Amber van Heinsbergen
Inside Account Representative - Schneider Electric
A soft and warm energy radiates from Amber. Graduated Cultural Anthropologist with a passion for sustainability, striving to make the world a little better every day. Not necessarily a standard commercial profile and yet working as an Inside Account Representative. How did this transition come about?
Amber shares her story below.
“I would never have come into sales on my own. I am very happy that I chose that.”
You have been working for Schneider Electric for a while, can you tell us more about your position and the organization?
“I have been working as an Account Representative at Schnieder Electric for a year. Started with a traineeship as inside sales through the Developer Academy and progressed as an Account Representative. This trajectory had a funny course. As one of the first DevelopHer trainees, I ended up in the team of Sonja Boots, my manager. We mainly deal with digital sales. Initially, Schneider had a somewhat conservative approach. For digital sales they drove all over the country to visit the customer. For a more effective approach, they have set up the Inside Sales department. Initially, we connect on a digital level with our customers, to support Field Sales. We are now also increasingly moving towards our own sales department. We are now no longer just providing support, but are also trying to facilitate more in the field of account management. Soon my focus will be more on maintaining these accounts. My role has since changed and expanded. This is also because the entire team is becoming more mature.
Together with a technical manager, we offer support in the commercial field, where the technical manager goes into detail about the product. I also visit clients more often. This is really fun but also a bit exciting, I have to admit. The technical aspect often comes up there, this is not yet my strongest point. Commercial conversations, on the other hand, do. In this way we also try to enter into partnerships. Partnerships are created by having frequent contact over the phone and visiting regularly. With this we create a connection with the customer, so that it does not remain a one-off order. So we as the Inside Sales team are really used to make customer partners.”
You mentioned that you came to Schneider in a funny way. How did that go?
“When I tell my friends and family how I ended up at Scheider Electric, I always find it funny to tell how it turned out. I come from anthropology, so I actually have a social study as a basis. After that I also studied International Development studies. I was looking for work in a completely different corner and also developed myself in a completely different area. Until I came into contact with Sabine van Knijff. Looking for a nice job and I thought that was quite a challenge in the development sector. Sabine sent me a message via LinkedIn in which she said that my profile appealed to her and whether we could meet. Because it was a very spontaneous message I thought; why not! When she called me, I immediately asked why my profile appealed to her so much for a sales position. To which Sabine explained that sales is all about communication and finding your own voice. See who you are and develop your sales personality. I was the first to take a traineeship through the DevelopHer Academy for Schneider's Inside Sales team. As a result, I basically got private lessons from Sabine. Later Danique and Minck joined. Looking back, I learned a lot in a year.”
How did you experience the transition to a technical company?
“At first, Schneider Electric didn't really appeal to me, but my interest was piqued. It is of course a technical company and I do not come from sales at all. That's why I didn't expect to like it at first. In the beginning I was more concerned with sockets, group boxes and calling about campaigns. Now I focus on profiling Schneider Electric as the most sustainable company in the world. We run more and more campaigns for this and we pitch about the new products. Sustainability is very important in my job, I'm not technical at all and I don't think I ever will be. Fortunately, that is not expected of me. Talking about sustainability and being allowed to focus on the future, which we should all be doing, is what fuels my passion in this job. The bigger message behind it is important to me. Otherwise I would be a bit lost in the technique, which I think I will never fully understand.
Finally, how do you see your future?
“Whatever I What I would like to do at Schneider is that I am ultimately really selling the solution and talking to advisors and customers who listen with interest to the Sustainability story of Schneider Electric. Then it is no longer about the individual switches or the group box.
In the end I feel most at home with this subject and perhaps I could also do something with a part of Schneider Electric where they are committed to different types of charities and NGOs, but they
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