10 Jan 2019

2018: What a year it has been!

By: Frank Gielen

About customers, colleagues, partners, beer and more fun stuff!


January is always a great moment to look back on the previous year. For me personally 2018 was a very exciting year in which I said “goodbye” to life as an employee and said “hello” to being self-employed as a co-owner of Talent Peaks. After the first year it is safe to say that this was an excellent choice and I am still grateful for the opportunity Joram and Stijn gave me to become a partner! Looking back on this first year at Talent Peaks there are a couple of things that really stood out for me:

We welcomed 6 new colleagues

At Talent Peaks we have the vision to ‘hire for personality, train for skills’ and therefore have the DNA-match as highest priority when onboarding new colleagues. For me, the team really feels like a second family, although we have completely different personalities and competences. Blue, green, red and yellow, we got ‘em all! However, without any exception, my colleagues have an enormous drive to support customers in the best way and deliver quality projects by mainly being themselves.

To enable our growth and to strengthen our consultant team and to set up a professional marketing team, we hired 6 new colleagues last year. Every single one of them experienced the familiar feeling since joining Talent Peaks. I found it quite interesting to see how this collegial ‘stickiness’ would work without having an actual office, as we have people living from Gent till Zuidlaren, from Amsterdam till Weert. We therefore invest a lot in meeting each other (in remote offices and the pub) and keeping up the team spirit. Also, we organize two annual family events where we bring along our partners and kids, since they are the essential pillar for us all to be successful.

We became a Salesforce Gold Partner

Last year we managed to jump from registered Salesforce partner directly to Gold Partner, which was quite awesome. We invested in the relationship with the Salesforce sales teams in the Netherlands, Belgium and Ireland, and noticed that our industry expertise really helped us to be involved in the right deals. As a Salesforce partner focus is key because you can not be a rockstar in all products and industries.

Being part of the pre-sales trailblazer programs opened a complete new network of solution engineers and partner consultants to work with on the technical side. Both at London Calling and Dreamforce our consultants were present to absorb the Ohana feeling and learn new things. Besides growing in knowledge and certification I think every consultant who works with Salesforce should get the opportunity to visit Dreamforce at least once, and that is exactly our goal the next years!

We scored an 8,52 on customer satisfaction

From day one onwards we are measuring customer satisfaction for every project we deliver. We value feedback and want to learn how to improve our skills and our approach. In 2018 we reached a satisfaction score of 8,52 out of 10 on finished projects. This makes us very proud since happy customers are our a key focus. Feedback also gives us vital information with which we can constantly improve our services. It is also good to see that customers recognize our core values (having fun, making impact and being a guide) in the way our team is working with them. That means our consultants are really an ambassador of our corporate identity.

We achieved 110% on revenue targets

We started 2018 with a challenging revenue target and managed to overachieve on this target with no less than 10%. Everybody worked hard (sometimes maybe even a bit too hard) to help us reach these goals. For many consultancy firms utilization is a key performance indicator for their consultants, at Talent Peaks we value a different approach. We work as a team, so we perform as a team, and thus we benefit as a team. Furthermore, some of our consultants did a great job implementing or optimizing our internal marketing automation, CRM and PSA, so in our perception it is not fair to talk about ‘non-billable’ there.

We launched our own Tripel Peaks beer

I am a big fan of craft beer, and brewing my own beer was definitely on my bucket list. So when I joined Talent Peaks one of the first things I said was “Guys, we need our own beer!” Together with Remy from ‘Brouwerij Het Hert’ we launched a tasty Belgian tripel named ‘Tripel Peaks’. The beer contains ingredients from both Belgium and the Netherlands (just like our company does) and currently has a nice 3,82/5,00 rating on Untappd.

We sponsored basketball talent Gilles & his brothers

When we decided to brew our own beer, we did not just want to make a beer and give it away to customers and partners, we wanted to do more. We wanted to contribute to society with our beer, but how? Fortunately, we got into contact with Gilles Dupont. Gilles is a super-gifted basketball player who plays on the highest level in Belgium. Together with his two brothers Robin and Floris, Gilles is part of the Belgian Special Olympics Basketball Team. In the summer of 2019 Gilles and his team will travel to Abu Dhabi to participate in the Special Olympics.

That trip needed funding. So that is exactly what we did, we donated 650 bottles of Tripel Peaks for them to fund their Road to Abu Dhabi. We are very proud to say that the three brothers managed to reach their targets and are all set to go to Abu Dhabi. For me an eye opening moment was speaking to Gilles’ mother during our Talent Peaks family event. The impact our gesture had on them was touching and it felt really good to give such a personal contribution to someone’s life goals and hear about the warmth they experienced from our Talent Peaks family.

Dublin here we come!

Last year we told the team that overachieving a 110% on revenue targets would mean that the whole team would go away for a weekend trip, our CPO (Chief Party Officer) would be responsible to define where we would go. In all honesty, I managed to get a little saying in the location, so we are going to Dublin in February! Visiting the Salesforce office on Friday and exploring the city and Temple Bar until Sunday morning.

It is great to get the whole team out to blow off some steam after a year’s hard work, enjoying the Irish sounds and Guinness pints. #doingcoolstuffwithcoolpeople Why I decided to join Talent Peaks? Simple: “I just want to do cool stuff with cool people!” And this is still true. Even better: we have adopted this slogan as our own at Talent Peaks. Life is very simple, do stuff you like with people you like, both in personal life as well as business life, that is the essence to really enjoy what you are doing!

Come have a drink!

At Talent Peaks we are always looking for cool people, so if you are looking for a new career challenge, or if you’re facing business challenges, let’s have a coffee or a Tripel Peaks!