Timothy Bull Business Development Director

Keto Software UK has a new Business Development Director

Timothy Bull Business Development Director

Interview with Tim Bull, our new Business Development Director UK & Ireland.

Timothy Bull, or Tim as he prefers to be called, joined Keto Software in Autumn 2022 having previously worked for another SaaS vendor and before that for the tech research company Gartner. Educated in both the UK & Sweden, he currently lives in Greater London with his wife Hannah. Here Tim shares a bit of his background and plans with us.

Keto: Thanks for joining us today, Tim. First of an important question: as a Brit how do you like your tea?

Tim: Good to be here. My favourite cuppa in the morning is black tea with milk but no sugar. In the afternoon I tend to prefer a chamomile tea instead.

 K: Okay now here is a tougher question for you: who is Tim Bull?

T: There’s lots of ways to answer that, but workwise I’d describe myself as someone who has been a sales and communications professional about 15 years now.

I’ve had the benefit of working with some great organisations and having some fantastic mentors in my career to date. Now I’m excited about working with Keto and the opportunity we have ahead of us.

At the core of what I do is listening and understanding people, particularly around what they need and how we might be able to help them. I try to avoid just throwing pitches at people, I think someone called it “pitch slapping”?

K: Pitch slapping?

T: Yes, I didn’t come up with the term myself, but it means coming across salespeople who almost immediately just throw a pitch at you in your first interaction with them, rather than an actual conversation like you are being slapped across the face by it.

I’m a big fan of Neil Rackham’s SPIN selling approach, where you first have an actual conversation to talk through a prospect’s situation, problems and those implications before going anywhere near to a pitch. It’s an approach that has worked well for me in my career to date and it’s one I’ve brought with me to Keto.

Hopefully, I won’t slap anyone with a pitch any time soon!

K: Speaking of Keto, how did you find out about us?

I’d been aware of Keto for some time before joining, including meeting our CEO Veijo Hytti at some industry events in the UK. I found, and still find, Veijo very inspiring and I started to notice Keto more and more when we were in competition against each other.

K: And what made you decide to join us?

T: For me, it was a combination of different factors, like the people, the software and the wider market itself.

From a people perspective, I liked the team I met and love the idea about how our software is “Made in Finland for Humans”. The company has a genuinely Nordic and human-centric approach that fits very well with my own SPIN selling approach.

For software, I was blown away the first time they walked me through the platform. It’s no-code nature makes it so much more scaleable and functional than anything else I’ve seen on the market so far. I’m consistently impressed with what I see from it and how our customers already use it.

K: And the wider market?

T: The Portfolio Management market has been going through a lot of changes in the last few years, now becoming what Gartner calls Strategic Portfolio Management (SPM). Keto Software excels because its flexibility & great Nordic design means that it is more than a match for any other such software out there, and in many cases is far easier to use as our customers tell us.

There is a huge opportunity in the SPM market that we stand ready to reach. I see too many organisations struggle with older legacy tools that are incredibly restrictive to use meaning that they usually rush at the end of the month to load enough information to please senior management, but the old legacy tools are often seen as unusable.

Again, Keto’s no-code solution blows most other solutions out of the water. If people want to find out more then I’m happy to chat with them.

K: You’ve been with Keto a few months now, what have you been focused upon?

T: So far have been spending time on a mixture of the strategic and tactical parts of sales.

For the strategic parts, I’ve been working with the team on how can we improve our sales process, and also how can we build up our new sales channel partner programme. Onboarding new partners has been a key part of that work, and I was delighted when we were able to announce our first such partnership with the consultancy HotPMO.

I’ve known the boss of HotPMO, John McIntyre, for years. One of the first times I properly talked with him, he challenged me to pitch to him but instead I had an actual conversation with him, and have had a good business relationship with him ever since.

For the tactical side of things, it is a lot of regular work of selling, starting with having great conversations, participating in industry events and doing my best to listen to the market. We are now in some very positive discussions with several exciting organisations in the UK & Ireland, which will hopefully result in many more positive customer case studies.

K: Okay, and what are you working on next?

T: Alongside building up our partner programme, we are now looking to build up the UK Team starting with hiring two new roles with one in Sales Support and the other a Business Consultant & Project Manager.

So far, we have had over two hundred applicants for those two roles, which is both exciting and humbling in seeing others get excited about our vision at Keto Software. We are looking forward to appointing the right people and continuing to build on strong foundations – nothing short of world domination!

K: And what do you outside of work, when not planning world domination?

T: Am fortunate enough to live in Greater London, so have a love for the city and often get lost just exploring it. One of my favourite places there is the historic pub Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese on Fleet Street, which once had amazing regulars like Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Charles Dickens and Mark Twain.

I also try to get lots of sunshine and am pleased to live close to the beautiful Bushy Park in West London. When the weather is not so good, I’m a video games fan who has recently been spending a lot of my downtime playing the epic Elden Ring.

During the lockdowns, I got back into Lego in a big way as a way of meditation and am proudly an AFOL (Adult Fan of Lego). It’s a great and mindful hobby building up some exciting projects, probably especially good as someone whose work is so closely connected to project management. So far my wife has forced me to keep most of the Lego in my home office, but only time will tell…

K: Okay, and finally, how can people get in touch with you?

T: Probably the best ways are either via me business phone on +44 7576 511 311 or by email at timothy.bull@ketosoftware.com

Happy to have a chat and cup of tea with anyone who might need our help, and I promise not to pitch-slap anyone!

K: Thanks for your time, Tim

T: Thank you!