“There’s a strong sense of teamwork across TIS. Even as the company evolves, taking on more employees and signing up more customers, collaboration remains one of our core values.”
Oussama Ihsane joined TIS nearly four years ago, bringing to the company a degree in business administration, plus marketing and sales experience in sectors ranging from automotive to ecommerce, including a six-month stint in Kuala Lumpur.
Starting out with the company as a Business Development Representative for BeNeLux, Oussama was later promoted to Senior Business Development Representative. A further promotion in 2020 saw Oussama move into a sales executive role, still working out of the TIS Netherlands office in ´s Hertogenbosch.
Oussama had always felt comfortable working in young, enterprising companies, valuing the opportunities to gain a breadth of experience and interact with innovative founders. As he explains, joining TIS was the natural next step in his career…
While TIS has certainly grown over the four years I’ve been here, it retains the positive qualities of a start-up: no one is ever just a number. What’s more, senior managers, including the original founders of TIS, reach out to employees and invite our opinions. Brainstorming to generate suggestions for improvement takes place on a regular basis.
The individual is taken seriously at TIS. If you’re passionate about making a difference, the company’s leaders trust you and give you space to make it happen. We have high levels of autonomy that you wouldn’t tend to encounter in a more traditional environment.
As a consequence, I have been empowered without being micro-managed. One memorable instance was being able to convince management I could help TIS enter new territories, specifically extending our coverage from the BeNeLux countries into France and the Middle East.
Similarly, long before the pandemic, the company has always been flexible in trusting us to work from home. This philosophy has paid dividends in recent months when the home office has become the norm for everyone, as the technology and processes were already in place.
Starting the conversation with the customer
In terms of my own job, I’d say that resilience and persistence are indispensable qualities in any sales role, nowhere more so than on the business development side, where you have perhaps just five minutes on a call to persuade a prospect it would be in their interest to schedule a longer conversation.
While I had training as a new hire on the TIS value proposition, the market, the customer’s likely pain points and requirements, and so on, I was able to bring my previous B2B and B2C experience to the challenge of persuading busy treasury managers to give TIS a chance.
Although you’re supplied with leads from Marketing and you do your own research beforehand, in a business development role you’re essentially thinking on your feet. It’s very intense and good communication and organizational skills are essential.
Getting a positive result from a call is the outcome of a combination of experience and intuition. Any failures in countering a prospect’s objections taught me how to do it better the next time.
By the way, when I reflect that before joining TIS I’d never even heard the term ‘treasury’, I realize just how much I’ve learnt in my time with the company!
Aligning TIS and the customer
Now as a sales executive, I have responsibility for the whole customer relationship and end-to-end sales cycle. I can take time to nurture a prospect into a customer and really get to know them and their business along the way.
The people I liaise with in treasury functions are seasoned professionals, so I really have to be at the top of my game, rather like playing in the Champions League! Nothing is more fulfilling than when, after much discussion, I know we’re on the same page.
Signing up a new customer is always cause for celebration; it’s a very special day when that happens. But I also find it very rewarding to provide answers to prospects’ questions during their decision-making. I enjoy demonstrating just how much TIS could contribute to their business by streamlining their payment workflows, reducing risk of fraud, controlling costs and improving compliance.
A spirit of teamwork
It may sound as if I work alone and it’s true I do have a lot of freedom, but I never forget I’m part of a team. In fact, there’s a strong sense of teamwork throughout TIS. Even as the company evolves, taking on more employees and signing up more customers, collaboration remains one of our core values.
I’ve been fortunate, too, in being able to learn from other team members. One experienced sales colleague in particular has been very open about his successes and, even more commendably, his failures during his 15 years in the role. This willingness to share his experience feels like a gift that empowers me. His generosity of spirit is a perfect example of the mutually supportive environment you find at TIS.