‘It makes no sense to shoot with hail’

Referent_IT Staffing_Van AlphenIT Staffing is one of the largest secondment agencies for IT professionals in the Netherlands. IT Staffing specialises in secondment, contract handling and payroll processing. It works as an intermediary between clients and independent IT professionals. When Wessel van Alphen, Director IT Staffing, is opting for a strategy of market expansion, he approaches Eisenfelt. In 2008 Eisenfelt coached a group of senior account managers in their market approach.

Market expansion

“We mainly supplied large system integrators. We wanted to expand our horizons by approaching other markets, including governments, banks and insurers. Within IT Staffing, we had seven subsidiaries. I wanted an unambiguous methodology so that I, bearing final responsibility, could properly manage the business. I also wanted the account managers to be more proactive. Instead of responding to requests we had to bring in new customers and focus on a different type of business: less contract handling and more secondment. We then invested in strengthening the knowledge and skills of our senior account management.”

From suspect to prospect

“I have no need for trained monkeys and hence don’t believe much of sales training where you are taught some ’tricks’. Eisenfelt has given us tools and made us much more aware of the environment: ‘What do you know about the customer?’ ‘What is the probability that you will get this customer?’ ‘What is the real value of this customer?’ ‘Are you talking to the right people?’. Sometimes you have to stop investing energy. It makes no sense to shoot with hail. Having a good network is really very important. With a customer you need to be talking to the right people so you can inform the DMU properly.”

“The emphasis in the process with Eisenfelt was on opportunity management and translating customer needs into added value. During a full year, Eisenfelt has coached fifteen senior account managers using a thorough approach. The directors of the subsidiaries received a coaching role towards the senior account management based on real opportunities. This resulted in a better understanding of relevant market developments, knowledge of products, and projects were shared and there was an improved control on the sales pipeline.”

One entity, one face

“In January 2011, we merged seven subsidiaries into one entity. There was a need for an organisation with a unique face. Sales is now working sector oriented for Public, Finance, Strategic Partners and Business Services, in accordance with a unified sales process. There is more structure, our account managers are more focused and are able to better study the customer’s situation. Eisenfelt has ad interim assumed the role of commercial director during 2011 to implement this.”