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12th international
Starnberg Management Days on tour
A brief review
November 30th and
December 1st, 2015
Revolution in sales
Who's afraid of Change?
... but what if it comes?

The main questions were:

  • Are sales channels becoming more important than products?

  • Do you also use digital inside in your traditional sales channels?

  • Are you satisfied with your e-commerce share?

  • Is sales important enough in your company – even for non-sales people?

  • Do you think you will master the transformation process?

  • And: Who actually owns customer data?

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That was something new. The 12th Starnberg Management Days went on the road to Porsche in the event center at the race track in Leipzig.


Three reasons were decisive for this:

  • A little change is good,

  • Leipzig is, after Munich and Berlin, one of the most promising cities in Germany

  • and sales people usually like racing cars ...


... because sales was the focus of the 12th iSMD.


B2C sales are in the midst of a revolution. Such a change is also imminent for B2B sales. The revolution is beginning. And in doing so, it is important to take advantage of the new opportunities of digitalization in two ways: Introducing digital sales channels and digitally enriching traditional multi-channel sales.

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"The revolution in B2B sales has begun."

Werner Seidenschwarz, managing partner of the organizer, Seidenschwarz & Comp. GmbH, reminded the sold-out audience in Leipzig at the beginning "that a bad business model does not automatically become a good one through digitalization.

He described the dangers for classic German capital goods manufacturers as well as the weaknesses of the digital players. For both, however, "In many industries, the sales channel will soon become more important than the product."

To enable companies to gain competitive advantages in this regard, Seidenschwarz & Comp. has launched the Leading Sales Community with leading German companies such as Würth, Pirelli, Siemens, Trumpf and others.

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Gregorio Borgo, top Italian manager and the No. 2 at Pirelli in Milan, described how Pirelli has developed in recent years.

Together with Leading Sales advisory board member Andreas Penkert, managing director of sales and marketing, he described digital multichannel sales and the future product CyberTire.

"In Germany, we have gained market share in a declining market. With our new Chinese owner, we are also opening up the potential for additional new volume markets."

Gregorio Borgo had the sympathies of the plenum on his side when he announced that the famous Pirelli calendar was being presented in Milan at the same time as his talk, but that he had "deliberately chosen the international Starnberg Management Days."

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After that, the focus was on TESLA, currently by far the most successful electric car supplier, a company that is also making history in electric storage for buildings and in space rockets.

Georg Bauer, the company's European CFO, was an inspiring speaker for the cause.

Radical in its product and radical in its distribution channel, TESLA relies exclusively on TESLA's own direct sales, enriched by an easy-to-understand pricing strategy without discounts and a rapid expansion of charging stations that is not at all well known to the general public.

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Equally impressive was the lesser-known English example from RS Components, the pioneer in digital B2B sales.


Phil Dock , global head of products and logistics, described a highly successful B2B electrical wholesaler that generates 60% of its sales digitally: "Everything you see in the B2C market today, you will soon also see in B2B".


In Japan, the company even achieves the top figure of 80% online, almost unimaginable in Germany today. For the audience, this presentation was exceptionally eye-opening because Phil Dock was so tangible, right down to eye tracking, warehouse management and the vision of "multi-channel sales with digital inside".

A look into the near future - and to the delight of the organizer a confirmation for the concept of Seidenschwarz & Comp.

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"Make life easier for sales, not harder. Digital inside helps if you want it to."

Uwe Häberer, another founding member of Leading Sales, outlined the large company view for the Digital Factory Division of Siemens.

As the operational sales manager for one of Siemens' central sales regions, who is now turning the concept of a customer platform he helped develop in his previous role as head of business development for the €36 billion industry sector into reality, he was able to outline this implementation in a particularly vivid way.

"How do you take care of 1.44 million customer visits to the website every month?" And, "50% of our customers today would order online directly through an app if it were already possible." "With online customer inquiries, 50% of sales go to the supplier who responds first."

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“There is more going on in the capital goods business in India now. But I'm not saying that it's easy."

Jörg Fitzek , India boss of R. Stahl AG, a top company for explosion-protected systems and solutions, finally showed the participants how capital goods can be sold successfully in the still little-known Indian market.


With his prognosis that India is slowly but surely setting out on a sustainable growth path, he smoothed out one or the other China-Russia-Brazil concern that was plaguing one or the other participant.

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As usual, the evening round was entertaining.


Robert Schäfer, Dynamo Dresden's successful manager, described the multifaceted development of the city from the point of view of a third division club that has worked to achieve an average attendance of 30,000 spectators per home game.


In addition to his success story, he also talked about the downsides, such as personal threats on the Internet and how to deal with them.


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"Two countries divided by one language"

Jonathan Peaurt , the worldwide sales manager of the aforementioned R. Stahl AG, told a lot of stories about how a Swabian sales manager finds oneself in Swabian regions.


As a loyal Englishman, he worked out the differences between Americans and English ("two countries divided by one language"), created a successful in-depth explanation of a possible Brexit with the simultaneous later re-admission of Scotland to the EU and of course had plenty of anecdotes about his new Swabian home.


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"We were very happy that the Starnberg Management Days came to us when they went on tour for the first time."

Finally, the commercial manager of the Porsche plant in Leipzig, Joachim Lamla , showed why Leipzig is seen as the German city of the future.


Porsche is a showcase plant that has found another counterpart in the directly adjacent BMW plant, whose electric car production the participants were able to visit at the end.
And of course the racetrack is particularly popular, with a real "free wildlife area" with a wildlife enclosure preserved in its surroundings without human intervention.

So that the participants could take home three good ideas from the event again this year, which they can also implement directly!

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