We sat down with Renata Mariotti Said, an Account Accelerator for the Iberian market, to talk about 2021, work-life and how she applies her unique expertise to making Ynvolve customers happy.
How long have you been with Ynvolve and what do you do?
I have been with Ynvolve for three and a half years. I have a background in sales account management and business development, but this is my first role in the IT industry. I am responsible for strategic growth, sales acceleration and client relationship management for the Spanish, Portuguese, Italian markets. Additionally, my team and I are also expanding to new markets like Greece.
My team is composed of three people and each of us speak some or all of the languages that we need to do business within southern Europe. We find this extremely helpful when developing meaningful relationships with our customers. And when all else fails, we revert to English!
What is Ynvolve best known for?
In the Iberian market, Ynvolve is known for the quality of its hardware products, the level of support that we, as account managers, offer and our extensive product knowledge. Our customers know that we will always go out of our way to provide the support needed and will always be pro-active in our pre-sales and after-sales support. I think that is what differentiates us in the market.
Are you a technical expert or more of a generalist in terms of sales?
My background is not in IT so I would say that I am more of a generalist, however, that’s never posed a problem. My approach is to always be transparent about where my strengths lie, and after three and a half years, I have the basic hardware knowledge I need to advise my clients. But also, my clients know that when we need to find more technical answers to their questions, we have a full technical team at Ynvolve that will happily provide answers to their questions. Together we aim to provide the best pre- and post-sales support to them.
Could you describe the maturity of your market/s in terms of refurbished hardware?
The circumstances of the past year show that more and more companies are open to the concept of working with refurbished IT hardware. The world has changed. Now they are seeing the advantages of working with different generations of products to get an optimal solution for less, especially in Spain. Today, Spanish companies will barely even consider buying new equipment when they can have refurbished equipment configured to their specific needs.
What are the main misconceptions about refurbished hardware?
When I started business development in the Iberian market almost four years ago, there was definitely some push back from the clients in regard to using refurbished IT. Companies felt reassured by the manufacturer’s warranty which is understandable. However, they were not aware that refurbished equipment from an infrastructure specialist like Ynvolve, also comes with extensive warranty and flexibility. When I spoke to clients, I had to explain that all our refurbished assets come with a one-year warranty with the possibility to extend to three years!
I guess the other misconception or concern was about the condition of the second-hand assets they would be purchasing. When this concern comes up, we just explain how we refurbish and test all of our equipment in house and put everything through a rigorous quality-control process which means we never ship an asset that isn’t fit for purpose or in bad condition. Better yet, we can often achieve a better solution, using previous generations of IT equipment, that brings a price-performance balance more in line with what clients are looking for.
Once we have explained these things, the customer’s concerns about refurbished hardware tend to fade away.
To what extent do you think the pandemic has shifted the IT landscape?
Budget priorities have shifted of course, but that’s not all. Expectations and demands on IT providers to support the sudden boom in e-commerce and remote working have grown exponentially. Companies that suddenly had to set up every one of their employees with the ability to work from home simply could not afford to wait the extensive lead times – caused by decreased production, increased demand and transport logistics issues – for original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to push out new product lines.
So, when an infrastructure specialist like Ynvolve says that they can provide a refurbished solution for a better price, AND get the configuration installed within a week, businesses suddenly realize they don’t need ‘new’ after all. In some ways, the pandemic has shifted the way that CIOs think about the refurbished market.
What is your expert advice to a company considering making the switch from OEM to Ynvolve?
I would say, that Ynvolve is a one-stop-shop. We offer quality hardware at lower prices and have the creativity and flexibility to create a solution tailored to your specific projects and objectives. We offer a real partnership approach, which means, you get responsiveness, quality of service and flexibility both pre- and post-sales that you will never get with an OEM.
How do you use your own specific expertise to assist Ynvolve customers?
I think my key strengths are empathy and authenticity. I really try to put myself in the customer’s shoes and understand what their goals and requirements are. My team and I always collaborate to find the right solution for the client’s needs. Additionally, as a company we are 100% customer-centric and have a very agile sales and after-sales process. We always make sure that everything goes smoothly for the client and that they will get all the assistance and support that they need especially after the sale is completed. Our customer is our priority. I understand this is easy to say, but the entire company is set up like this. It is a core element of our DNA.
What do you think Ynvolve’s clients appreciate most?
Clients really understand the value we bring to the table when they have an issue. We are super responsive, and solution driven. Our team will always strive to solve infrastructure challenges our clients face same day or overnight, because we understand the pressure they are under to keep their businesses running. In my experience, the clients really appreciate that.
I also think that our customers really appreciate knowing that we are on their side. It’s not just about hardware and parts and technical expertise. There is a ‘soft side’ that we bring to the relationship which is empathy and loyalty and understanding and responsiveness. We have an authenticity that customers respond to and the ability to connect with them in their own language is a huge plus.