As a passionate expert and Director of Freshness & Sales, Frank Gross has been advising on the implementation of IT infrastructure projects for years. The job profile.
What do you do as Director of Freshness & Sales?
Since March 2017 I have been part of the gridscale team. gridscale is a European IaaS and PaaS provider and creates the basis for sophisticated cloud solutions with its technology. The company is located in my favorite city of Cologne and offers future-oriented and digitally oriented users with its highly automated architecture, a solution in which they can flexibly choose between a variety of Infrastructure-as-a-Service components and complementary Platform-as-a-Service elements.
In the company I am responsible for sales and partnerships. This means that I initiate and take care of strategic cooperations and partnerships. Both are often things that can change the perspective on one's own product. This results in additional added value for our services and we can further develop our business without ending up in a dead end. In addition, I am responsible for the sales organization and make sure that our services and products satisfy as many customers as possible. My team consists of 4 people.
In everyday life I am in contact with customers, at events and trade fairs and represent gridscale with lectures on market-relevant topics. As my title suggests, Freshess is not to be forgotten in my work. Bringing a breath of fresh air into the company and keeping things running is what I see as my calling.
Where do you see your role on the team?
Sales plays a key role in the team as a whole. Sales is not only selling. We are the ear at and in the market. We hear what customers want, at best before they know it themselves and see trends. Within my own team, I see my role as enabling each of my team members to make the most of themselves and to develop themselves in such a way that they are challenged to the right extent and enjoy themselves. I can't help but say that my age within the consistently young team automatically gives me a certain authority.
How did you come to this task?
I've been working in the telecommunications, hosting and cloud industries for over 30 years, so I'm an old hand. Over the years I have been able to specialize in my field, which has met with a lot of recognition at gridscale. For my part, I was very interested in putting my expertise at the disposal of a team that would go into the industry with new ideas and not just warm up old ones. The cloud market is growing too fast and is too important to afford to do service by the book. gridscale does the opposite with passion and commitment. In the end, that convinced me - besides the technical sophistication of the products.
Which quality helps you the most in your everyday life? Why?
I think I am a very communicative and humorous person, which makes my work a lot easier. Especially in sales, where communication is the key to so much and you - more often than you would like to - need humour to deal with initial or unexpected hurdles. These small and big challenges are part of every sales process, whether you like it or not.
It's crucial to deal with them and humour definitely helps - at least with me. My joy in communication is also enhanced by the fact that my position as an interface allows a lot of information to flow across my table, so that I am well informed about all important processes. Besides all this, my technical understanding, which is ultimately important for commercialisation, helps me.
Describe as vividly as possible a project that you were particularly enthusiastic about?
With every project it is extremely impressive how everyone pulls together in gridscale and pursues a common goal. I particularly remember the engelhorn sports GmbH project, in which we won the complex IT infrastructure for a PIM (Product Information Management) system. In October 2017, a system administrator from engelhorn had seen the show "Cave of the Lions".
Out of curiosity, he looked at all the websites of the startups that pitched. Most of them were very bad or even reachable in the first place. The pages were simply not up to the enormous rush of visitors. He noticed a website that was extremely positive. It had the "powered by gridscale" logo on its website. On the same evening the admin took a closer look at the portfolio of gridscale and the next morning reported it to his IT manager, who immediately contacted us.
Within one week they decided to use gridscale as their new IT service provider. The whole IT team of engelhorn was really enthusiastic about gridscale's innovative solution. You could literally see how they were spurring each other on to deliver top performance, but also how they were demanding it. I had not experienced this mutual enthusiasm in other jobs.
What's most important to you in your job? What is the most fun?
As a salesman and networker, personal contacts are particularly important to me. Every day I enjoy meeting different characters in my job. Every customer or partner has his own profile, his own goals and needs. It is fulfilling and challenging at the same time to be able to adjust to them and offer them real added value at the end of the day.
In addition, I have the freedom to set my own impulses in the company and to influence the fate of gridscale positively. My contribution is visible at the end and I can understand what I have achieved. Apart from that, it is of course great to be part of such a young and committed team that, despite it's age, I am always impressed by the professionalism. And we are growing very strongly and very quickly. Getting to know new faces and characters every month, who with their enthusiasm and ability can become part of a very big story, refreshes me again and again.
My job is indispensable because...
Especially in sales, you act as a link between different departments - such as marketing or product development. At best, we coordinate projects and activities in such a way that, from the customer's point of view, an optimal result or product is achieved. This in turn ensures that the demand for our IaaS and PaaS services not only remains high, but even increases. As an interface to the customer, we have a decisive influence on the development of the company.
That's why I spend a lot of time looking at our external image and impact, and I'm immediately informed if there are problems with potential or existing customers. Through partnerships and cooperations, I am always looking for new and unexpected starting points to try out new paths and thus set ourselves apart from the competition. The fact that I now know the industry very well helps me in this, as I am an expert in my field.
If you weren't Director of Freshness & Sales, what would you be?
Probably I would be something like Head of Magic :-)
This article was written by LEAD editors
The original article in german can be found here.