Julia is a good example for how things can work out at Pyramid: step in, step on the gas, and take on management responsibility after less than one year.
How did you become aware of Pyramid?
I was contacted by the management via LinkedIn. They said Pyramid was looking for reinforcements in their sales department and wanted to know if I’d be interested in switching…
A little later, we spoke on the phone. I learned a lot about the employer, and we looked at the product portfolio on the website.
I was primarily attracted by the self-service terminals. The interview lasted about half an hour; I thought it was mega pleasant. After that, the application process took its course and it worked out.
In the German IT market, only 19% of employees are women. At 27 years old, you’re one of them! How did you get into tech sales?
I completed a dual study program at an energy supplier. There I quickly realized that I really enjoyed sales: the dialog with customers. But I didn’t have a concrete connection to IT there. Since my teenage years, I’ve been tinkering with computers, experimenting with software, and keeping up with the progress in this field.
Since I wanted to stay close to home, I looked around for an employer in this region, where I could combine sales and IT, and joined a company that specializes in low-code development platforms, so, the digitalization of processes with the help of software.
I really had a few very, very hard months there, because learning the ropes was a real challenge for me – despite my affinity for technology.
After a while, it became clear to me that I wanted to develop my skills further and acquire even more knowledge – in part so I could advise prospects and customers in sales discussions beyond the technological horizons of my employer. Digitalization has many aspects that are interrelated. So I started studying business informatics while working. I was able to put the content from this university program to good use in sales education, for which I was responsible at my employer. After four years, I felt a desire for something new and was promptly contacted by Pyramid.
What did you focus on in your studies?
You could choose your modules relatively freely, and I focused on “Benefits of Digitalization”, “Digital Business Models” and “Digital Sales”.
What was your career like at Pyramid?
Unexpected… 😉 I started in January 2022 as a key account manager in the sales team that’s responsible for our self-service terminals, and immediately had the opportunity to take on one of our biggest customers. I thought that was super exciting, same as the industry I was assigned to: quick service and fast casual restaurants. I did that job about eight or nine months – and then the management asked me if I would like to take over as team leader. At first I thought: this is a joke. No, it wasn’t! And since then I’ve been leading the team and looking after my customers at the same time.
What does your classic work day look like and what do you enjoy most about your job?
There’s no such thing as a classic work day with activities that are always repeated at the same time. Every day is different, and that’s what I enjoy so much about my job.
My first major area of responsibility is looking after my existing customers and acquiring new ones. The other departments do everything they can to support me in this: Marketing, for example, provides the visuals and renderings that I need to develop their solution with the customer; Purchasing and Order Processing are on hand when it comes to scheduling delivery times and organizational processes.
My second major area of responsibility is team management, which means looking after and working with the team: Which markets do we want to go into? What products do we need? What do we develop next? In Sales, we know what the customers need firsthand, and we distill that into recommendations to the decision-makers about what the company should bring to the market in the future.
Of course, we also discuss very practical questions: which trade fairs and congresses should we attend, which customers should we visit again?
How is Pyramid different from your previous employers?
There’s a clear answer: the startup mentality that the company has retained despite being in business for over 35 years.
If you’re motivated and up for it, you can make a super big difference – in a very, very short time. That’s actually what’s so exciting. I myself haven’t been here all that long, and I’ve already been able to initiate a lot of things.
At Pyramid, there are no bloated hierarchies that extend decision-making pathways over months or years. If someone has an idea, they can bring it up immediately, with their colleagues or with the top decision-makers. We then need a maximum of three meetings to decide whether or not to go in that direction. That’s simply great. For customers, this has the advantage that we can respond to their ideas with technological and visual designs in a very short time.
What qualities should someone bring to a job in your area at Pyramid?
You definitely need basic technical knowledge, and a love of communicating: with customers, interested parties and colleagues in the departments with which the sales department interfaces. Strong communication skills are very important. This also includes the ability to listen patiently to customers until you understand what they need and want. In fact, I think that’s the most important thing: working with people, responding to them empathetically and understanding what moves them. Assertiveness is also part of a salesperson’s toolbox, as is tenacity – sticking with a project even when things aren’t going so well.
And you definitely have to be interested in other cultures – we operate worldwide – and have a basic knowledge of business administration. After all, we also do cost calculations, prepare bids and negotiate contracts.
Which three words do you think characterize Pyramid best?
Definitely “agility”, then “customer proximity” and “power”.
And finally, some either-or questions?
Sure, let’s do it!
Steve Jobs or Bill Gates – Steve Jobs!
House or apartment – doesn’t matter, as long as it’s in Freiburg!
Beer or wine – wine!
Computer + monitor or laptop – a power laptop, it’s just more practical!
T-shirt or shirt – T-shirt!
Sweet or savory – savory!
Summer or winter – summer!
Android or Apple – Apple!
Done! Thanks for your time, hope you continue to have fun and success!