forward to many rounds with his new colleagues. His golf hobby extends beyond the golf court, because during his free time Leppänen also runs a company importing golf supplies.
– When I worked in engineering, many others were coding and finding their own solutions on evenings, and I thought that there must be something wrong with me, because I was not doing much of that. Then I understood, that in fact I am constantly developing myself as a salesman, after getting into golf business with a good friend. What would be better for a golfer, than to import golf supplies as a side business, Leppänen laughs.
Sometimes the Leppänen family needs to retreat from their busy everyday life. This is when they often head for their cottage, located between Rovaniemi and Kittilä.
– The wood burning sauna was heated up 44 times last year, so we spent many weekends and holidays there, says the severe Tex Willer comics fan. Staying at the cottage includes hunting with the family dogs, and also fishing.
Leppänen’s active lifestyle arouses respect, but also wonder: how can a person living his busiest years do all of this? The answer is: ”Everything is done with positive spirit and with moderation, not while grinding teeth.”