Lada Oleskeviciene is a Sales Support Manager with JETMS, a role that involves supporting the entire sales process, from the first point of contact through every step of the sales pipeline, right up to the satisfactory completion of the sale.

Working in support of the Sales Manager, Lada is there to ensure that every stage of the sale has the proper back-up, and the customer has a direct contact for any questions that might arise.

The aviation industry runs in Lada’s family as her grandfather was employed as an aircraft mechanic and later rose to the position of Maintenance Director with Ilyushin Aircraft in Ukraine. Although her grandfather didn’t pass on his direct knowledge to Lada, the connection was there and a passion for aviation was formed.

In her role as a Sales Support Manager, Lada believes that “You need to be thorough, organised, and attentive to details. But above all, to become a professional Sales Support Manager you need to develop good analytical skills. These important skills are most needed to make the right conclusions, to solve complex problems, and to correctly prioritise”.

Lada says that working with JETMS, and as a part of the Avia Solutions Group family, is a move she never regrets. “It’s really like being part of a big family, where you can feel the support of your colleagues and the management team. Times are changing, but I am also changing, gaining new experiences, learning how to work in a new environment, and testing my ability to adapt.”

Lada, like everyone involved in aviation, knows first-hand the impact of a global pandemic on the entire industry, but she also knows that the past years have also had their silver lining moments too. According to her, “I think 2021 was really tough, but several pleasant things happened too. For one, the company has introduced a new motivation system used to calculate bonus payments; something I’m really happy about.”

For a Sales Support Manager, no two days are ever the same. For Lada, her day starts with catching up with emails and prioritising the ones which require urgent attention. The topics of these communications can vary from solving the problems behind a dispatched spare part with a missing certificate, or gathering urgent quotes from suppliers.

Her day is also spread with meetings which help keep the whole team up to date with the status of various projects and KPIs. In fact, when it comes to the importance of a team, Lada believes that “Teamwork is one of the most significant powers, without it, you are just one warrior on a battlefield. Even if you are a good warrior, you will not last long.

Along with her regular tasks in support of the sales pipeline, Lada also spends time with newcomers to JETMS, to share her experience, offer advice, and introduce new team members to the company’s practices and ethos. According to Lada, “This part of the job demands a lot of time and patience, but it always makes me strive to learn more and to be a better example.”

When it comes to sourcing and ordering spare parts for aircraft, many people assume that the job is completed once a part – at the right price – is located. For Lada and her colleagues at JETMS, finding the part is just the beginning of the process, especially when there are multiple orders to fill and the opportunity for more difficult situations present themselves. This is when it’s most important to stay focused and on top of every detail.

Staying focused on the job is a key factor in the sales process. Lada recounts that some time ago two of her colleagues – both Sales Managers – were unavailable, leaving Lada to fill the gap. “It was a challenge to be a Sales Manager and Sales Support Manager at the same time. It’s like being in one room with the customer negotiating a deal, then closing the door and going to another room with a vendor and negotiating there; trying to search for balance between all parties. You can feel double responsibility and that kind of pressure can be quite a challenge, but once it’s all done the feeling of reward is worth it”.

At the end of the day, it is a great customer experience that keeps us all in business. According to Lada, “Price is not the main factor, as most people assume. I have noticed that a customer appreciates it when we are flexible and able to adapt quickly to their changing needs. Also, if you have a good working relationship with a client, even price won’t be a hurdle, and you still have a chance to close the deal.”

But keeping business relationships alive during the past two years was far from being an easy matter. As the saying goes, ‘out of sight out of mind’.

Thankfully for Lada and her colleagues the relationships built before the pandemic struck were strong enough to endure even the toughest of challenges. “Despite the difficult situation we were all facing, it didn’t manage to destroy or affect negatively our relationships with our clients,” says Lada. “It was not easy, but there were ways to achieve this; like a call at the right time, or a kind reminder that we are still here if they need us.”

For Lada, she notes that the longer she is with the company the more diverse and rewarding her participation in many projects has become. One of those projects was the ‘Brakes Campaign’ where along with her team they managed to source and purchase the necessary parts and then sell them on to a waiting customer. Another large-scale project in which Lada was an integral part, involved the sale of an engine for a Falcon-10 aircraft. This was a bigger than usual project which required greater expertise, more time, and complete dedication, but offered greater scope for reward and fulfilment in a job well done.

It is true, that despite the upturn in air traffic, there are still challenges to be faced in the future for JETMS and other aviation companies. Among those challenges is the demand to remain flexible and ready for any new demands that might come our way.

For Lada, and her colleagues, one way of being able to stay flexible is through the company’s Know-Your-Customer (KYC) policy where the main focus is to remain transparent and to constantly guide and educate our partners through the importance of KYC. While implementing a KYC policy may take a little more time, the transparency that it illustrates only helps to emphasise that JETMS, Lada, and all of her colleagues are truly focused on the needs of our customers and suppliers at all times.