There’s a world of knowledge to be found in the office technology industry, and it doesn’t necessarily involve dusting off dog-eared publications from years past to unearth the wisdom. Throughout his career, Greg Chavers has found listening to be the best tack toward enlightenment, and he’s been fortunate to absorb the teachings of many industry leaders and veterans during the course of his 25-year career.
“I’ve learned to spend more time listening than talking,” said Chavers, vice president, North America Channel Sales for Lexmark and a 2018 ENX Magazine Difference Maker. “I’m also a firm advocate for stretching outside your comfort zone for knowledge advancement. We’re all competing in time, and I like to challenge myself and my team to accelerate key decision-making by accelerating our learning curves.”
The lifelong quest for knowledge has paid tremendous dividends for Chavers and Lexmark. He has played a considerable role in bolstering the organization in its quest to grow and support the BSD dealer channel. Picking the brains of dealer executives has helped accelerate the process.
“Most dealers in this industry have been around for many years, and it’s hard not to be inspired by these entrepreneurs and their stories of triumphs, setbacks, perseverance and growth,” he said. “I also get great satisfaction in playing a part in helping others around me achieve their goals.”
Getting Hands Dirty
Chavers learned the value of hard work during his formative years, tending to crops for farms and building shrimp boats with his father in the shipyards of Bayou La Batre, AL. It was his father who stressed hard work, hustle and the value of a college education. The younger Chavers heeded the advice, earning a degree from the University of South Alabama as well as an MBA from Saint Edward’s University.
During college, Chavers sold $20,000 thermal color printers by phone as part of an internship with Mobile, AL-based printer manufacturer QMS. Upon graduating, the company offered him a position as a marketing specialist, processing co-op/SPIFF claims for dealers and resellers. Working with dealers and gaining insight into the nuances of the sales engine whet his appetite for pursuing a career in field sales.
As his career blossomed, Chavers was fortunate to develop a leadership style that is an aggregate mix of many key influencers he met along the way. He counts Datamax President Barry Simon as a mentor, advisor and true friend who has helped him understand the inner machinations of the dealer channel. Simon also provided guidance on how to best allocate Lexmark resources to help dealers drive profitable growth.
“As our advisory board chairman for Lexmark BSDs, Barry—along with a great assembly of industry advisory board team members—has provided instrumental industry thought leadership and insight,” Chavers added.
Lexmark has enjoyed a banner 2018 with double-digit growth and record sales, made possible by what Chavers feels is one of the most talented sales and sales management teams in the industry, one that consistently outperforms the industry. He is banking on 2019 to provide similar results as the sales team vies to be recognized by its dealers as their best growth partner.
In addition, Lexmark will continue to forge more quality engagements with its dealers and collect feedback on how it can continue to be a better partner and build on its successes. “It starts with nurturing the sales culture my NA Channel Leadership team has developed over the years,” Chavers noted. “This team hasn’t allowed change to stifle their performance. Instead, this team has thrived by continuing to focus on empowerment and accelerating actions to drive more profitable business forward with the dealers they support.”
Away from the office, nothing brings a smile to Chavers’ face quite like a good pot of butter beans and cornbread. Greg and Barbara Chavers have been married for 22 years and are the parents of a son and daughter (who recently began her undergraduate studies at the University of Alabama). The Chavers enjoy visiting new ski destinations every year, teaming up with Greg’s twin brother and his family. Greg and his son are avid hunters and, suffice to say, Roll Tide is a popular phrase in the Chavers household.