The numerous global market leaders and not-so hidden champions from the German south-west need them—reliable and efficient IT procurement solutions for their international branches, ideally from a single source and from a trusted advisor. One such person is Sebastian Vassholz, an honest-to-goodness south German and customer whisperer.
Freshly graduated from the University of Hohenheim with a degree in business, he began his professional career in early 2013 at Bechtle Stuttgart. Initially working in project management, he soon became a key account manager for large companies based locally, including globally famous brands and icons of industry. The dream job.
During his studies, Sebastian Vassholz had already become familiar with a range of companies. One year as an apprentice at IBM gave him an insight into the IT business, and his job at VfB Stuttgart’s football stadium TV channel quenched his dedicated thirst to serve his team: “It was just amazing to be so close to the players and the action.” Getting to the heart of his customers’ needs is essential in Sebastian Vassholz’s current role.
I find it great that we can provide all types of IT services.
And companies’ IT procurement needs are constantly shifting, making customer consultations and their desire for clear direction more and more important. “The most rewarding aspect is to be laying the foundations in personal meetings. The collaboration develops and we get deeper into the processes where additional optimisations can be made.”
Going through life with an open mind, ready to accept others’ points of view—this is Sebastian Vassholz’s ambition, meaning that being selected for the internal JuMP Junior Management Programme was particularly significant for him. “Being able to talk to colleagues at similar stages of their professional development along with the targeted training were really valuable for me—at times, even a quantum leap even.” Well-armed, it’s time for the next stages ideally in Stuttgart since “the city has everything”.
Sebastian Vassholz (36), International Key Account Manager at Bechtle IT system house Stuttgart.
Tool and machine construction companies need them just as much as enterprises from the automotive and consumer goods industries do. The SOLIDWORKS 3D product development software is at the heart of many SMEs’ processes. In the midst of the world of the chief designers, company owners, and leading technicians, Sofia Psychogiou is always on hand when it comes to SOLIDWORKS solutions.
That this young woman—born in Greece and brought up in Germany’s Rhineland—now talks shop with production decision-makers in Saxony and Thuringia, discussing their software investments, is something she could never have imagined just ten years ago. Sofia Psychogiou’s first apprenticeship was actually as a marketing specialist in a creative agency. At the same time she was starting her career at SOLIDWORKS reseller, Cadmes in Cologne, she was also studying business administration. Excellently educated and having earned her stripes, her boss at the time gave her a tip: “I see you in sales.”
This was the beginning of a real success story, as Sofia Psychogiou’s strengths really came to the fore in her contact with customers: Conviction, being enjoyable to talk to, and above all, the desire to develop herself. In order to prepare herself for sales work, she went to vendor boot camps and has discussions with Bechtle Group technicians for hours on end. “I want to understand the product, the customer’s needs, and the precise background in depth—that’s what spurs me on every day.
Solution sales for me means creating more added-value for the customers.
Love brought her to Saxony in mid 2016 and she took up a position at C-CAM in Chemnitz which was shortly to become part of SolidLine AG and thus the Bechtle Group. The environment was completely new, but here too, the friendly sales expert quickly felt at home. In 2018, she leapt into JuMP and with it came a lot of valuable knowledge about leadership. A fantastic experience that only whetted her appetite. Next stop: In the coming year, Sofia Psychogiou will head up the SolidLine branch in Chemnitz.
Sofia Psychogiou (31), Account Manager and designated Head of the Chemnitz Branch of SolidLine AG.
Published on Feb 13, 2020.