More than 12,800 people from 100 nations work for the Bechtle Group in 14 European countries. We are many and varied—a fact that is reflected in the diverse number of career opportunities. In this series of blogs, we are going to give you a peak behind the scenes of some positions. And there’s no-one better for the job than our colleagues themselves.

Marie-Luise, tell us what an Account Manager does. Particularly one in the field of emerging solutions. 

Marie-Luise Dander: As an Account Manager, I’m responsible for a particular group of customers. I support existing customers and also acquire new ones. I represent customers in our organisation and also, my job is to convey complex content in the simplest way possible and ensure that the right Bechtle experts are involved in projects.

I’m currently still in the Bechtle trainee programme, which is giving me the chance to grow and develop over nine months. From the very start, I was allowed to take on responsibility and set up my own group of customers—something I’m incredibly grateful for.

The Emerging Solutions Team work with new industry topics such as cloud migration, security and app modernisation. We begin projects, some of which have never been done before. There are no out-of-the-box solutions here. We analyse our customers’ needs and tailor the products and solution available on the market to them. This is called IT as a Service.

What are the steps involved with a new customer project?

The first step is to take the time to understand the customer’s business challenges, ideas and wishes using the Bechtle consulting approach among others. As soon as we have a clearly-defined objective, we can determine the experts we need to get on board and which solutions are currently on the market. We put together an IT solution design and think about how a successful implementation roadmap could look. This changes according to the customer, which is why we work very closely with colleagues working in technical fields, as well as those in service and project management. The end result are turnkey IT services for our customers.

What is a typical day as an Account Manager for you?

The day kicks off with a morning call in which we discuss the day’s tasks and discuss trends and new products. Knowledge sharing is of huge importance for us. If someone has experienced something new, they share it with us.

The vast majority of my time is spent on acquiring new customers and consulting. As the world of IT was completely new to me, I also attend numerous training seminars, am working in vendor certifications and consult with colleagues before speaking with customers. Bechtle has made it possible for me to work intensively on learning the ropes so that I can appear confident when I speak with customers and offer them advice according to their needs.

How is your team structured? Do you work with other departments?

Our 8-strong team is located at Bechtle Munich/Regensburg and is made up of account and contract managers, sales coordinators and an assistant. We are currently working on 23 projects ranging from start ups and incubators to large enterprise customers with several thousand employees. We do, of course, need the support of other departments. We work most closely with the Professional Services and Operations Team. 

What qualities does a person need to have to be an Account Manager?

I’d say you have to want to make a difference and achieve something. You also have to stay focused on your goals, enjoy communicating, be attentive and persuasive. The best case scenario is being able to find a solution together with your customer. Being able to read between the lines also helps with acquiring new projects. The size of projects we handle are not the sort of things our customers implement every day, which is why you have to have very good arguments to get the customers on board.

How did you get into IT and find your way to Bechtle?

In quite an unusual way! After school, I did a traineeship in hospitality and spent two years working in upmarket restaurants, before working for two years as an au pair in Atlanta, USA. When I came back to Germany, I returned to the industry and took on a management position and completed a degree in business management. I was then looking for a secure job and thoughts quickly turned to the IT industry. The only problem was I had zero IT experience. The traineeship at Bechtle came up just at the right time and I seized the opportunity as it gave me the opportunity to get my foot in the door even though I didn’t have any experience to fall back on.

What would be your advice to other job seekers?

Be brave! IT newbies and career jumpers are more than welcome at Bechtle. The company offers all kinds of training courses to help get to grips with the topic. When you want to achieve something and you can imagine working in a future-oriented industry, then apply! Bechtle will give you the support you need to be successful.

What are you most looking forward to this year?

I have big plans and I want to continue to prove myself. My aim is to build strategic partnerships with my customers and to make them even more successful with the projects that come from them.