After getting my master's degree in 2018 I joined Konica Minolta as a trainee and had 18 months to gain a good understanding of the complex workings of a large corporation. I partnered with two key accounts managers and learned every step from how to approach a new prospect to managing the accounts we already have. This journey gave me the opportunity to observe all the different positions: key account manager, product specialist and project manager. I was able to follow and understand the entire process from first contact to integration. It was on-the-job training with real experience, and this provided the perfect basis for my current position as Sales Manager (Prospects) in strategic accounts. The department focuses on acquiring and maintaining high value relationships with corporate clients. We want to collaborate with them and construct proactive relationships. We build up our knowledge of their company and their environment so we can jointly develop the optimal package of services and products to suit their needs. I work on identifying and approaching our strategic accounts. Between 1000 and 1500 companies in Germany are the right size to fall within our scope and for us, the main task is to reduce this number down to the companies we consider most interesting to approach. My role is to bring new ideas and perspectives into the sales division.
As the position I'm working in is newly created, I have the opportunity to influence how it's structured and how it fits in with the department
I enjoy working as part of an interdisciplinary team. I’m the expert for one topic, but we need the expertise of the entire group to reach the objectives set. Collaboration for me means putting tasks in capable hands so you can most effectively divide your goal and conquer it.
In order to keep up to date with business trends and new developments in my field, I work the same way I did at university. I like to link the abstract research with what's going on in the real world. As things are changing quickly, we need to be constantly developing. The learning system in place at Konica Minolta is supportive for building up knowledge. During my trainee period I went to conferences and did training courses and got certificates not just related to the job I have now. This way, I open myself up to new opportunities. We have an in-house academy that provides us with training. We also have the option to integrate a LinkedIn Learning licence into our learning catalogue and anchor our learning path to our performance management system. This ensures a logical link with career development plans.
Personally, I like the mix between work and home life. I'm in the privileged position of being able to work from home, where I concentrate best. Some of us prefer the office option. But both ways are OK at Konica Minolta. There's a lot of trust in people overall. So, for example, I can go for a run in my lunch break and organise my day as it suits. That's absolutely fine, with the assumption of course that you're acting responsibly.