Andreas Völker, Head of Sales & Key Accounts International at Krone, is responsible for the company’s combined sales force.
How do you manage the relationship between customer and manufacturer? The customer must be happy with his decision to go with our product and our service and we must show him that he has made the right choice. If we manufacturers lose ourselves in systems and rulebooks, it is not good for an active relationship with the customer. Therefore, the old maxim “The customer is king” needs to be heeded: If we do this, we not only have good products but also satisfied, loyal customers.
ABOUT ANDREAS VÖLKER
Andreas Völker was born in 1966 in Werlte and graduated in mechanical engineering. He wrote his thesis in England and worked for four years as a sales engineer in Malaysia, among other things. He moved back to his home area of Emsland 15 years ago, where he now manages international sales for Krone.
What does this mean for sales? Nowadays we do more than simply sell steel and rubber products, we are sought-after as consultants and accompanying service providers. Customer requests and requirements are becoming more and more complex, and that demands more comprehensive consulting work and, happily, more personal contact from the sales team too.
Which markets are you concentrating on in particular? Poland is an exciting market, which we are monitoring intensively. Its development as a transport country is very exciting. Russia, Eastern Europe’s largest country, is also on the move and is overtaking us. Romania is also showing how innovative they are - economically, it is a country with huge potential that has so far been underestimated. Overall, the Eastern European market is developing really well.
And what are the areas you are focusing on within the Krone Commercial Vehicle Group? Krone has founded eight subsidiaries abroad within a short amount of time. More are planned. We are therefore consolidating our position in the international arena as a competent contact partner and service provider for the logistics industry, and orders that are managed locally - by this I mean financing and repurchase values - are easier to process. Developing subsidiaries with their own profiles not only reflects mutual trust but it also shows that we take our responsibility and obligation seriously as an employer.
Does power play a part in sales? Power in terms of energy, commitment, charisma and stamina? Yes, because the pace has become harsher and pressure has increased. Customers are demanding punctual service and prompt answers to support them when making their decisions. Digitisation and data collection also pool manpower. Investments, too, such as building our distribution centre for spare parts in Herzlake, were decisions made with power, which gives strong support to our sales work.