Marianne Späne: Hard working, Persistent, and Passionate Leader

One need to understand one’s market segments that one is dealing with and it is essential to have a clear idea about one’s target customers. If one combines this know-how with market outlook analysis and industry understanding one paves the way to the right target audience. On the other side one should also need to understand the requirements of the staff needed to have the right skills to get in touch with the target audience. One such cognizant marketing leader is Marianne Späne. She joined the Siegfried Group in 2004 and was appointed Global Head of Business Development, Marketing & Sales, Member of the Executive Committee since March 2010.

Marianne Späne felt very early that she has a very positive charisma that can motivate other people and combined with her guiding principle to be hard working and fair as well as open or even eager to be involved in changes she had the dream to be an influential leader. At an early age she wanted to get a broad understanding of the different departments in a Company. Initially she started in Supply Chain positions in the cosmetic environment, then changed to Business intelligence and financial analysis in the chemical world and gathered experience in Business development in the pharma world. With all this experience she got the chance to be appointed Head of the Pharma Division. On her long path she always invested in education like leadership, finance and marketing next to her 150% job. This combination brought her 15 Years ago into global leadership role. To be successful she believes that one needs to be hard working and persistent but also passionate for what one is doing.

During her tenure with Siegfried, she has served in numerous roles, including heading the Siegfried Drug Product Division, including Operation, R&D, Regulatory Services and Business Development Department. After 25 years in the business, including several years at Aceto, she has managed projects throughout the value chain from chemical intermediates and steriles to biologics. She credits her success in the industry to her ability to look at the market with new eyes and a fresh perspective as well as strong engagement and passion for the work she does. By analyzing opportunities through a new lens, she has brought in new business that was not previously thought about.

Customization of Services 

At Siegfried Group Marianne along with her team is involved in the pharmaceutical business that offers products and services. One segment has own developed products and the other segment offers company’s technology to develop pharmaceutical products according to the demand of audience. Company uses two different sales teams the one who has very dominant sales and market skills the other one who knows deep technology with high service level thinking. To customize the different offerings to appeal to the target audience she also prioritizes Business Outlook Intelligence and understanding of Size, Geography and Culture of customers.

Walking the Talk 

Marianne considers it is important to have a deep knowledge about the market environment and company’s customers’ needs. She focuses on building up relationship with company’s customers and analyzing their needs and requirements to be in a position to offer customized solutions. She says that company’s spirit is walking the talk. In her own words, “We understand the market, identify opportunities, explain requirements and needs to the departments, define business and legal terms, agree with customers about contracts and accompany him/her throughout the whole journey. BD/Sales/Marketing is for me and the team much more than “Selling”….” 

Learning through Experiences 

According to Marianne, as a Sales and Business Development person one is supposed to be very good in communication, relationship building combined in company’s business with technical and financial knowledge accompanied with passion for what one is doing. She explains that she learned how to cope with pressure, deception and hope through various learning experiences and she never give up finding a solution. She says, “keep your motivation, follow your target consequently and you will be successful.”  

Being Decisive and Authentic 

Marianne says that as a leader one is a role model and one needs to make many decisions. She believes that one should learn very quickly and sufficiently to have convincing arguments for one’s decision. She encourages forming a team that is heterogeneous and not homogenous to have enough constructive discussions within one’s team. She says it can be little bit more difficult to manage but one will profit from a strong team that can work independently and is well prepared for difficult negotiations. She advises to be authentic even amidst challenges as well. She reminds sometimes silence is a stronger means than speaking and says that combination can make one more successful.

Being Open to Learning 

Next to her actual global role to strengthen and grow the business of her company Marianne is interested to make use of her knowledge and experience in interesting Board positions. She says, “Never stand still, be open for changes and never stop learning.”

Marianne advises emerging marketing leaders to think about what are one’s strengths and weaknesses and start to develop one’s strengths and cope with one’s weakness. She suggests working hard and having fun in what one is doing and one will be successful. She encourages accepting failures and seeing them as experience to grow. She emphasizes to never give up and follow one’s target. She asks to develop one’s personality but also reminds to stay authentic. She advises to celebrate successes but never rest. She asks to be always open to always have the track with one’s environment.

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