2018 has started with an interesting guest lecture. Sebastian Herbst, manager of Combera GmbH which is headquartered in Munich, talked about Marketing & Sales, Leadership and Startups in the service provider sector.
The guest lecture was organized by Prof. Ruhnke who is teaching the course “Entrepreneurial Financial Strategies” in the first semester of the master program. The topic of the guest lecture was “Acquisitions, business development and leadership in a multinational group” with the goal of linking marketing and sales to financial concepts.
Combera GmbH is a full-service agency for POS marketing and market leader in the field of sales support. They focus on three different fields of competence: POS Marketing, POS Intelligence and POS Sales. Herbst gave examples of their work with international clients like OMV, Chiquita, BRITA and Hacker-Pschorr. Herbst himself describes the company as “hidden champion in an invisible market”.
Founded as a German family business in 1976, Combera GmbH quickly expanded nationally and internationally and now is a multinational company and market leader in POS marketing.
A very interesting aspect regarding entrepreneurial financing is the fact that Combera’s growth was not achieved by external bank credits, but through private equity and building up reserves only. Also, Combera focused on partnerships which added value through knowledge and experience which now pays off as the company has an international network to serve its clients.
According to Herbst, Combera is investing heavily into their digital pillar because he sees digital transformation as the most promising business model for the future.
Thank you Sebastian Herbst for these interesting insights into the world of marketing and sales and talking about the strategy behind building and leading a multinational group!
After the presentation, there was time for some Q&A. Read yourself what questions came up by the students and how Sebastian Herbst answered them.
Q1: How does Combera get to know his clients? Do the clients approach you or do you have to do pitch presentations to get the projects?
A1: We do not do pitch presentations. We get the clients by a combination of recommendation and marketing. We have our own webpage, social media pages, advertisement on trains or ferries. We also deliver speeches in professional conferences for example. Besides, our current clients recommend us to their partners because of our good quality of work and professionality.
Q2: How do you gather the relevant information about the project before starting?
A2: Before starting a project, the client delivers all the available information about the company, the market and the research. Client explain everything about the product category, their goals and requirements. Also from our side we are gathering insights by speaking to employees or even customers in shops to understand the sales and the product placement for example.
Q3: Does the client give you an exact number of sales which you help them to reach? Or do they just have general goals such as sales increase?
A3: A good sales director will give an exact number of sales. It will be written nowhere, but only talked about. When you are given a specific goal by number, it is much easier for you to know which resources to use to achieve the clients’ goal.