As an entrepreneur, you can't do everything yourself. Maybe you are good at managing a team, but the technical side is less to your liking. Maybe you have design skills, but the strategic side is less your cup of tea. Bert Lambrecht knows what he excels at: presenting complex material in an appealing way. Bert is so good at it that in 2012 he decided to build a business around it. Afsprakenmaker, now called AM, was born.
'With AM we convert hard-to-contact profiles into leads via telemarketing on behalf of companies,' says Bert. Cold calling, in other words, although AM does much more than just book commercial appointments for companies. 'We work on the basis of databases with prospects that customers bring to us, but often these data are poorly managed or not managed at all. We are changing that with our online platform. Here clients can see how we process and enrich their data. Fine talk alone will not get you there; you also need a back office that contains usable data and complies with legislation.'
AM now employs 18 people who contact prospects and optimize data flows for a wide variety of companies. A lot of clients are active in the technology sector, from giants like IBM and Oracle over scale-ups like Too Good To Go and Teamleader to real start-ups. 'Often we see that those entrepreneurs are very good at giving the long explanation of their story, but in a first contact you have to be able to interpret your added value in two or three minutes. We can still make the essence clear with very complex businesses.'
Not only scale-ups struggle with selling their product or service, Bert says. 'Sales is becoming more complex and complex. The slick salesman of the past no longer exists. Especially now that personal contact is disappearing, the focus is even more on the transaction of expertise and credibility. Therefore, always try to help prospects, even if it doesn't improve your business. That's important: what do people say about you if you don't sell to them? Nowadays sales is more about giving advice and from your advice people will hear how intensely you are involved in your profession based on your sector knowledge, vision of the future... Customers are looking for people who think along with them and present options.
AM was already doing projects for Sirris, Agoria and imec.istart, but now becomes a full-fledged partner of Scaleup Vlaanderen. 'The technology sector gives me energy,' says Bert. 'It is important that there is such a unique platform in Flanders to help entrepreneurs scale up, so they can further professionalize and internationalize.'
'A lot of startups and scale-ups are looking for effective ways to increase their sales conversion, not least on an international level,' concludes Frederik Tibau, who leads the Scaleup Vlaanderen initiative from the technology federation Agoria. 'We are therefore particularly pleased to be able to join forces with AM, a company that has built up a great deal of expertise in telemarketing at home and abroad.'
'We know from our own experience that Bert's team offers services that can be particularly interesting for the companies we accompany, and that is the main reason for us to engage with a partner. In the case of AM, the added value and complementarity is obvious.'
Scaleup Vlaanderen is a broad mentoring program for innovative digital startups & scale-ups on the eve of an (international) growth acceleration.The program is an organization of the Belgian technology federation Agoria, imec's business accelerator imec.istart and of the collective center of the technology industry Sirris, and is supported by the Flemish Agency for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (VLAIO).