Job Title: Director of Freshness & Sales
Name: Frank Gross
What do you do as Director of Freshness & Sales?
Since March 2017 I am part of the gridscale team. gridscale is a European IaaS and PaaS provider and uses its technology to create the basis for sophisticated cloud solutions. The company is located in my favorite city of Cologne and offers future-oriented and digitally oriented users with its highly-automated architecture a solution in which they can flexibly choose between a large number of infrastructure-as-a-service components as well as complementary platform-as-service elements.
At the company, I am responsible for sales and partnerships. That means I initiate and take care of strategic cooperation and partnerships. Both are often things that can change the perspective on one’s own product. This adds value to our services and enables us to grow our business without ending up in a dead end. In addition, I am responsible for the sales organization and make sure that we make our customers happy and satisfied with our services and products. My team consists of 4 people.
In everyday life, I am a lot in exchange with customers, I am at events and fairs and represent gridscale with lectures on market relevant topics. Freshess is – as my title already reveals – of course not to be forgotten in my work. Bringing fresh air into the company and keeping things running is what I see as my vocation.
Where do you see your role in the team?
In the overall team, sales plays a key role. Sales is not just about selling. We are the ear at and in the market. We hear what customers want, at best, before they know it themselves and see trends. Within my own team, my job is to empower each and every one of my team members to do the best they can and to continue to develop so that they are challenged to the right extent and enjoy themselves. I can not help but say that my age within the all-young team automatically gives me some authority.
How did you come to this task?
I’ve been working in the telecoms, hosting and cloud industries for over 30 years, so I’m an old hand. Over the years I have been able to specialize in my field, which has received a lot of recognition from gridscale. For my part, I had a great interest in making my expertise available to a team that comes with new ideas in the industry and not just warm up old. The cloud market is growing too fast and too significant for one to afford to service. Gridscale does the opposite with passion and commitment. That convinced me in the end – in addition to the technical sophistication of the products.
Which feature helps you the most in your everyday life? Why?
I think I’m a very communicative and humorous person, which makes my job much easier. Especially in sales, where communication is the key to so many things and you – more often than you really want to be – need humor to deal with initial or unexpected hurdles. These small and bigger challenges are part of every sales process, whether you like it or not.
Decisive is the handling of it and humor definitely helps – at least for me. My joy in communication is also met by the fact that my position as an interface many information on my desk so that I am well informed about all important processes. Besides that, my technical understanding, which in the end is important for commercialization, helps me a lot.
Describe as clearly as possible a project that really impressed you?
With each project it is extremely impressive how everyone at gridscale pull together and pursue a common goal. In particular, I remember the project engelhorn sports GmbH, where we acquired the complex IT infrastructure for a PIM (Product Information Management) system. An engelhorn system administrator saw the Cave of the Lions broadcast in October 2017.
Out of curiosity, he looked at all the websites of startups that have pitched. Most were very bad or even reachable. The sites were simply not up to the enormous rush of visitors. A website was extremely positive. It had the “powered by gridscale” logo on the website. That same evening, the admin took a closer look at the gridscale portfolio and reported it to his IT manager the next morning, who immediately contacted us.
Within a week they decided to go with gridscale as a new IT service provider. The engelhorn IT team was really enthusiastic about gridscale’s innovative solution. You could really see how each other was spurred on to perform at their best but also demanded it. I had not experienced this mutual enthusiasm in other jobs.
What is most important to you in your job? What is the most fun?
As a salesperson and networker, I particularly value the personal contacts. Every day I enjoy meeting my characters in a variety of different ways. Each customer or partner has their own profile, goals and needs. Being prepared for it and being able to offer them real added value at the end of the day is fulfilling and demanding at the same time.
In addition, I have the freedom to set my own impulses in the company and positively influence the fortunes of gridscale. My contribution is visible at the end and I can understand what I’ve done. Having said that, it’s great to be part of a young and dedicated team that impresses me with its professionalism despite its age. And we grow very strong and very fast. Getting to know new faces and characters every month that can become part of a very big story with your enthusiasm and skills refreshes me again and again.
My job is indispensable because …
Especially in sales, you act as a link between different departments – such as marketing or product development. In the best case, we coordinate the projects and activities in such a way that from the customer’s point of view an optimal result or product comes out. This, in turn, ensures that the demand for our IaaS and PaaS service not only remains high, but even increases. As an interface to the customer, we have a decisive influence on the development of the company.
That’s why I deal with our external image and our impact and are immediately informed when there are problems with potential or existing customers. Through partnerships and cooperation, I am always looking for new and unexpected points of contact to try out new ways and to stand out from the competition. It helps me that I now know the industry very well, in my area I am an expert.
If you were not Director of Freshness & Sales, what would you be?
I suppose I would be something like Head of Magic 🙂