Tobias Zellweger is a top Sales Account Executive at Netigate, after joining the team in January 2017. His insight and approach have been key to helping his customers in the Swiss market employ feedback management to grow their businesses.
Tobias works in the Inbound Sales team and is based in Netigate’s Stockholm headquarters. He joined the company after completing a masters programme at Stockholm University in 2016 and since has played an important role in the success of his sales team.
“It has been a very good year for me,” Tobias said. “I not only had a good year but so did the company. In fact, we’ve almost doubled since I started, and the DACH market has become the biggest for Netigate.”
The DACH market – Germany, Austria, and Switzerland – are Tobias’ main focus. A native of Switzerland, he’s well-equipped to negotiate and understand any particular business needs.
Swiss marketplace has unique challenges
Tobias is very organised, and thanks to his approach, it’s easy to see how he’s become a top-selling team member. But one of the most important elements, he says, is the native understanding of Switzerland and the Swiss people.
For starters, a comprehension of the language is more than helpful. As Tobias explained: “When there is a Swiss meeting, I take it. Swiss people like to speak Swiss German. It’s similar to High German, but with a much heavier dialect that varies from region to region. Many Swiss can communicate just fine in High German, but it feels more comfortable and familiar to converse in Swiss German.”
Tobias notes how he intuitively discerns the cultural nuances, customs and geography – which in turn help him to build rapport with his customers in Switzerland.
Feedback management can benefit Swiss companies of all sizes
“I think the Swiss market has extremely large potential,” said Tobias. “Many global companies have their headquarters in Switzerland. And feedback management can be beneficial to helping them understand the needs of customers globally.”
Tobias also notes that, with many German organisations also operating in Switzerland, a vertical integration can be very powerful.
“We can use our expertise and experience learned from our German customers. Even though it’s a different country, they are very similar in many ways. So we can copy our success model in Germany to Switzerland. Then we can add a Swiss touch to our Netigate offering to add even more value for our Swiss customers.”
So far, so good for Tobias.
“I am among the top sales people in the company – but only because I am part of a very good team,” he said. “People who are focused and driven. If you have a bad day or a bad week – you have your colleagues who help you keep up the pace.”
When Tobias describes the team working environment, it is proactive, feedback-based, and positive. They jump in on each others’ projects to help improve techniques, add insights or offer support.
‘The team contributes to my daily performance and my success,” explained Tobias. “I’m really happy I can help my team members – we rely on each other’s advice and guidance. If I was just sitting in a room all day by myself or just having meetings – I don’t think I would have the focus and the pace that I do with the team.”
Tobias and his rescue dog Pisco in the Netigate offices
Preparing for success
Preparation is the most important element to Tobias’ work approach.
“The better I prepare, the better the meeting,” he says. “If you have four to five meetings a day, plus follow up calls – you don’t have that much time. So I typically come in at 8:00 sharp. Then I use the first hour to prepare for my meetings and take notes. I always have the notes with me in the back of my mind for each meeting.”
Getting to know the customer is vital to understanding how you can help them, Tobias observes – to be a strategic partner rather than just a salesperson.
“Whenever I talk to a customer, I try to understand their business,” Tobias said. “The most important thing is that you understand how the business works. You need to see their customer or employee journey, and specifically highlight where along that journey better feedback management could help them achieve customer satisfaction or employee satisfaction up in order to increase their revenue, reduce churn and reach their goals.”
Switzerland: The new Norway?
Tobias is quite optimistic about the future potential of the Swiss market.
“I feel responsible for making this market successful,” he said. “My hope is that Switzerland will grow in significance within our company. I hope it will be our ‘new Norway’ – a substantial business area of growth for us.”