ALLPLAN People: Ramon Steins, Sales Director for APAC, CEEMEA, Benelux, UK & the Nordics

September 29, 2023

In the heart of a quaint Dutch town where he was born and raised, Ramon Steins orchestrates a global sales symphony from his local abode. As the Sales Director for APAC, CEEMEA, Benelux, UK & the Nordics at ALLPLAN, Ramon is a study in contrasts – a small-town guy managing expansive geographies; a family man juggling time zones; a hands-on operator turned strategic leader. 

But what exactly does it mean to be a Sales Director overseeing such a sprawling region? Gone are the days when Steins was directly shaking hands to close deals. His role now is one of a maestro, harmonizing a diverse ensemble that includes direct salespeople, indirect channel partners, technical consultants, pre-sales consultants, and marketing. It’s a complex score to conduct, with each member playing a different yet vital part in securing a signed contract.

From Drafting Tables to Global Sales

When Ramon joined ALLPLAN at the age of 37, he had never sold a product in his life. His journey to the world of sales was unconventional, but perhaps that’s precisely why it has been so successful. As an operator of ALLPLAN’s software and a construction expert, Ramon possesses an innate understanding of the product and client needs that makes him not just a salesperson but an advocate. “If you can operate the software you’re trying to sell, that’s a big advantage,” he remarks.

His professional career began in 2000 in an engineering office in Maastricht, just a stone’s throw from his hometown. Coming from a mechanical engineering background, he quickly realized that traditional drafting wasn’t for him. A new era of Building Information Modeling (BIM) and 3D modeling beckoned, and Steins seized the opportunity to spearhead this transition within his engineering office. It was then that his relationship with ALLPLAN was conceived – first as a user, then as a high-profile supporter.

Fast forward to 2013, and Steins was standing before ALLPLAN’s entire workforce in Munich, presenting a successful case study in German. His impactful presentation led him down an unexpected path: a proposition to join ALLPLAN’s sales team. “That was a crucial crossroads,” says Steins. “I had to choose between the comfort of my nine-to-five job in Maastricht and the unknown world of sales in an office 700 kilometers away.”

Steins chose the latter, convinced by the personal connections and trust he had developed with the ALLPLAN team. Thus, he embarked on a nine-year journey that saw him climb through the ranks – from a Salesperson for the Netherlands, to starting a Sales Enablement department, leading the business development in the APAC region, and ultimately becoming the Sales Director for multiple regions. “It’s been a fulfilling journey, one that makes me quite proud,” he beams. “For 18 years, ALLPLAN has been an integral part of my 25-year career – and I intend to continue this relationship for many more years to come.”


Combining Strategy and Service for Success

Today, Steins manages an intricate web of nine direct employees and an extended team of nearly 50 people within 22 partners. Despite the scale, Steins makes it a point to stay close to his clients, leveraging the advantages of ALLPLAN’s unique corporate stature. “In Dutch, we say our company is smaller than a tablecloth but bigger than a napkin,” he shares with a smile. “This means we’re big enough to matter but not so large that we lose the human touch.”

In this role, Ramon oversees regions that are often starkly different from each other – from the established markets in Eastern Europe to the promising territories in Asia-Pacific. While the challenges in each area are distinct, his strategy follows a consistent formula: find potential, establish local partnerships, and adapt to market needs.

Using this approach, Ramon spearheaded the development of sales and analysis for the Asia-Pacific region. Here, the challenge lay not just in meeting sales targets but in forging a community that truly believed in ALLPLAN’s products. Yet Ramon perceived immense growth opportunities in infrastructure projects in emerging markets like Indonesia, Vietnam and Thailand. “When you open the door, there is already a channel for our solution, we only need the find the most effective way to monetise the potential” he says. Now, after three years, not only has revenue been generated, but a vibrant community has formed around the brand.

This showcases Ramon’s key guiding principle: to be a solution provider rather than merely a software vendor. For him, the true measure of a successful transaction lies not in the exchange of software licenses and invoices, but in the long-term impact that ALLPLAN’s solutions have on a customer’s operations. “What I find fulfilling is when a customer, after a year of using our software, seeks to purchase additional licenses because they’ve found value in it,” he says. “The negotiations are but a fraction of the sales process. The real achievement is in making the customer successful,” Ramon adds. This, he says, is perhaps an even more crucial KPI than sales volume.

For Ramon, therefore, the feat isn’t just in the numbers or titles but in the transformative impact he’s been able to make, both for ALLPLAN and its customers. While becoming Sales Director marks a notable personal achievement, the success of establishing the new APAC business region from scratch will likely remain his most challenging and rewarding experience for some time to come.


Unconventional Yet Essential Experience

Just as a maestro conducts an orchestra, Ramon effortlessly orchestrates the different elements of his professional life. But this aptitude didn’t happen by chance; it’s the byproduct of a lifetime passion – marching bands.

Ramon spent a quarter of a century engrossed in this hobby; a pursuit so meaningful that he even took his marriage vows in his marching band uniform. Here, he was not just a trumpet player but also the manager of the band. “It was like running a mini organization,” he says. It was volunteer work, true, but it taught him invaluable skills: negotiation, project management, and most critically, people management. Ramon likens it to a brilliant education tailored for his current role. “I learned the art of balancing empathy with the need to maintain pressure, a skill set I constantly utilize in my job. Without those 25 years in marching bands, I honestly doubt I could do what I do today.”

And when he’s not at work, orchestrating successful deals and implementing long-term solutions? He’s spending time with his family. But even in these moments, Ramon’s passion for orchestration, for understanding every detail, shines through. Particularly on rainy days, he enjoys diving into Allplan’s features, tinkering and playing around to familiarize himself with the software’s latest capabilities. “It helps me keep my skills sharp,” he says. He even uses Allplan for his personal projects like house renovations.

It’s not just an enterprise solution for him; it’s a hobby, a tool he can bend to his will, much like the musical instruments and managerial roles he has mastered over the years. And in this, Ramon becomes a symphonic embodiment of ALLPLAN’s ethos: he lives the problems he solves, and he knows the solutions he offers, intimately and completely. For him, every role – be it in sales, music, or family – is an instrument in a grand ensemble, and he has proven to be a maestro capable of making them all play in perfect harmony.

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