Martin, you came close to becoming a channel manager when we first met you. However, a series of events led you to your current position. Can you tell us more about your onboarding experience with GRENKE UAE?
I was initially interviewed for the aforementioned position, and I felt that the interview went well. However, the company was looking for a different profile than what I was offering, so, in the end, I was not selected. Despite this setback, I was determined not to give up and remained in contact with GRENKE. It seems I made a good impression because, the following week, I was invited for a second interview, albeit not for the Channel Manager role. I ended up in Direct Sales, which better matched my skills and competencies.
All in all, your competencies align perfectly with your job role. Now, after nearly four years, you are sharing your experiences with others. Do you feel that the Direct Sales approach has evolved since you joined?
It's been a great experience to share my knowledge, support others, and witness the team's growth. I've also noticed a significant evolution in our company's direct sales approach since I joined almost four years ago. Initially, our sales strategies heavily relied on in-person meetings and a lot of time spent on the road for client visits. However, over time, we've embraced technology and data-driven insights to enhance our sales process. We now use analytics to identify potential leads and personalize our approach, making it more efficient and customer-centric. This shift has substantially improved our conversion rates and overall sales performance. Ultimately, we deal with people, and much of what we do is built on mutual trust and respect.
That's true. GRENKE has always focused on building strong relationships with our partners and customers. The digitalization of our company is progressing rapidly, moving from manual to more automatic processes. As someone who manages relationships, do you believe that in the future, AI could play a larger role in our sales process?
I've observed a rapid shift towards digitization and automation at GRENKE, especially from our head office in Germany, where they continuously improve the digital landscape. I also believe that AI will have an increasingly significant role in the sales process. AI can help by identifying promising leads, personalizing interactions, and providing instant responses. It can analyze data to predict customer needs and trends. While AI streamlines tasks, human relationship-building skills will remain crucial. In the future, relationship managers may focus more on nurturing key accounts and strategy, while AI handles routine tasks and data analysis, resulting in a more efficient sales process.
Hopefully, AI will provide us with more support in the future. In terms of sales itself, do you think that the business environment in the UAE has become more favorable to leasing in recent years, or is awareness of our products still low in the market?
Over the past few years, I have observed a positive trend towards increased leasing friendliness in the UAE. Awareness of our rental products has been on the rise, and more new businesses are recognizing the benefits. This is especially relevant as businesses in the region have become more open to flexible procurement options and cost-effective solutions. The UAE market is evolving, and there is growing recognition of the advantages of leasing assets. However, it's essential to continue our efforts to educate potential new clients and build strong relationships with existing clients to capitalize on this evolving landscape and further expand our leasing presence in the region.
As always, there is much education to be done. Last but not least, what do you like to do in your spare time?