Never before has the meeting of our worldwide sales staff been so sporty. The Global Sales Meeting 2019 took place under the motto “Getting back into shape – faster, higher, stronger” from 25 to 29 March in Nooitgedacht, the Netherlands. The meeting serves to network the sales organization in order to share knowledge and bundle our global sales activities. The worldwide sales staff worked together to increase the effectiveness of sales across all divisions.
“The best Global Sales Meeting we have ever experienced” was the conclusion of many participants. The Global Sales Team put a lot of effort and attention to detail into setting up this year’s meeting. The “Hof van Saksen” conference and holiday resort was once again the venue and provided the perfect infrastructure for such an event. The 150 sales employees plus thirty-seven other guests took part in the meeting.
Divided into 12 teams, the participants completed the “Sales Olympics”. The motto was “faster, higher, stronger” – more than just “taking part”. Six disciplines had to be completed: the Country Challenge, in which sales opportunities were compiled for each country and the local go-to-market strategy was presented; in the Cooking Challenge, the teams measured themselves against the stove and served unusual culinary creations from all over the world; the morning fitness challenge was a fun and ambitious way to measure strength; for the DNA Challenge the teams prepared short videos on our Corporate DNA; for the Hellmann Challenge, playful logistics tasks were waiting for the participants; and for the Knowledge Challenge the knowledge about our company was tested. On the one hand, the competitive character spurred on top athletic performances, but on the other hand it served team building – the central motif of the GSM.
In the run-up to the one-week event, many sales employees travelled to Europe to make new customer contacts or deepen existing ones – more than 160 customer visits were confirmed. Also more than 400 sales opportunities were identified before the meeting, which were discussed at the meeting under the question: “What is necessary to convert the sales opportunities into real business? The personal exchange between the worldwide colleagues from all three product areas contributed to thinking beyond divisional and national borders.
The course of the event was similar to that of previous years. Monday was used by most of the participants for travel and first team meetings in order to prepare for the coming days in the best possible way. In the evening, the guests arrived for the Welcome Dinner at the conference center of the holiday resort. Jochen Freese officially opened the GSM on Tuesday morning and set the agenda for the meeting: What was good about 2018? What do we need to improve for 2019? What goals do we want to achieve together? A new feature of this year’s GSM was the possibility to vote on open questions in real time via smartphone using the online voting tool “Mentimeter” and throw the results directly onto the screen.
The meeting in the Netherlands was also an important date for Reiner Heiken. Still relatively new in his position as CEO and Chairman of the Board, it was a good opportunity for him to meet many colleagues from all over the world at once and to present his roadmap for the development of our company. In his presentation, he praised the organization of the meeting and was impressed by the great team spirit within the sales organization. Also this year, the board members of the business units, Bart de Vries, Matthias Magnor and Robert Bommers, did not miss the opportunity to answer the participants’ questions on stage.
On Thursday the traditional Farewell Dinner took place, during which the winners of the Challenges were announced. The team “Skein” could win the Sales Olympics with sovereign performances in all disciplines. The big winner, however, was the entire global sales organization, which once again proved its great team spirit.