Interview with Kristian Kaas Mortensen about skills, success and sales

Kristian Kaas Mortensen: Listen To Understand Not To Reply

Salesclub is delighted to introduce Kristian Kaas Mortensen – Chief Communications Officer at Girteka Logistics. Kristian shares his opinion about “Pardavimų formulė 2017”, international sales, skills and competencies. You are able to watch the whole interview here.

Kristian, you are a great sales person, who catches big fish for Girteka. Would you like to introduce yourself? What is your exact role in Girteka?

I started selling in 1980’s, way before the most people in here were born.  I am extremely lucky and happy that from day one I chose this profession, which I have loved my whole life. I think I was born to sell. In Girteka I am privileged to work with our biggest potential and current clients. It is a pleasure every single day.

What do you think about “Pardavimų Formulė” as an event?

This is not the best conference in Lithuania and it is not even the best conference in Baltic States. This is the second to none the best sales conference that I have even been in my entire life. I have been to many of those: Copenhagen, London, New York.

What makes this event so amazing is how skilled and solid arrangements and technical details have been made, but most importantly – the audience. I am so proud that in Lithuania we have so many active, smart and strong sales people. I better watch out, competition is coming.

Referring to competition, what competencies a great sales person should have?

I think they should have strong, detailed commercial inside. Also, it is important to know how business drivers work in a company. Of course, they should have a personal energy, a charm and understand how to listen to understand not listen to reply. They have to listen twice as much as they speak.

Another question directs us to managers who are taking care of sales persons, what competencies should they have?

I think they should be able to share successes. If there is a failure, it should belong to a sales manager, if there is a success – to a sales person. I think in Lithuania we are starting to evolve understanding of sales and motivate sales people. This motivation should primarily support them when it is hard and allow them to make decisions by themselves.

Girteka is one the biggest logistics companies in Europe. Could you share some secrets about company’s key account management?

Key account management in Girteka means clients ranging from 5 mln to 25 mln in turnover per year. A few years ago we considered key account management as an expense. It was a cost and we only visited key accounts if there was an issue. This showed that it was not the best international practice.

However, we made a progress in understanding what does it mean to have a good key account management. Now we visit our international key accounts 4 times per year in order to see if the business is growing or declining, what kind of problems we face, what is the prospect in 3 upcoming months. I think now we have strong European key account management, which results in ROI (return on investment) together with happy and satisfied clients.

Looking to your future prospects: what are three most important tips to sell your service?

One of the lucky things about Girteka is that now we are so big and dominant in the new Europe logistics place that all big clients already know about us and it automatically feels that Girteka has to be on the attender’s list.

Our problem is not receiving an attender; we are now invited on the table because of our size. If we want to become even stronger, we need to improve the process of it or step into the next maturity level where we refuse to participate and focus on the most important ones.

Regarding your team, they have to sell almost everything to the export. How do you couch your team? How does your couching process look like?

We actually have very strong sales people. Most of them are very young and I am impressed about the number of different languages they can speak. In addition, we have internal Girteka academy, where we offer different classes from logistics, main business drivers to different sales skills. However, you cannot learn how to sell in the classroom rather it is a process of meeting new people and making mistakes.

What kind of skills your sales people are still lack of? What type of training are they asking?

I think everybody wants to be better in relationship building: how to make qualified, strategic partnership, how to go from a transactional supplier to a strategic partner. This is what we want to do and doing in many places. Nevertheless, you cannot be good enough; there is always a place for improvement.

Talking about purchase managers, who are making decision to buy your service? What type of mind-set have you noticed while working with purchase managers?

We are definitely facing highly professional, extremely well educated purchasing teams all over Europe who work against mathematical formula. There is nothing, which is called brands value or premium value. There is a mathematical formula, which consists of capability, quality and price.

Regarding to Salesclub, why is it important to be a member of Salesclub community?

I have watched the Salesclub from the very beginning and I have been living in Lithuania for 11 years. I have seen how our B2B sales industry has become more and more professionalized. As a result, now there is a room for Salesclub.

I am very proud and I believe that in Lithuania one of the things we need to do is to sell ourselves, our services and products all around the globe. That is why we need communities that will make sales a profession that some of our best people want to be an apart of. I congratulate your initiative and I am sure you will do very well.

Edited by Martyna Kasmauskaitė.

Daugiau įrašų

Justinas Taruška

Justin Taruska yra Inside Warehouse bendrasteigėjas. Inside Warehouse padeda brand'ams parduoti daugiau internete bei atsakyti, koks turinys daro įtaką produktų pardavimams. Justinas yra sukaupęs daugiau nei 10 metų patirties B2B pardavimų segmente darbuojantis CEE bei JAV rinkose.