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Arnd Nenstiel

Head of Customer Interaction Management | Bayer CropScience AG

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How do you personally benefit from your CEB membership?

Once a week I actually go to the website and look for the latest updates. I’ve been in in phone conversations, or face-to-face meetings with team members from CEB visiting me at the office or me coming to to meetings or workshops. It’s absolutely crucial to look across the face of your own organization so you keep up with what’s happening in the marketplace so to gather ideas and good approaches that we can then immediately integrate into our day to day activities. Because at the end of the day, there is otherwise a higher risk that we will be too internally focused and trying to avoid that is part of my day-to-day job.

Tell us about your journey to transform your sales organization. Why do you turn to CEB for support?

We started the journey about a year and a half ago with a very detailed analysis on the status quo in our sales organizations. We’ve developed a road-map so we’re well underway of a three to four year programme, acknowledging that this takes a substantial amount of time. We see results in two ways. I see a lot of usage by our country colleagues on the Sales Leadership Council membership so they actively go in and look for examples that they can mirror and copy with pride. On the other hand we are seeing some increase in the customer satisfaction rate that we do through annual survey cycle so that’s quite good indicators - I think we’re in a good way.

What is the value of the membership for your team?

I’d say that the majority of the colleagues first go to the website to read the articles to get familiar with concepts. They also participate in regular conference calls with peer companies or with peer jobs in other companies to have an exchange of some of the issues that we’re facing and some of the ideas and solutions that others have been working on. And obviously the third piece is that we get together frequently with other companies at the executive retreats where we actually then have the opportunity to discuss with peers in a classroom set-up to hear first-hand from leaders of these companies on what their experience has been of the sales journey.

What differentiates CEB from other organizations?

I would say if you face a challenge that you need to transform an organization at a large scale across multiple countries or multiple continents even, I would say with the presence that CEB has across the globe - I would definitely recommend this as a good piece of or a good source of best practice is looking at, as you say, what the best companies do. I would say that is absolutely essential if you really want to be at the forefront of excellence. There is no way around CEB to look for good practices that you just need to have to beat your competitors in the day-to-day jobs.

What do you value most from CEB?

I’d say one of the pieces where I actually measure the benefits right now is that we can refer to certain concepts that we adopt from CEB that many people in our organization actually refer to. They’re familiar with the concept of the Challenger Sale for example. And since we all refer to the same concept we save a lot of time going repeatedly through the process of explaining the concept so we become more efficient to move forward rather than spending too much time on familiarizing the organization with the actual concept. I’d say that is probably one of the biggest benefits I can actually quantify in terms of time-safe, to be more efficient internally.

What made you decide to become a CEB member?

When I came into my position looking after our customer interaction, I found that we had an existing membership with CEB on the marketing side. So looking after sales excellence topics, I immediately endeavoured into also signing up for the Sales Leadership Council because I had very positive feedback from my colleagues on the existing membership which they set up when we started to have a global marketing group four years ago.

Why do you turn to CEB for support?

What we looked at in the Sales Leadership Council is the link to other companies that you have at hand and the examples of how these companies transform their sales organization was pretty much matching on the challenge that we were facing - driving our sales organization from a much product and solution focus into a more inside sales approach that that we see is absolutely crucial to have. So, that triggered the decision to sign up with the membership.

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