Opengear is a leading provider of critical infrastructure management solutions delivering advanced console servers, remote management, monitoring and cellular out-of-band products. Founded in 2004 the company expanded its operations into Europe in 2012 by hiring an EMEA VP of Sales (a search conducted by Talented Group’s own Kurt Bannister). The company’s European launch was a big success with revenue growth far in excess of expectations. Multiple direct hires were made in the UK and France to continue this growth in 2013. In 2014 the company set its sights on developing the DACH region and Eastern Europe. Strategically it was decided that a dedicated Sales Director was needed in Germany. The DACH Sales Director would need to have a strong technical understanding of their extremely niche technology, a current and extensive network of relevant distributors and resellers in the required geographies and the desire and ability to work remotely with minimal technical support. They attempted to fill the role directly utilising their own network and advertised on their own and third party websites, but after a few months it was clear they were unable to identify and engage suitable candidates. To stay on course with their plans for 2015, they now had less than two months to make an offer to a candidate and bring them into the organisation.
Research was undertaken to identify all companies with a similar or aligned offering operating in Germany. It was established that around 20 organisations were supplying comparable solutions or technology, although there were very few direct competitors. Each target company’s sales organisation was mapped in detail to identify as big a talent pool as possible (over 100 sales professionals working in the targeted organisations). These individuals were approached by our German speaking researchers to ascertain their role responsibilities, current remuneration details and appetite to consider new opportunities. The researchers and consultants were able to ascertain that there were less than twenty individuals who superficially met the criteria. These candidates were engaged more closely with detailed pitch documents and where appropriate put through a rigorous competency based interview that allowed us to qualify their technical knowledge, relevant contacts, historic sales performance and ability to work in a similar environment. Detailed reports were written for five candidates who were shortlisted for interview by Opengear. The organisation was extremely impressed with the shortlist, and the fact that it was delivered in four weeks allowed to them to stay on course for their 2015 plan.
We helped Opengear enter a new region, access local technical and commercial expertise and engage an individuals with the right qualities to be successful within their organisation. They were also able to obtain significant market intelligence regarding key competitors sales performance, and distribution channels, allowing them to formulate a qualified market entry strategy and realistic financial goals. Moreover, we were able to deliver the project in record time without sacrificing quality, allowing them stay on course with their wider EMEA strategy and targets.