Ringside: Insider Interview with Ben Purton

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Photo of Ben Purton, senior manager for sales enablement

As we expand the Ringside series to hear from experts beyond RingCentral’s walls, we continue to engage with our own leaders to get insights into the challenges and solutions of the telecommunications industry.

Today we catch up with Ben Purton, Sales Enablement Senior Manager for RingCentral UK, mainly supporting workforces in EMEA and APAC. Ben has been in the UCaaS space for just under a decade, and has been involved in enablement for the past five years. Ben loves to play chess, and won the UK Chess Challenge – the biggest tournament in the world – in his younger years. Ben uses his expert understanding of chess to create brilliant allegories to teach lessons of life, work, leadership and sales in his role and beyond.

Ben, what are your responsibilities at RingCentral and what do you love about your job?

I get the honour of being involved in training new starters when they join the business. I love doing that at RingCentral and I loved that in my previous role at Intrado too. Helping people build relationships both internally and externally is amazing. My favourite part of my role is when I see people I’ve trained do well in their careers. Of course, 99% of that is on them, but in my head I like to think I contributed a tiny bit to their growth.

My core stakeholders are the salespeople, but at RingCentral they are the definition of people who fix problems for customers, and this is part of the reason I chose to work here. When I go to play chess in the national league, there seems to be a stigma regarding salespeople. My message to my chess colleagues – and anyone who will listen – is that sales, when done right, is a very skilful job that involves empathy and a huge level of technical knowledge.

In what ways has business communications changed over your career?

Great question. When training, I like to tell a story that my party trick when I first started in SaaS was that no ‘smart-phone’ could beat me at chess. Now, nearly every smart phone and app can beat me at chess. This shows how fast technology changes, and in many ways this is why I love RingCentral’s solutions, because the APIs we offer allow us to move with the speed of change.

Lots of organisations had bandwidth issues over the last few decades because the demand exceeded their long-term supply. We live in a time where communication is more important than ever before, and you truly don’t know what is possible in the future. That’s exciting, but businesses need to be future-proofed as much as possible, and this is where our amazing employees come in to their own.

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How do you apply RingCentral’s FLIGHT (focused, learning, innovative, genuine, humble, trusted) SCHOOL values to your role?

Well, I guess for our region, I am Mr FLIGHT SCHOOL, so it impacts everything I do. I’ll let you in on a little secret: I definitely don’t have a favourite ‘value’ but GHT: genuine, humble and trusted is my favourite half. Especially trusted: I have to be trusted by the employees to help them in an enablement role. I am also a big fan of teamwork. It sounds generic, but it’s the supporting functions around sales who are the amazing employees. Post rollout, this is where we really shine, with amazing customer support, global services & solutions, and such teams – they are the hidden heroes of EMEA.

How will our experiences this year change the way we work forever?

In short, yes I believe most organisations will change the way they work. The shared telephony device, for example, might become a thing of the past for most organisations. This will be accompanied by a massive increase in the need for flexibility and cloud-based tools. My advice to most organisations would be to look at a true quantified assessment. What do I mean by that? Well, the benefits of solution 1 versus solution 2 might ‘only’ be different by 5% in some cases…but in most organisations, 5% increases in productivity or reductions in loss is often far more than the cost difference of solutions 1 or 2.

There are also some areas which are very tough to quantify. Ease of use, and therefore happiness of the user, is a very important thing, especially with the huge working from home move that is happening right now. Organisations are noticing that moving to the cloud is an amazing experience, and what I hear from people all over LinkedIn is how easy it is.

Organisations are noticing that moving to the cloud is an amazing experience, and what I hear from people all over LinkedIn is how easy it is. Click To Tweet

Many thanks to Ben for his insights and advice, and for stepping out from behind the curtain to give us some valuable face time. If you’d like to hear more from Ben, follow him on LinkedIn. In the meantime, look out for more episodes in this series of Ringside.

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Originally published Nov 10, 2020, updated Jan 16, 2023

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