Management Motivations: Overcome cultural differences by showing respect and focusing on the technology
Management Motivations is a new series of articles by Quectel’s senior executives that explores their management styles, approaches to the challenges of further developing the company and what drives them to lead and succeed.
Dominikus Hierl, SVP Sales, EMEA Quectel
No. 3: Overcome cultural differences by showing respect and focusing on the technology
EMEA is a challenging region to operate in because there are various different nations, regions and cultures to take into account. To handle these effectively, I have divided EMEA into nine sub-regions, all headed by our Regional Sales Directors who are experienced and seasoned managers and have joined us from within the IoT industry. In addition to scheduled meetings with the whole team, I stay in permanent direct contact with the sales directors to align with them on a day-to-day basis but also on long-term issues. Understanding the differences between local cultures within Europe is a matter of openness but also experience, it's less of an issue for me because I've worked across global markets for my entire career.
Maintaining communications and control across such a large and fragmented territory is an essential function of my job. However, the Covid-19 pandemic is presenting challenges. I've been working in an exclusively virtual way with my local teams spread across the globe since 2004, so it's not a big shock in terms of our internal communications, it's absolutely no challenge in that respect.
However, I used to travel about 50% of the time and we will need to analyze further how much of this important activity we can move to a virtual style. For customers, it's useful to be able to sit down with them. In a market like Russia, for example, where people don't speak English our local sales managers speak Russian but they feel more appreciated if senior management has travelled to see them.
If I visit a customer in Siberia, they feel respected that I have travelled to meet them. Major OEMs in the automotive market know me as the representative of Quectel and like to keep in contact and meet face-to-face. I don't know how this will change now but we will keep open and flexible to ensure we find the best solutions. In business terms, I believe we are navigating the impacts of the pandemic well.
Look out for my next blog “Building a strong and skilled team results in satisfied long-term customers”.