Class of 2024 Presents: Oliver Stewart, VP of Enterprise Sales EMEA

By Celtra

Oliver Stewarts, Celtra’s VP of Enterprise Sales for EMEA, is the leading force behind our sales operations in the EMEA and APAC regions. He also happens to be the perfect example of how playing competitive sports in your youth can set you up with an invaluable mindset and skill set for leading a successful career. 

Responsible for Celtra’s sales strategy and revenue generation in the two regions, Ollie has been with Celtra for almost 3 years. Knowing that a career in sales forces one to constantly improve, how does he embrace the daily challenges and use them as motivation to grow? In his words: you better “take it professionally, not personally”. Read along to find out more about the winning attitude Ollie developed during his sports days and what he loves most about his time at Celtra.

Q: What’s your favorite quote?

Oh, there are a few, but probably something like: “Don’t take life too seriously. You will never get out of it alive.” — Elbert Hubbard (not L Ron Hubbard!)

Otherwise, based on Occam’s razor: “If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it’s probably a duck”… The simplest explanation is usually the best one 🙂

Q: What were your main interests before you started your professional journey, and how did those influence your career?

Before I even considered a career, I was all about competitive sports. From as far back as I can remember I was either throwing, kicking, or hitting a ball— that was all I could think about. My sporting pursuits took priority until late into my teens, and I honestly didn’t think too much about what was next. Maybe my head was buried in the sand, or maybe I was lost on what I should do or would be good at.

Fortunately, the lessons I learned from my sports days didn’t dry up in my professional life. If anything, they became more useful—particularly, it seems, as a sales professional.

Those days taught me more than just how to hit or throw a ball. To play sports at a competitive level, you need to have a competitive mindset, be a real team player, have discipline, and be open to new ways of getting better. These are all values that I lean into every day in my professional life, and they directly affect my performance.

Q: What aspect of your position at Celtra do you love the most?

I really value the opportunity to work with the smart and creative people we have at Celtra on a daily basis. Both on and off the field, they’re lovely people, and extremely talented. There’s a saying I’ve always believed in, which sums it up nicely: “If you’re the smartest person in the room, you’re in the wrong room.”

Q: What valuable bit of advice could you share for someone starting a career in sales?

Stay curious, be a sponge, and take it professionally, not personally!

A career in sales demands constant refinement and improvement, which translates directly into results. As a seller, you’re going to get knocked repeatedly(!). You’ll face rejection, setbacks, and challenges on a daily basis.

Personally, I despise losing and don’t like to do it often. 🙂 It’s not that I’m a poor loser, but I stew on it. It’s not so much the outcome that I hate, but the process. The fact that I lost and missed out on an opportunity when I (and we) should have won.

However, you can learn to embrace disappointment (criticism, loss, or failure), using it as motivation to grow. It’s a powerful tool to identify areas for improvement and fuel future success. It’s an opportunity to analyze what went wrong, how you can improve, and what you can do better next time.

Q: What do you do for fun, and how do you challenge yourself outside of work?

With the birth of my first son during the last few weeks, I’m certain this is going to keep me busy and challenged (in the best ways of course!) for years to come. Will I even have time for much else!? 

Q: What has been the most rewarding achievement during your time with Celtra?

Overall, I like to believe that I’ve taken some positive steps to enhance the value and impact of our go-to-market efforts, and couldn’t pinpoint one thing in particular. I love celebrating big wins as a company, and it’s incredibly gratifying to see how my individual contributions make a difference to our team’s and customer’s success.

On a personal level, hands down the birth of my son is the most awesome thing I’ve ever done — I made a human!

Q: What sets Celtra apart from the rest of the competition?

Celtra has been at the forefront of Creative AdTech for years, and we’ve been fortunate to work with the world’s most creative and innovative brands out there. But we operate in a highly competitive space, and It amazes me how quickly a modest success story gets replicated and any initial product and/or market advantages get narrowed.

At a time when there are seemingly lots of options, quality, and vision are everything, and our focus on the creative continues to be our secret sauce. Despite the advances in tech over the years, and the numerous opportunities to reach audiences, there’s unfortunately still a lot of s**t advertising out there. The volume dial of ‘noise’ has been turned up, whilst quality has diminished, and increasingly brands are starting to see they aren’t getting through to the people on the other side. Creative has become the last real performance lever, all the stats back this up, but as consumers you feel it first hand too.

Celtra is positioned to help those brands break through the noise and be beautiful and relevant, at scale, all at once.

If you’re interested in learning more about life at Celtra, check out our Content Hub for more company culture blogs.

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