Working at Onguard:
Meet Maarten

working at onguard

A B2B sales professional tends to stay with a company for 3-5 years on average, before moving on to the next role. What makes someone stick with an organisation for longer? We asked Maarten, who recently completed 30 years in his Onguard journey. 

You know he is the one passing by your desk because you hear a whistle. He is an early bird, he enjoys asking questions to keep everyone busy, and his main hobby is to “enjoy life”. Maarten, Global Account Director at Onguard, has made a valuable contribution since he first joined the company in January 1994. So valuable that he saw a meeting room in the office named after him! 

The “De Wild’ meeting room at the Onguard premises in Amsterdam is named after Maarten’s last name. 

Starting a workday at Onguard

Maarten’s electric car enters the parking garage of the Onguard office shortly after 8:00. Everything is still quiet at this time. The first joy of the day is the hot cup of coffee before turning on his laptop. 

What makes up the day of a Sales Manager in a credit management software company? “Talking with people,” he says. Not only with customers but also with colleagues. “I enjoy being active, asking ‘stupid’ questions and keeping my teammates busy. At noon, we have our lunch and, on Thursdays, we enjoy a beer all together after the end of the working day.”

How did you start working at Onguard?

“I studied economics in Amsterdam, and my first job, 40 years ago, was at a bank. The bank was not digital at that time, but after a few years, it started making the first steps toward electronic banking, where I was involved, from a commercial aspect. This is how I started having contacts with suppliers. One of them was the person who would later create Onguard. He asked me to join the company that he was working for. A few years later, he started his own business and this is when I started to work for him. Together with Jan, I was among the first employees at Onguard.”

“Shortly after we started, we developed a desktop-based application addressed to insurance companies. Later, we started to sell standardised software and applications, which consequently led to the software we are actually selling today.”

What is the best thing about working at Onguard?

“The culture. When I first joined, Onguard was a family business with 7-8 people. Today it’s almost 100. The organisation has been through some changes over the years, but the culture remains. And the culture is the people. Several of our current colleagues have been with Onguard for years -some of them since its beginning.”

“I have known Maarten for at least 20 years. His integrity and sporty spirit make him not just a top salesman, but a cornerstone of our team! He always stands by his team, while putting the customer first. He is sportive, but always in for a good party. He enjoys a bicycle ride to work, but also a good glass of wine. I am happy to work alongside a great colleague,”

…says his long-time colleague and fellow Onguardian, Natascha.  

Can you share your best memory from working at Onguard? 

“Well, it’s a bit difficult to pick one (laughs). I have many great memories from our events, customer dinners, Christmas celebrations, group trips (such as the most recent one with the whole team in Austria) or simpler activities, such as our latest birthday celebration at the office.”

What would you say is your strongest skill in your role?

“The most important thing in our work is to be enthusiastic. First, I am enthusiastic about the Onguard products themselves. Then, I am enthusiastic about talking to customers, understanding their needs and helping them get the right software depending on these needs. As an organisation, we are strong in processes, security and knowledge.” 

Can you remember a success story from your sales journey in the company? 

“I can still remember my first big deal; it was around 28 years ago. It concerned the sales of a product that we no longer offer, and the customer was an insurance company. I can still remember it because it was considered generally hard to close such deals back then. 

Our first really “international” deal is also in my mind; it was with a company from the paper and packaging industry around 26 years ago. The customer applied our software to many business units, from Sweden to Eastern Europe, and of course, we had to travel there.”

What is the biggest change for you along this journey?

For over 20 years, my work routine included a lot of travel. Several times a week, my workday would start with a flight in the morning and end with a flight back in the evening. There were no online meetings or hybrid working. But now things have changed. It’s good for things to change. But I’m happy for what stays the same: feeling good at work, communicating with people working next to me, and being able to have a laugh from time to time.”

Do you want to learn more about working at Onguard? Check out our careers page or connect with us directly. 

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