International Sales Manager
Sharing the Journey
Behind the scenes with Blaž Stanonik – International Sales Manager
Are you curious about what it takes to be an Internationalisation Assistant at CISC?
Look no further than our interview with Blaž, who has completed the KWF Internationalization Program and has valuable insights to share. From preparing a company for a new product launch to pushing an NFC-based Wireless Charging service to the market, Blaž has been at the forefront of international sales and marketing. In this interview, he reveals how the KWF training program equipped them with the skills and knowledge to excel in their role. He shares his experience working alongside keynote speakers, coaches, and fellow internationalisation assistants. Find out what he believes is the most important aspect of the training program and the advice they would give to anyone considering a similar path with our innovation assistant positition.
Can you tell us about your role as an Internationalisation Assistant and what your daily tasks were?
For the first 1.5 years of my time at CISC, I had the incredible opportunity to be part of the KWF internationalization program. During this program, I was in charge of preparing CISC for the launch of a new product, the NFC-based Wireless Charging service, and driving sales from a marketing perspective. This involved creating engaging YouTube videos, co-writing compelling marketing materials, launching targeted email campaigns, and attending various trade shows to promote our product. Every day was an exciting challenge that kept me on my toes.
How did the KWF training program prepare you for your role in the company?
Through KWF, I had access to intensive training on the topics of international sales and marketing, communication and networking, organization, and logistics and export. I was blown away by the quality of the keynote speakers and coaches who provided invaluable insights that I still apply in my work today. By learning from the best in the business and implementing key learnings in my day-to-day work, I was able to take on bigger challenges and grow professionally.
Can you describe a specific project or experience that you found particularly valuable during your training?
Every experience was valuable to my professional growth, whether it was learning from our coaches and consultants, hearing from keynote speakers, or exchanging know-how and working in teams with other KWF internationalization assistants. However, one of the highlights was a trip to Hamburg where we visited big well-known companies like Otto, the Airbus factory, and the Hamburg seaport. We also visited a Technology Park in Ljubljana and the Hasslacher Norica Timber company in Carinthia. The exposure to different industries and business models broadened my perspective and helped me to think more creatively.
How has your training and experience as an Internationalisation Assistant impacted your professional growth?
The KWF internationalization program had a significant impact on my professional growth. It equipped me with a wealth of skills and knowledge that I continue to use in my current role, such as cross-cultural communication, strategic planning, and project management. The program also helped me to develop a growth mindset and a passion for innovation, which has driven me to take on new challenges and explore new opportunities.
What skills and knowledge did you acquire during the program that you still use in your current role?
The KWF program gave me a broad range of skills and knowledge that I still use today. For example, I learned how to create effective marketing materials, write compelling emails, and communicate with customers and partners from different cultures. These skills have been invaluable in my current role at CISC.
What do you feel was the most important aspect of the training program and why?
The most important aspect of the KWF training program was the opportunity to learn from expert speakers and exchange knowledge with other internationalisation assistants. The program was well-designed to help us develop our skills, learn from others, and broaden our perspectives. It was a truly unique experience that I will always cherish.
What advice would you give to someone considering this training program in the future?
As a former Internationalisation Assistant, I can say with confidence that it was an incredibly valuable experience. During the program, I had the chance to meet amazing people, including Key-Note speakers, internationalization assistants, and KWF consultants. I learned many tips and tricks, gained knowledge in various fields, and expanded my network. One of the most important aspects of the program was the opportunity to learn from experts in their field, and then collaborate with other internationalization assistants during team projects. This unique combination is truly invaluable and helped me grow both personally and professionally. I would highly recommend this program to anyone who wants to expand their horizons and take their career to the next level. Thanks to the KWF board, other internationalization assistants, and our consultants, Christine Kohlweg-Leidenberger & Simone Kainz, for this opportunity of a lifetime! If you are interested in this program, we currently have an open position for an Innovation Assistant that you can apply to. Don’t miss out on this fantastic opportunity!
Could you tell us a little bit about your background and what led you to your current position as Business Unit Manager for Wireless Identification?
Of course! I have a background in sales and have always been passionate about technology. When I saw the opportunity to work in the RFID division at this company, I knew it was the perfect fit for me. I started as a Senior Sales Manager around 4 years ago, where I was able to build relationships with clients and help them find solutions to their business challenges. Over time, I was given more responsibilities and eventually promoted to my current role as Business Unit Manager for Wireless Identification.
As a Senior Sales Manager, what qualities do you think are important for someone to be successful in a sales role at CISC?
Well, first and foremost, they need to have a deep understanding of our products and services, particularly in the area of RFID technology. They should be able to explain the benefits of our solutions to clients and identify how our products can meet their specific needs. Additionally, they need to be able to build strong relationships with clients, understand their businesses, and act as a trusted advisor.
What kind of experience are you looking for in candidates for this sales position?
We’re looking for someone who has a track record of success in a sales role, preferably in the technology industry. Experience with RFID technology is a plus, but not necessarily required as we can provide training. We’re also looking for someone who is a strong communicator, both in writing and verbally, and who is comfortable with technology.
What kind of personality traits do you think are important for someone in this role?
We’re looking for someone who is self-motivated, ambitious, and has a strong work ethic. They need to be able to work independently, grasp opportunities and be proactive in taking initiatives, and be a team player when needed. Additionally, they should be personable, outgoing, and have excellent interpersonal skills.
Can you share with us a little bit about your leadership style and how you work with your team to achieve success?
I would say that I am a hands-on and pragmatic leader who likes to lead by example. I believe in working collaboratively with my team and fostering an environment of open communication and feedback. I try to empower my team members to take ownership of their work and encourage them to share their ideas and perspectives. I am very goal-oriented in my approach and believe in achieving results. Ultimately, I believe that by working together and leveraging each other’s strengths, we can achieve great things.
Outside of work, what do you like to do in your free time?
I recently got married and love spending time with my wife and my friends, whether that’s going on a hike, at the lake or on the mountain bike, trying out a new restaurant. And of course, as someone who is passionate about technology, I’m always keeping up with the latest trends and innovations in the industry.
Is there anything else you would like to share with us about yourself or your role at this company?
I would just say that I feel incredibly fortunate to work at a company that values innovation, teamwork, and customer satisfaction. I believe that our solutions have the potential to make a real difference in our clients’ businesses, and it’s exciting to be a part of that. I’m also grateful to work with such a talented and dedicated team and look forward to what the future holds for us.