Franziska Schemmann joined Duetto in August 2021 as Director of Sales EMEA, focusing on the DACH market (Germany, Austria, and Switzerland), where the majority of her time is spent attracting new customers and building lasting relationships. Among the many aspects of the job she enjoys, the two main things are the fact that she gets to work closely with the “many bright people in our organization” and that she gets to “go out in the field, interact with potential customers and understand their pain points.”
As part of our ‘Women in Tech’ series, celebrating Women's History Month, we caught up with Franziska to find out more about her role, her work experience to date, and what the future holds.
What attracted you to Duetto and have we lived up to your expectations?
There are three main points…
Firstly, the product. Duetto has a very intriguing value proposition that is relatively easy to communicate to our customers. This is key for me. I have to be completely convinced myself that the product I am selling will create value for the customers.
Secondly, revenue management. Duetto offers me an opportunity to learn about a whole new and vital area for business success - revenue management. Before Duetto, I worked on digitizing the guest experience. The value we offered to customers was hard to quantify. Revenue management, on the other hand, is very analytical and numbers-driven. And so are the decision-makers you talk to. This triggered my eagerness to learn.
And thirdly, the Duetto team. The more interviews I had – and I had seven (!) - the more I was fascinated by the diverse set up of the Duetto team. Not only did they seem extremely welcoming and fun, but I left every interview thinking that I would love to a) share a beer with, and b) and most importantly - learn from that person!
And has Duetto lived up to it? Yes! I am deeply impressed by our HR team and every single Duetto who helped create the team spirit we enjoy, despite the majority of us working remotely and in different time zones.
Tell me a little about your background, your ‘pre-Duetto’ days!
An early love for travel and hospitality led me to study International Hospitality Management after High School and went on to work for Le Meridien Vienna and in corporate sales for Starwood.
I’ve always taken great interest and pleasure in beautiful places, hotel concepts, and creating guest experiences, and so when I heard about a startup in Berlin that wanted to take a modern approach to the guest experience and elevate the industry to the next digital level, I was all ears. Six years ago I made the switch from hospitality to hotel tech by joining conichi, and I have not regretted it since.
While Duetto is no longer a startup, we still have a lot of that ‘buzz’ about us. We work very closely and interdisciplinary, problems are solved as a team, and successes are celebrated as one. We take ourselves seriously enough and truly enjoy working together and with our solutions.
If you weren't doing this job, what do you think you'd be doing instead?
I would probably take a long time out traveling the globe collecting inspiration for a little dream of mine - to create and run my own hotel concept. Powered by Duetto’s revenue platform of course. At the moment though, I enjoy being exactly where I am, helping Duetto become the market leader in DACH.
As a woman in tech, what do you feel are the biggest challenges facing women who want to pursue a career in this industry?
I can say from my own experience so far that the hospitality industry is still very much male-dominated. Especially when you work in sales selling tech products to the C-level. Thus, as a young woman in hotel tech, you occasionally feel like the odd-one-out.
In the past, it seemed like some colleagues would mistake my kindness for weakness. But what it comes down to is that you have to believe in yourself, be confident in your company, the value that you are creating, and your competence, and believe that the way you are doing things is the right way for you.
At Duetto, I am surrounded by strong, intelligent, and creative women. 46% of Duettos are female. If we look around at other hotel tech providers and hotel associations we can see a trend towards more women taking leading roles. However, there is still a long way to go for us as people and as an industry to embrace diversity and take our place at the table where decisions are made.
What’s been your biggest achievement, professionally, so far?
To me, big achievements are a result of solving highly difficult situations. Two situations come to mind. First, I was managing an extremely complex sales process once, where multiple stakeholders were involved, all having very diverse interests in the outcome of the process. By listening closely and understanding the individual risk involved, I could make sure to involve the right stakeholders on my side, address those risks openly, ease the pain and finally reach common ground. This complex sales process led to an extremely honest, equal, and very successful partnership that I am still happy to look back on.
Second, when my previous employer was acquired and the team was tasked to take over and makeover an existing department, there was some tension. Looking back, I am extremely proud of what we achieved as a team. We stayed true to ourselves, always pushed for better ways to do things, and were never too proud to admit wrong turns.
These achievements got me where I am today. More than ever, I am excited to write new success stories with Duetto, our strong solution, bright team, and exciting existing and potential partners.
What goals are you still working towards smashing?
Now that we have won first place for best RMS in 2022 with Hotel Tech Report, and our customer retention rate is at 99%, our goal in DACH is to become the market leader.
Want to join a team that sees talent not gender, and believes in rewarding on merit alone? Check out our Careers Page for our current openings.