Our Key Account Division Director and our Talent Acquisition Global Manager, explain the keys of such a strategic position for a consultancy and technological engineering company such as K-LAGAN.
One of the most important roles in consulting and technological engineering is that of the Business Manager. A multifaceted professional, who, as well as working to develop partnership relations with clients, through giving advice and selling services, must be able to incorporate qualified professionals into their team in order to develop their clients’ projects and, in turn, be able to allow them to grow and generate opportunities to develop and achieve their professional goals. So, not an easy task to say the least!
Seb Gilbert, Key Account Division Director of K-LAGAN, with more than 17 years of experience in the sector and has managed teams of more than 100 consultants in the past, is currently responsible for the Business Managers’ team in the area of accounts. He considers that “A Business Manager has a talent which is both in the blood and nurtured. A good Business Manager doesn’t have to have done this job before, we will teach them our best practices, but they must have some innate qualities without which true success is difficult to achieve: a desire to excel, self-discipline, perseverance, common sense, high expectations of themselves, self-motivation, respect, and many more. In short, they have to fight for and handle their business area if it were their own company.”
Meanwhile, Cristina Moreno, Talent Acquisition Global Manager, with more than 10 years behind her working in human resources, confirmed that “to be a good BM there are some special skills that are needed, such as the ambition to grow, excel, not being afraid of challenges nor discouraged by difficulties and, above all, they should be well aware that they are working with people. First and foremost, they must have that human touch which will enable them to understand the needs of their collaborators and accompany them in their professional growth.”
These qualities are necessary to develop a role that is a key factor in the health of the business. The main activity of a BM covers three main areas: business management, as they are responsible for gaining leads, detecting and handling the requirements, closing trade agreements and managing assigned accounts; human resources management, as they contribute to the recruitment of candidates process and manage their own team of consultants; and, finally, administrative and financial management of their own (P&L) budget statement.
In this regard, and as Cristina explained: “A Business Manager is a jack-of-all trades who is able to adapt from the commercial element, to human resources to being a coach. K-LAGAN is a technological engineering consultancy, therefore, although not mandatory, some technical training would help when it comes to giving advice and better understanding the needs of the clients and would be a desired asset in the search of professionals who best suit the needs of the client’s project. For this reason, they may come from an administration, human resources, technical training background; as well as having to provide experience linked to the sale of services in engineering or technology consultancy. We are not searching just for a salesperson, but rather for a professional who can deal with various business representatives and who can help to find common ground among them so that everyone will be satisfied. Besides this, other additional skills such as the ability to negotiate and manage teams are also important.”
This is why, Sébastien Gilbert, differentiates the role of a Sales Manager and a Business Manager; “A sales manager is born to sell; the higher the sales the better. A BM in our sector sells our collaborators services which our clients, with whom they build a long-term relationship, depend on. The key is in human relationships and creating a sense of trust with our collaborators, clients, and with other departments who may be involved thereby contributing to our success day after day. Gaining clients and candidates can be relatively easy; keeping them is another matter.”
As head of the Business Managers team who manage the major K-LAGAN accounts, Sébastien expects that members of his team are “able to close deals and develop strategic accounts, aligned to our business strategy and that they have the capacity for high potential (managing a minimum of 20 collaborators at the same time)”. So, he reaches an agreed objective for them to achieve, helping them find their own answers to their questions: “In the end, it is the best way to guide them to becoming completely autonomous in making decisions, because we want leaders!”, he adds: “Of course, my door is always open and I am available to share the thousand and one lessons I’ve learnt over the years in the field of high added value technology consultancy. Having said this, as far as human relations go, we are all still learning each day and coming across situations which we would never have imagined…”
The position of Business Manager is, without doubt, a unique opportunity for promotion in a professional career. In this sense, the main attraction of this work is “the possibility to grow and, above all, to help the professionals of the team, clients and the company grow too”, says Cristina.
As you have already seen, a Business Manager should be: a professional jack-of-all-trades, a good salesperson, oriented to services, have that human touch, and be someone who shares the K-LAGAN values; someone able to manage qualitative and quantitative objectives and at the same time have the ambition and be able to work at the pace which this position requires. So, will you take a shot?