Meet Raf Van Puyvelde. Not only does he represent 4P square as managing director, but also as a sales manager.
Why did he start 4P square? Why did he become a sales manager in the process and what does he actually think about the job as a marketing consultant?
Find all the answers in this exclusive interview.
Can you introduce yourself briefly?
Of course. My name is Raf Van Puyvelde. I’m the founder and managing director of 4P square.
After a career of 12 years as a Marketing Manager in several banks and telecom companies, I started 4P square in 2002. Now, I’m the Managing Director. In addition, I am also one of the Sales Managers within the company.
Can you explain how the sales process works at 4P square?
We have a sales team of three Account Managers who are responsible for hunting new customers, developing new business for 4P square, and also for account management of our existinge customers. In addition, I am part of this Sales team that consists of three members for now.
On top of that, we also have two Talent Recruiters Eva Franceus and Julie Hautot, because we’re in a people business. That means that for every opportunity and assignment we have, we also need people. So we have two talent recruiters continuously working to find new people, both freelance consultants as well as payroll consultants to join 4P square.
Internal Marketing team
And then of course, we are only a team of three sales and two recruiters, so we cannot target the whole market of thousands and thousands of customers and businesses. So also marketing is an important department. Here, we have a Marketing Manager Paul De Gussem together with some of our Marketing consultants. They are an important factor in finding new leads and setting up campaigns to convert those leads into qualified marketing leads.
How do you identify leads?
How do we approach them? To start, we are really focusing on customer intimacy and personal contact with our customers. Not only in the sales process, but also afterwards when the assignment has started. We try to really follow up on our customers.
In addition, we want to know whether both our customers and consultants are satisfied. For a satisfied consultant is always a better consultant. So, we are trying to coach our consultants to becoming better consultants on their projects.
Why do you like sales so much?
Why do I like sales so much? Well, as a matter of fact, I am a marketer.
In the first place, I started my career as a marketer. I used to be a Marketing Manager and Marketing director for 12 years. As soon as I started 4P square, I realized we needed to do sales. Why? Because sales people are the success of a consulting company.
On the one hand, sales is not easy. But on the other hand, I really enjoy sales a lot. It’s still a lot of personal contact with lots of people and that’s what I like most about my job.
How is your experience working for 4P square?
I’ve been doing marketing since I practically started on the job market in 1989. So, I have a lot of experience in marketing and I’ve done practically everything in marketing. As a result, I can really understand what the needs of the customers are. Even as a Sales Manager.
The most difficult thing is that marketing has been changing a lot for the last decade. For instance, marketing has become data, automation, digital and in general a lot more complex than in the first 10 to 15 years of my career. So, it makes it also for me very difficult to understand every aspect of marketing. However, in most of the cases I think we have the right expertise within 4P square. And if I don’t understand it, I just ask the consultants.
Why should someone become a marketing consultant?
When comparing myself with the first 12 years of my career, I was working for banks, insurance companies and telecom companies. So I have learnt a lot. However, as a consultant, the first two years I have learnt a lot more than I did for the past 12 years.
Due to the fact that you are continuously in a new environment with new customers and with new companies, products and services, you learn much faster than when you are on the payroll of just one company or multiple companies.
So, I recommend to start as a consultant for 3, 4, or 5 years and you will definitely be ablet oe to become e.g. a Marketing Manager afterwards.
Are you excited to become a marketing consultant as well? Take a shot and apply now!
About the author
Géraldine is an enthusiastic marketeer with a can-do attitude, currently working as a Marketing Consultant at 4P square. She has obtained a master’s in International Marketing and started her career as Marketing Coordinator in the automotive sector. Géraldine prefers to work with transparent communication and is a firm believer of teamwork.
Want to know more about Géraldine? Feel free to start a conversation with her on LinkedIn.