Job interview: Sales manager - is there more to it than just cold-calling?

March 18th at 11:48am by Susan Levermann

There’s probably no other job against which we’re so prejudiced than that of sales manager. “You’re only on the phone all day” or “I just can’t imagine all that cold-calling” are things that one often hears about the job. Our colleague Felix, Head of Sales, talks about what the everyday duties of a sales manager really are, and the parts of his work at our Customer Experience Management Platform zenloop that he particularly enjoys.


Felix, Head of Sales, interviewed about his work at our Customer Experience Management Platform


1. Please briefly introduce yourself.

I’m Felix and have been the Head of Sales at the Customer Experience Management Platform zenloop since 2018. After several great years in Hamburg I was drawn to the Berlin start-up scene where I feel I can freely live out my passion for sales and leadership.


2. What other jobs did you do on your way to this position?

I started out in head-hunting and was able to take on lots of responsibility very early on. It was always thrilling for me to meld myself to new challenges and to continually find new strategies to help me do so.

After three years in my profession I built my first sales team for a SaaS firm from the recruiting field and I began to focus on enterprise customers and management themes, before coming Head of Sales at zenloop.


When you look back at your career at zenloop so far, is there any particular moment which stands out? Why is this moment so special?

On my second day at work, I was immediately pulled into an important conference, was deeply involved with the discussion and on that evening got to know many entrepreneurs and potential clients at an exclusive dinner. Thanks to this kickstart I was involved from day one and also gained increased self-confidence on the way.

The trust of my team assists me daily in the making of good, rapid decisions and helps me to develop myself.


4. Which qualities and strengths did you develop at zenloop which have been meaningful for your own personal development and growth?

Definitely my efficiency. I’ve learnt how to focus on the result, how to divide up my time, how to be more productive and how to communicate efficiently.

In my leading role I have learnt how to give up responsibility and to delegate tasks, to give everyone the chance to find their own way in new areas and to bring their talents to bare.


5. There are almost certainly prejudices about the job of head of sales or sales manager generally. Tell me, being a sales manager - is it just cold-calling?

I got my foot in the door of my biggest sales by cold calling. For me, it’s not about whether cold-calling is fun or not - it’s about making contact. We want to win over the best companies on the market as our customers and offer our solution as a part of their success. This means we have to talk to each other.

Nowadays the telephone is just one tool of many, and at the end of the day, it’s less about the tool and more about the way it is used. And yes, cold-calling can be lots of fun! However, that is only one aspect of a sales manager’s job. We also attend many conferences, integrate new technologies into our processes, train in many dimensions and also have fun in the office.

Working in sales means one thing above all others: variety and development. In only a few jobs can you learn so much about so many people and companies, adapt yourself to ever changing situations, be creative and continually learn something new. You also quickly develop a large network which you can call on when needed.

The skills that you learn in sales help you in all aspects of your life - for example presenting something to a group or setting yourself goals. Additionally I like waking up every day to something new, to build up our market with our team, to continually improve both our processes and organization, learn from each other and celebrating our successes.


6. How would you describe the dynamic and working style of your team?

I regard my team as being completely involved and always ready to sprint the extra mile when needed. My colleagues question the Status Quo, bring their own ideas to the table and always approach new tasks with a “can-do” mentality.

We have different characteristics which compliment another well. Through our open and transparent culture, where errors are allowed and accepted, we have quickly grown into an effective team.


7. What do you especially like about working for zenloop?

Even though we are a young organization, we work very professionally and have already built up a strong and competent core team. Through our dynamic working style we have included individual and built on pre-existing strengths.

Here everyone is responsible for their own project: from the intern to the CEO. Additionally we rapidly reach decisions, try different approaches and learn quickly.

An additional point is the investment in workers and the office culture. Twice a year we spend a week away for workshops and bonding, receive instruction in soft skills and tools, and give everyone the opportunity to grow into a role which previously might have looked like too much.


8. What is the greatest challenge in the sales team at zenloop?

At the moment we have several exciting projects on the go and have to keep many balls up in the air at once. To allow our team to rapidly grow we set high standards and optimize our process. We always try to stay in balance and not let daily operations pass us by.

An additional challenge is our complex sales cycle with different decision makers who have to be involved at the right stage and see our viewpoint eye to eye.


9. How would you describe zenloop to a good friend?

A great place to work successfully, to grow personally and meet a lot of great people.


10. What should applicants bring with them in order to be successful?

Mainly drive and passion. With these attributes you can make up for a lack of specialist knowledge. For me, there are other qualities such as resilience, discipline, an open mind and courage which are important for success.

My best tip for success in this job: have no plan B, put all your eggs in one basket and always do your best - even when that is sometimes hard.


11. What do you like to do when you’re not at work?

When I’m not working, I burn off energy at Krav Maga-Training, read a good book, or enjoy long funny evenings with good friends and time with my family. On top of this I am a big fan of personal development, spirituality and American Football.

My small contribution to a better world is through my involvement as a mentor for refugees trying to start a new life in Germany.


Would you like to be part of our team and mission to revolutionize Customer Experience Management? Then apply now and get on board!

See Current Openings

Are you still hunting for the right career and aren’t sure which is the right one for you? Here you can find additional interviews with our Entrepreneur-in-Residence, Judith and our Head of Customer Success, Cam.


Susan Levermann

Content Marketing Manager