Could you introduce yourself?
My name is Bénédicte, I’m 54 years young(!) and I’m currently an Articona VIPM.
I’ve been in IT sales for over 30 years now.
Could you tell us about how you started at Bechtle?
I joined Bechtle in 2004 as a customer service manager back when the team was just a dozen or so people!
Could you tell us about your career?
I’ll try and keep it short...
In August 1990, I left the Franche Comté region of France to support my husband in his move to Alsace, where I started off feeling dazed and confused.
I started out by working as a sales assistant in various software companies, the oldest of which was reminiscent of Agena.
The sales teams I was working with made me want to progress professionally and I became a field sales representative for several years.
In 2004, I came across Bechtle, situated in Strasbourg, where their B2B and e-commerce approach was very innovate on the market and very enlightening for me.
We were a diminutive team of some twelve people, meaning that while the atmosphere was very professional, it was also very friendly and close—helping each other was a matter of course, especially when it came to the wonderful program Navision (thanks again to Matthieu, Sandrine, Véro…!)
We helped put together customer portfolios, some of which over time developed into major accounts, meaning that I had the opportunity to work and develop portfolios in both the private and public sectors.
Today, it’s exciting to see the customer accounts that we’ve nurtured and that are still thriving at Bechtle some 18 years later.
This goes to emphasise the Bechtle’s Group’s organisation and responsiveness that give satisfaction to both SMEs and large-scale companies.
I had the opportunity to always work with the tools I needed while also being able to prioritise and keep good relations with my customers.
I saw Bechtle France and the Group grow step by step over the years and was proud to have seen and been able to be part of this wonderful evolution.
What does your current role consist of?
Representing Articona gives me a new opportunity—I’m discovering a new professional profile but with the advantage of already knowing how the sales rep/customer relationship works.
And the opportunity to put the spotlight on Bechtle’s own brand is all the more exciting.
I’ve discovered a vast and rich catalogue of peripherals that needs to be regularly restocked (important point at this turbulent market period) that allows us to be responsive to our customers.
There’s also the sales analysis side of things that’s totally new for me—customer potential, highlighting areas for improvement on a European level, supporting sales reps in responding to requests for tenders, being the intermediary between support and sales reps to respond to their technical requests and even running showrooms and communicating on the network. This aspect is journey of discovery for me and I’m delighted to have a marketing team at my side to kindly allow me to discover all of the subtleties.
All of the approaches are different to those I’ve seen before but I’m still in a field that I love and I’ve always held communication, talking, and learning in high stead.
What are the qualities required to be a VIPM for Articona in your opinion?
They’re very similar to in my previous role, except that I’m upstream of the sales reps: communicating, talking, determining needs.
What skills have you learned since joining Bechtle?
Definitely flexibility, adaptability, responsiveness, creativity
What’s the next step in your Bechtle journey?
Successfully completing my new mission in which I have a lot of things to discover, learn, and realise, as it is in itself a new challenge that makes me want to throw myself into it.
Which three words best describe Bechtle?
Three words is not enough!
For me, the Bechtle Group is a very good example of the European economic growth model.
But enough about work. Do you have any hobbies?
Reading (which lets me escape to another world),
Hiking—I know the Alps very well but I’ve also come to know our magnificent Alsatian and wide range of Vosges mountains, steeped in history and covered with lush, multi-species forests.
Fine food—little restaurants on and around hiking trails are often wonderful surprises—such as l’Auberge du Hungerplatz
How would your nearest and dearest describe you?
Those that have known me for many years:
Professional, hard working, combative and resilient (on both personal and professional levels), with a great love of life.
From time to time I could have sworn I’ve heard “a bit of a pain”... but I have no idea what they could mean.
The film that everyone needs to see?
Freedom writers, a film based on a true story. It’s inspiring and gives you fresh hope in people, sending a simple message that everyone can leave their mark by inspiring others or giving them hope.
Your favourite meal?
Chicken with morel mushrooms!
And is there anything else we should know about you?
I’m always ready to discover new things and keep learning.