How does remote working impact sales?

by Max Verhorst / 16 Nov, 2020

A few months ago, we drove from meeting to meeting, had dinner with clients, and worked from their offices a few days a week. Who would have imagined our days would look the way they do now? Online business chats, home lunches, and maybe even taking a brief exercise break. Technology enables us to work remotely, but how does it impact our job? Max Verhorst, Commercial Director at Xpirit, shares his experiences.

On a day-to-day basis, Max is responsible for ensuring Xpirit’s technology fanatics can share their knowledge and skills with companies wanting to adopt Cloud or DevOps. “We don’t just deliver a set of extra hands,” Max explains. “We help you achieve your digitization goals with people who are comfortable sitting at a table with managers but are also happy to get their hands dirty. Our goal is not to make as many hours as possible, but to make as much impact as possible.”

Cultural challenges
In the market Xpirit operates in, remote working didn’t present too many hurdles. People are tech-savvy and familiar with the tools that enable them to work together (with clients) at a distance. Max found that the biggest challenge was to preserve the company culture. He explains: “We weren’t in the office every day, but we did make sure to connect in real-life on Tuesday during our knowledge-sharing event. Knowledge sharing is one of our values and has proven to be of great importance to form a team. Looking at how we work today, our values haven’t changed; we just found a different way to shape them online. To give you an example, one of our other values is People First. When I’m in an online call with a colleague or customer, I first take time to have the personal chit-chats you would usually start your physical meeting with. We tend to skip that in an online call, although it is just as important as talking about the business.”

Online Sales
When asked about how Max’s work has changed, he laughs and admits: “Looking at my role, I thought to myself: how am I going to do my job? How am I going to speak to enough clients to organize assignments for the team? That was exciting.” Non-verbal communication is a large part of any sales conversation. Having a call on Microsoft Teams, Max realized he needed to improvise. One of the things he discovered was that providing the right information in advance so the other person could enter the conversation prepared made a big difference. He adds: “I like to make eye-contact and also use many hand gestures in conversations, which I miss online. However, realizing we are all finding a new way to communicate makes every conversation an opportunity to learn.”

Cloud and DevOps trends
The predicted skyrocketing of companies utilizing the Cloud gives Xpirit – a trusted Microsoft and GitHub partner – excellent opportunities to grow. When asked about the future, Max elaborates: “Working with a third party that helps you move to the Cloud is becoming standard practice, and as digitization and Cloud adoption accelerates, so does our business. To ensure our market position, we need to think about what will happen in five years. I believe the focus will eventually shift from a journey towards the Cloud to optimizing the way you are working in the Cloud. That’s a different proposition. One Xpirit is working on already.”

Collaboration is key
As we are reinventing the way we collaborate, the importance of working as a team only becomes more evident. For Xpirit, this means reassessing assignments but also working closely together with Xebia. Max: “Digitization doesn’t take place in a silo. We used to have many smaller assignments based on just one consultant working with a client. We are moving towards more extensive, more complex projects that require a team effort that sometimes even stretches across multiple areas of Xebia’s expertise.”

“There are two projects I would love to highlight as they are great examples of how joining forces pays off! One of them is Mosadex. Together with Xebia’s Software Developers, we created a strategic program to set up Cloud, develop software, and modernize the architecture. Another is Royal FloraHolland, where Xebia’s consultants spotted an opportunity for Xpirit to support the realization of the company’s most important future asset: the digital auction. As a team, we can make even more impact.” – Max Verhorst, Commercial Director at Xpirit.

Is remote working the future?
When asked if Max believes the way we work now will become ‘the new normal,’ he replies: “We’ll not go back to the way we used to work. Of course, we will meet clients, attend events, or share knowledge with colleagues at the office, but we will work more remotely and travel less. I particularly think remote engineering will become increasingly popular. If you want to know more about that, check out the white papers we just published about working remotely with our clients Kongsberg and Mosadex!”

 

About Xpirit
Xpirit’s DevOps transformation and Cloud implementation know-how help companies on their Digital Transformation journey. If you want to do DevOps, you need Cloud’s flexibility, and to keep up with the Cloud, you need the speed of DevOps. Both offer businesses a more enjoyable, and most of all, more efficient way of working.

Over the past six years, Xpirit has become a trustworthy brand surrounded by dedicated companies and skilled professionals. The group of over 40 Cloud and DevOps specialists has helped more than 75 companies accelerate and innovate worldwide. Like creating a customer Cloud portal for BNG, opening up a new market for Kongsberg by bringing its simulator to the Cloud, thinking along as a trusted advisor, or offering a growth mindset based on years of experience.

Xpirit is proudly part of Xebia, a pioneering IT consultancy company, delivering high-quality services that cover all aspects of digital transformation. From Software Development to Data & AI, Cloud, DevOps, Business Agility, Security, Training & Learning, Product Management, and Quality Improvement.