The international iGaming industry is growing at a dizzying pace, and notable brands like Slotegrator along with it. With increasing success comes a growing team, as Slotegrator Head of Sales Hmayak Manukyan knows well.
In a new interview, Manukyan discusses entering the iGaming industry, learning from his past experiences, what insights the Slotegrator sales department uses, and the company’s plans for the future, as well as giving some advice for those who want to become part of the Slotegrator sales team.
How did you come to the gambling industry, and why did you choose it for your career?
Before joining the industry, I was engaged with the organization of different events in the biggest specialized companies in my country. The company was also involved in the organization of entertainment for some gaming providers as well and for me, everything took off from there. I was quite interested in online gaming from that moment and I realized, this was exactly what I want to be involved in for the rest of my life.
My first significant step was in 2018 when I was involved as a sales manager in a big and well-known provider based in Armenia. I had the opportunity to work with great professionals, enlarge my network in the industry, be involved in important deals, and form partnerships with clients in different markets.
What was your first successful project, why did you decide to take it on, and what do you think led you to success?
The most remarkable in terms of new opportunities was a startup in the African market which served as the beginning of the development and recognition of our brand in this region and had a domino effect. Most of all, it gave me the possibility to attract tier-one existing operators and create a new, profitable stream of income for the company.
Have there been any failures in your life, and if so, what experience did you take away from them?
I remembered my first deal — I have never met more complex personalities than this client. Negotiations lasted up to 8 months and many times I thought of “giving up” but somehow pushed myself and the client as well to come to an agreement. And this was a good experience for me to believe in myself.
How did you start working for Slotegrator?
I was lucky to be reached out by one of our brilliant HR managers and by that time I knew a lot about Slotegrator. I was impressed with the pace of the company's development, the availability of key products that are now popular in iGaming industry, and of course the vision of the management played a big role to take an important decision.
Is it true that you know everything about the company's products?
I strongly believe that nobody can know the product from A to Z. Тhe whole interest of our business lies in the fact that almost every new client has specific requirements for the desired product. The head of the sales department must be flexible, delve into these nuances, and look for new solutions.
What are the company’s most popular products?
Slotegrator has many great products and I would like to highlight our brilliant Turnkey solution which allows our client to launch their own online casino project from the ground up with our robust and feature-rich software for gambling operators.
We also have Telegram Casino, which is an innovative solution for mobile gambling utilizing a bot. It is truly an alternative to the standard gambling platforms.
Moreover, we have our APIgrator, a solution for clients with existing platforms which makes it possible to add new game content. APIgrator included over 7000 certified games from over 85 licensed game developers.
What are your plans for the coming year?
In 2022, the company will be targeting new regions and releasing new adaptive solutions suiting the requirements of countries in Africa, Latin America, Eastern Europe, and Asia, and my goal as head of sales is to enlarge our team to 15 managers, and, accordingly, increase efficiency.
What markets do you think have the most potential?
Тhe diversity of our products allows us to look at different markets with confidence, and we have already started expanding. At the same time, we will be looking forward to keeping our strong positions in markets where we already have a presence.
How do you envision the future of Slotegrator?
The company started in 2012 and since that time, Slotegrator has managed to become one of the iGaming industry’s leading software providers, with a great quantity of partners all around the world. I believe the company will continue to grow in terms of partners and we will keep pushing for innovation. Stotegrator will definitely consider expanding with dedicated regional offices which will help us in terms of increasing our brand awareness and local networks.
How do you select employees for your department? What skills are important in the work of a sales manager at Slotegrator?
There is a golden rule — to be the best sales manager, you must be empathetic. My vision is that a manager should have the charisma of a salesperson. In our team, we have the perfect mix of experienced sales managers and new members who make their first steps in the industry on their way to getting knowledge and achieving high results.
Is it easy for a beginner to join the close-knit Slotegrator sales team?
I wouldn’t say it’s easy for a beginner to catch everything from the very first moment. We have a strong sales team here in Slotegrator and experienced specialists pay attention to ensure that the onboarding process of new employees goes smoothly.
What advice can you give to new employees?
I always advise them to be patient and confidently go to the goal. At the first stage, they need to focus on learning about the product and business processes. This knowledge will help them successfully interact with clients.
Describe a typical workday, and how you go about time management.
I try to use my time effectively and block the factors that interfere with this. When planning a day, I set priorities and goals. I perform tasks one by one, and I delegate some of them. I have long been convinced that the Pareto principle works — 20% of the efforts give 80% of the results.
Mornings in the office start with looking through iGaming industry news. The standard plan includes the solution of strategic tasks, control of the work of the department, interaction with the heads of other departments of the company and with key clients.
Is it necessary to be an extrovert to be an effective salesman?
On the one hand, yes. An extrovert lives by action and interaction with the outside world. This allows him to easily establish contacts with people around him.
But there are different types of sales, respectively — several types of people who are in demand in them. “Fast” sales are for extroverts. In turn, introverts are able to maintain the interest of the client until he makes a decision. Not all people tend to make decisions quickly, everyone needs a special approach.
Negotiations with clients, calls, and meetings — is it all energy-consuming?
Undoubtedly yes. But if you are a highly effective communicator, a good psychologist, and a skilled speaker, it will be much easier. Being a salesperson is a calling.
How do you recharge?
During a busy day, I find time to go for a walk and breathe in the fresh air. Even a ten or fifteen-minute walk can give me the boost I need.
Sports, socializing with friends, and visiting new places all recharge me and give me strength to achieve new goals.