From Assistant to Sales Ops Manager
We are happy to introduce Eva, one of our Sales Operations team leaders, who has accomplished a lot in her twelve years with Brainlab. Read more below about Eva’s journey and the variety and diversity that a position in Sales Operations can offer.
I applied and interviewed for the position of Sales Operations Assistant in April 2006. Following my studies in International Political Economy and two positions in strategic sales and marketing in my home town Stockholm, I wanted a change and to go abroad again. I found Brainlab online, which was looking for someone to take care of Scandinavia, the south of Germany and Austria. The interview included a test of my German skills – having to type on an ergonomic keyboard that I have still not mastered today – but, I got the job!
When I started working at Brainlab it was a time of change and quick growth, during which I got to spend one very warm month in the old building before we moved to the new headquarters across the field. Therefore, I feel a bit a part of the old Brainlab and very much part of the new. On a weekly basis, my company photo moved down the roster as new faces joined Brainlab. With time, the Scandinavian market grew and I handed over my DACH territory to focus only on the north. With the restructuring of some functions between the Operations, Support and Sales Operations departments, our area of responsibility and team grew and I got the chance to take over the direct lead of some European regions. With time, the scope extended further to include 8 direct reports, as well as the daily management of the complete team and the operations for all but the US market.
Working in Sales Operations is very diverse, with no day like the next, and each day changing direction during the course of work. One needs to be flexible and often think outside the box.
We work closely with the local Sales and Support teams facilitating and coordinating pre-sales activities like tenders, demos and customer visits, in close co-operation with internal stakeholders like Production, Logistics, Finance, Legal and Quality Management for the complete order processing and; of course, with our customers and partners for post-sales activities like servicing and repairs. Most colleagues are from the regions they work with to be able to support in their local language with local knowledge. I appreciate working with colleagues from all around the world. It is both rewarding and challenging to learn about different business practices and rules and to find solutions to continue to do things in the approved Brainlab way. Twice, I have been able to train local colleagues on site in Hong Kong and Australia. I like working and cooperating with my team members and to help guide them in their daily work, to grow, develop and improve the people, the processes and our service.
Over the years I have also been given the opportunity to work on and lead different projects, to structure, develop and sometimes automate our daily practice. It can be smaller things like improving information structures and distribution or streamlining processes, but also bigger things, like the introduction of a new order type in our SAP system, to meet new sales initiatives.
At Brainlab there is always something happening, like putting a new office concept into practice, moving to a new building, new products, 25th anniversary celebrations or a charity foundation. As an employee, you can always wonder: What will come next?