Sales activities have changed: it is no longer all about
technical solutions on the market or specialist knowledge. The emphasis is on a
profound understanding of sales structures and longer-term, trust-based
customer relationships. Soft skills like communication, empathy, negotiating
ability and persuasiveness are in demand.
“As a multinational company, we believe that team
diversity in terms of gender and nationality, for example, leads to better
collaboration and more success,” says Christian Garreau, Head of Global HR.
“Unfortunately, there is still prejudice about women in technical
professions – in society and in business. If we work effectively, achieve
targets and constantly improve ourselves, we win people over with our
competence,” says Marita Krems, Head of Commercial, Spare Parts at MAN
PrimeServ, where she handles the annual spare parts budget of EUR 200 million.
“One gender can learn from the other. This gives rise to
interactions and changes that make teams more successful,” says Stefan Eefting,
Senior Vice President, MAN PrimeServ Augsburg, with conviction.
How does it work? “The same career prospects, pay,
freedom and support. An obligation to treat people equally while respecting and
appreciating the differences between women and men,” Thorsten Dradrach, Head of
Region Americas Power, explains. Teams turn differences into advantages: “No
one opinion is the key, with each being seen as an individual, helpful
contribution and strictly ‘gender neutral’,” says Nicole Sandoval, Sales
Manager US. Enthusiastic feedback from a customer, who placed a large order
with her in a record time of ten days from initial contact to signing the
contract, validates this approach.
a number of years, I have tried to increase the diversity in our sales teams
think mixed teams are more much more active and vibrant.
“You need a thick skin in this job,” says Carina Viola,
Sales Manager for Central America. She knows what she is talking about, having
just snatched a big EPC contract from under a competitor’s nose thanks to her
persistence, patience and creativity.
MAN does not have a quota for women, but would like to
draw more attention to women in sales teams with stories like those of Marita,
Carina and Nicole. If technical knowledge is required for a job, interest
counts – regardless of the applicant’s gender, culture or profile.
number of years, I have tried to increase the diversity in our sales teams as I
think mixed teams are more much more active and vibrant. Diversity does
not only refer to gender, but also to age, nationality and even our social
background. So, in terms of gender we have a clear goal to have more
women in the sales area. It is well known that women think differently,
can sometimes create a stronger feeling of empathy, whilst still being just as
competitive. Women can also bring a different attitude in our teams, with
improved connectivity and process orientation which is a good balance with the
more typical male qualities. We even see men behaving better in mixed teams
than in all male groups! Our company is simply too male dominated in many
areas and so is the world of our customers but times are changing.
this should not be about ratios and quotas and we should never employ a women
just for this reason. I would never employ a woman just because she is
female. She has to be as capable as her male counterpart. But if I have two
absolute equal candidates I would choose the woman to address this imbalance, that's
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Link to the interview Diversity Management
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