Rethinking sales at home and abroad

The growing complexity of transmission systems is increasingly pushing sales representatives to the limit. Field staff who service or repair the products at the customers’ sites are repeatedly finding that the advice given to customers needs to be improved.

In order to achieve this and other goals, Lenze reorganizes the way it handles sales. Previously, external companies sold the products, but now Lenze creates its own sales structure, founding five sales companies between 1965 and 1976 to serve the German market. They are to focus on machine manufacturers who buy large quantities and to provide them with detailed advice on the products. The company reduces costly individual sales to end-customers.

To catch up with the market leaders in drive technology, Lenze is increasingly selling not only individual gearboxes to machine manufacturers, but also entire drive solutions. For success, though, the engineers must get to know their customers better and advise them more intensively. As motivation, the engineers are involved in the sales process and given a share of the profits.

Heinz Maroldt complains that the sales department does not completely cover the full range of uses that Lenze’s products offer. The Alquist Winder, for example, is “only sold for winding” although it can do far more than that. “In all your sales activity, gentlemen, there is one idea missing: the idea of everything the Alquist Winder can do,” he says. “From crane construction to a host of other things, the Alquist Winder can be used everywhere.”

In order to increase export sales, too, Lenze founds ten foreign sales companies between 1971 and 1980. The first two companies are set up in France and Austria in 1971, and from the mid-1970s Austria supplies Hungary, Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia. Japan follows in 1972, Spain in 1973, Switzerland in 1974 (Bachofen AG), Sweden in 1977, Belgium and Luxembourg in 1978. Finally, in 1980, the Lenze Corporation is founded in Fairfield/New Jersey.