What Does a Service Sales Manager Actually Do at KNAPP?

Published on in Company, Service, Sustainability, Working at KNAPP
03:00 minutes reading time

From XS to XXL, from semi-automated entry-level solutions to high-performance fulfillment centers catering to the fashion, pharmaceutical or retail sectors – every one of our customer solutions is tailor-made. However, we don’t just customize the products and software we install, but our services as well.

Our portfolio now has more than 50 individually configurable services. In addition to traditional services such as the Service Desk, spare parts deliveries and maintenance, we also help our customers to operate their systems at maximum performance using data and digital tools. We protect hardware and software with IT services, offer customized training or, with a team of our Resident Engineer technicians on site, provide services covering all of maintenance management, to name just a few examples. 

However, not all of our services are equally relevant for our customers, which is why our Service Level Management Department calculates, presents and negotiates individual offers and service contracts – just like custom tailoring for a suit – that are adapted to the requirements and wishes of our customers and develop flexibly as needed.

Martin Ablasser has been working at KNAPP for 24 years. Almost half of that time has been spent in Service Level Management, which he has also headed for around eight years. That makes Martin the perfect person to tell us about the job of a Service Sales Manager and to explain what he’s loved about his job for all these years. You can find all vacancies in Martin’s team here.

Martin Ablasser, Director of Service Level Managements in the International Customer Service at KNAPP

What are the main responsibilities of a Service Sales Manager?

Martin: As a Service Sales Manager, you are the project manager for a service offer, from the first draft until it is signed. This means that you create a concept based on the requirements of our customers, consult with experts in the specialist departments and, depending on where the respective customer is located, with our colleagues at our more than 25 subsidiaries worldwide. You then present the service offer, answer any questions that our customer has and take the lead to successfully conclude the contract.

Each service contract is written individually, but we have sample documents and many repeating requirements. That’s one thing that makes the exchange within the team so important: Service Level Management includes many employees who have been at KNAPP for many years and are happy to share their knowledge, so you profit from their know-how right from the beginning. Everyone in our department brings their own unique experiences and areas of expertise to the table. For example, we have graduates from secondary technical or business schools with a few years of experience after graduation working alongside colleagues with university or university of applied sciences degrees in law or business administration. All these different educational backgrounds along with our very open communication make working in the team quite exciting.

What requirements are there for this job? (education, previous knowledge, interests)

Martin: From an educational perspective, we are looking for people with either a university degree (with a major in tech, economics or law) or who have graduated from a secondary technical school or secondary business school and have a few years of relevant work experience.

For the job of Service Sales Manager, a persuasive and sales-oriented demeanor is a must because the position involves several things: You create the service concept while considering all the matters relevant to the contract, present the content in front of several people and try to bring different requirements down to a common denominator. Excellent communication skills are therefore essential to the position, including a good command of written and spoken German and English. If you have another foreign language in your skillset and are excited by technology and IT, then you are an ideal candidate for the position.

What does an average day at work look like?

Martin: When you start with us in the team, a mentor is assigned to you. They will go through your training plan with you, answer any questions that come up and be with you during your initial customer appointments. This type of expert support will last for at least three months, but you can always turn to your mentor for support if you need it later. You will get to know all the relevant areas, one after the other, and will be well prepared for meetings with customers.

Once this intense training period is over and you have become thoroughly acquainted with all our service products, your will be the go-to person for the successful conclusion of a service contract. You will process service offers and are responsible for communicating with our subsidiaries and customer contacts. In short, you bring everyone to the table, present the service concept and try to find the best solution for all parties.

As a Service Sales Manager, you will not be just working with our customers from your office; you will also have to attend meetings with them in person. You’ll need to travel for business about six times a year, which is a pleasant contrast to office work.

In your opinion, why does this job have good prospects for the future?

Martin: We look after more than 2,000 customers worldwide, all of whom require a service contract that is individually tailored to what they need. Whether for our customers who want to adapt or expand their existing system due to changing market conditions or for new customers who need to find the right service solution, we are always key players. Since there is always demand for service, the position of Service Sales Manager definitely has good future prospects.

What do you like most about your job? And what challenges you?

Martin: My job is quite varied, which I really appreciate. One aspect of it is the continual development of our service portfolio and of new service products. Another aspect is creating service offers for customers from various sectors and in different countries. You work as part of a project team, which is set up differently each time depending on the customer’s installation and what the requirements are. As a Service Sales Manager, you work within a defined framework, but you also get to make many decisions independently. To be able to sell our service solutions to our customers, you need to have a wealth of ideas and creativity. This is challenging and exciting at the same time – and it’s anything but monotonous.

And I frequently feel a sense of accomplishment. It’s very rewarding: You create a service concept and negotiate with all the parties involved to ultimately come up with the optimal solution. Sometimes getting everyone on board with a solution goes very quickly, sometimes the process is rather lengthy, but one thing is certain: We will find a win-win solution that combines everybody’s requirements and satisfies all parties involved. It’s a great feeling when a customer signs a service contract, both for me as the project manager as well as for the entire team.

Want to know more?

Join Service Level Management as a Service Sales Manager. All vacancies in this department are listed here. We look forward to receiving your application.