Welcome to the second part of our blog article series, in which we introduce you to colleagues from our Sales Team and their professional development. Today we interview Alexander Bührich, who joined us first as an intern in May 2018 and now inspires our customers for digital logistics as Team Lead Sales Development.
1. Hello Alex, you have been with InstaFreight for 2 years now. Why did you decide to pursue a career in logistics?
I’m fascinated by today’s complex global flows of goods. Products are manufactured in China, shipped to Hamburg, loaded onto trucks there, transported to logistics centers and then distributed onwards. Coordinating these processes efficiently is an exciting challenge. Apart from that, ships, planes and trucks have always fascinated me, even as a child. Maybe that’s also because I grew up in Hamburg, where logistics is omnipresent. Then during my business studies, I completed several internships in logistics – including one at InstaFreight back in 2018. This strengthened my interest in logistics, so after completing my studies I applied for a position as Sales Development Representative at InstaFreight. Since then, I have been part of the Sales Team!
2. What excited you about InstaFreight?
I was already fascinated by InstaFreight’s business model during my internship. At InstaFreight, we are rethinking the logistics industry by combining transport logistics with a digital, data-based approach. For people like me, who have a knack for technology and innovation, this is super interesting. InstaFreight’s corporate culture is characterized by the same dynamic and innovative spirit. There are no entrenched processes at our company – we constantly try out new things and develop them further. In that process, everyone is heard and has the chance to contribute and help shape things.
3. How would you describe everyday life in the Sales Team at InstaFreight? What is particularly exciting?
We are the interface to our customers and therefore work closely together with other departments such as the Operations Team. Our goal is to get customers excited about digital logistics by making their day-to-day work easier and by ensuring smooth transportation. The specific scope of duties depends a bit on the position within the Sales Team.
As a Sales Development Representative, you approach potential customers and show them how the InstaFreight platform takes their transport logistics to the next level. This position is especially attractive to career starters and changers as they learn how the logistics market works and what our customers’ needs are. No two customers are the same – you have to approach each one individually. That makes communication very varied.
As an Account Manager, you take over the customers who have been pre-qualified by our Sales Development Representatives. You develop long-term relationships with them and support them in their growth. The tasks are very diverse and range from operational topics such as the execution of tenders, the creation of transport packages and the drafting of freight offers to strategic tasks such as the further development of sales methods and the analysis of operational key figures together with our customers.
4. What do you like best about your current position as Team Lead in Sales Development?
I consider my new position as an opportunity to play an active role in shaping the company’s processes and strategies. For example, our international expansion currently involves questions such as how we scale our Sales Team, which companies we want to address in the individual markets, and which events we want to participate in. These are exciting strategic questions! I particularly enjoy building and developing my team. With us, everyone has the chance to develop professionally and personally – whether a newbie or a long-time employee. As Team Lead, I’m very much looking forward to supporting my team members in expanding their skillset and in identifying career perspectives together.
5. What have been your biggest highlights at InstaFreight so far? And is there also a lowlight?
A highlight for me is my development into a Team Lead. In 2018, I did an internship at InstaFreight during my studies, and then in September 2019, I rejoined as a Sales Development Representative. Now – two years later – I’m leading my own team of nine people. It’s a great proof of confidence and a fantastic opportunity for me to grow.
When I think about a lowlight, I remember my first major customer project, which involved an extensive tender. In the process, I didn’t enter some pricing data correctly into our system, so the project had to be stopped. Needless to say, that was very unpleasant for me! At InstaFreight, however, we deal with mistakes in a very constructive way – no one gets condemned for them. The important thing is to learn from your mistakes. Since then, I am always checking customer requirements and processes carefully to avoid mistakes when entering data.
6. Where do you see your team going from here?
At InstaFreight, the course is clearly set for growth! As already mentioned, one of my most important tasks at the moment is to continue building up my Sales Team. I perceive it as a great challenge to find the right people to join us. It is important to me that applicants are enthusiastic about digital logistics and have an open, communicative personality. Whether someone already has professional experience in logistics or not, or has just completed his training, is irrelevant to me. Also people with little experience can join us in Sales if they are motivated. They learn through “training on the job” how the logistics market works and how to wow our customers. A high learning curve is guaranteed!
7. Can you give any application tips to career starters who are interested in joining the Sales Team at InstaFreight?
Well yes, don’t be afraid of starting your career in logistics without professional experience. I didn’t have much previous experience when I joined InstaFreight either, because I came straight from university. Just show that you are keen to digitize the logistics industry together with us in your job interview. If you are motivated and like to approach customers, then we are the right place for you to take your first career steps in a fast-growing startup!
Thank you Alexander for telling us more about your professional career. And congratulations to your new position as Team Lead! Are you also passionate about Sales? Then join us! Click here for our vacancies.