How to build a BNZSA Rocker

By Paul Briggs, Director Global Corporate Development

If you know anything about BNZSA, you’ll know that rock music has been a huge inspiration for us. We recently launched our first ever song, Together We Rock, which is an ode to our company slogan, and we refer to every single one of our employees as a BNZSA Rocker.  

Like all the best bands, we got started in a garage. Our CEO, founder and frontman Brahim Samhoud explains why rock music is so important to him: “I love the image of the rock band. A group of people who might not have a lot in common apart from their single goal to work together and produce an incredible result that inspires and delights the crowd. I hope that’s what we do here every day – our multinational, multilingual teams come together to get great results for our clients”.

“I also firmly believe that anyone has the potential to be a great BNZSA Rocker. I challenged our onboarding team to come up with a programme that any person from any professional background can jump into. With the right attitude and the right support, anyone has the potential to excel here at BNZSA”.

This has been even more important as we prepared to scale fast! From March 2020 to now, we have grown our headcount by almost 400%. We want to fill people with the BNZSA spirit as quickly as possible and give them the tools they need to succeed from Day 1.

What makes a BNZSA Rocker?

There is no magic formula to create a BNZSA Rocker. Some people come with years of experience in B2B Sales, others can apply their skills from customer service, hospitality or other industries. Some people have many master's degrees and others are fresh from school. We look for people who have the drive and ambition to grow with us.

The people who succeed with us are those who live by the four Core BNZSA Values:

How do we build a BNZSA Rocker?

We hired the amazing Álvaro Aldana three years ago to help us grow our onboarding process. Álvaro brings his experience as a learning and development manager from Starbucks to industrialise our onboarding and get our Rockers performing fast.

This training mostly focuses on those who will take on roles as BDRs, but we are quickly adding programmes for the digital, development and data teams, as well as a stream for new management positions.

We currently onboard up to 40 Rockers a month and have just two weeks to get them ready for the intense world of B2B lead generation.

Week 1: The tools for success

Week 1 focuses on instilling the BNZSA Values and culture – we spend a lot of time talking about our history, showcasing role models in the company and sharing our vision for the future. Being coachable and ready to grow is also an essential element of this week, so we include an immensely popular module called “Learning How to Learn.” There´s a strong focus on the basics of the IT products required by businesses so that any Rocker can prepared for whatever our clients throw at them.

During this first week we ensure that the new Rockers acquire all the basics that they will need to start getting the job done while also giving them space to absorb and reflect.

We finally also make sure that we find some opportunities to decompress with colleagues at our weekly Friday barbecue.

Week 2: Learning by doing

Week 2 is when things get serious. The best way to learn is to get on the phone and out in the market talking to potential IT buyers. Our newbies will first do some shadowing and role playing before they jump straight in and receive live coaching on their conversations. We support them with additional workshops on building connections over the phone, handling objections and tackling difficult situations – all using real examples from the group’s experience. Pretty much all of our newbies will make their first leads during this week – a huge confidence builder that prepares them for what comes next!

By their second Friday with us, we have a whole new batch of BNZSA Rockers ready and waiting to join the band!

Week 3 and beyond: the learning never stops

From Week 3, our new Rockers join the rest of the team and enter our ongoing coaching and training programme. We offer product trainings and team learning sessions as needed, as well as one-to-one coaching. Everyone at BNZSA also has access to a huge library of content via our Learning Management System Skillsoft Percipio – Rockers can work on their current skills gaps and take courses that help them meet their development goals for the future.

Together We Learn!


BNZSA Appoints Seasoned IT B2B Sales and Marketing Leader Paul Briggs as Director, Global Corporate Development

Leading European B2B IT sales and marketing agency, BNZSA, has appointed Paul Briggs as Director of Global Corporate Development to augment its management team and accelerate its hypergrowth trajectory.

BNZSA is one of Europe’s largest B2B marketing agencies and specialises in tele-based demand generation services with more than 100 clients which include Acer, Dell, Fujitsu, HP, Intel, Juniper Networks, Oracle, Samsung and SAP. The company is in a period of sustained growth, recording 274 percent year-on-year revenue growth in Q2 2021 and is forecasting more than 300 percent annual revenue growth by year-end.

Briggs has more than two decades of experience in B2B technology starting as a journalist, then becoming a publisher for leading US, UK and European IT trade publications.

After leaving publishing, Briggs set up his own consultancy business to help marketing, media and technology companies develop a presence in EMEA and APAC and implement successful go-to-market strategies – organically, via partnerships and through mergers and acquisitions.

“I’m extremely excited to welcome Paul to the team – especially at this time of hypergrowth for the company,” said Brahim Samhoud, CEO of BNZSA. “His extensive experience in business development will help us make the right strategic alliances to extend our value proposition to clients as well as furthering our geographical and vertical reach.”

Briggs began his career as a journalist for Computer Business Review and has written for and edited many leading European IT titles within VNU Business Publications, Ziff-Davis, IDG and Reed Business Information. He later became the publisher of leading trade publications including ComputerWorldUK and Computer Weekly

Briggs set up his consulting business, Media Mantra in 2011. One of his first clients was Madison Logic where he was responsible for its EMEA business and then as an employee the General Manager of its EMEA and APAC business. At a Madison Logic he was one of the first suppliers to offer customers content syndication based on intent data. He also helped roll-out an automated platform for account-based marketing. Briggs then moved on to performing a similar pan-European General Manager role at Selling Simplified.

“I’ve worked with BNZSA since its inception and have developed close professional ties with many of the team over the last eight years,” Briggs added. “I’m thrilled to be joining the organisation in a period of rapid growth and innovative development. I’m looking forward to devoting a lot more of my time to growing the BNZSA partnership ecosystem to accelerate its international growth.”

BNZSA in Numbers


BNZSA is a leading EMEA marketing agency specialising in demand generation services with a team of more than 300 who are experts in delivering qualified, sales-ready leads. It was established in 2013 and has grown rapidly over eight years. The company is based in Madrid, Spain, and has offices in the UK, France and Morocco. It invests heavily in its agents who are all native language speakers and deliver client campaigns in 16 languages globally. In addition to the uniquely human and personal dimension of the company, BNZSA is a leader in the application of technology to underpin its value proposition. It built its own bespoke CRM platform, and is a pioneer in the use of AI, NLP and ML technologies.


Clive Savage, Vice President, Communications, BNZSA,, +44 (0)203 7394982, +44 (0)7951 328740

BNZSA Maintains Hypergrowth Trajectory Recording 274 Percent Year-On-Year Revenue Uptick in Q2 and 176 Percent Growth Year-to-Date

Headcount Increased by 163 in Q2 to Enable Significant New Business Delivery and Client Enrichment

Leading European B2B IT sales and marketing agency, BNZSA, confirmed that it is in a phase of hypergrowth by delivering 274 percent year-on-year revenue growth in Q2 2021, and booking 176 percent year-to-date growth. BNZSA forecasts 300 percent annual revenue growth by year-end.

Key Q2 milestones included:

BNZSA is one of Europe’s largest B2B marketing agencies and specialises in tele-based demand generation. It is expert in delivering qualified, sales-ready leads to many of the world’s leading technology brands, deploying campaigns globally in 16 native languages. BNZSA has more than 100 clients, which include Acer, Dell, Fujitsu, HP, Intel, Juniper Networks, Oracle, Samsung and SAP.

“Coming off the back of a record-breaking 2020, we planned for 2021 to be a year of hypergrowth,” said Brahim Samhoud, BNZSA’s CEO and Founder. “By January a lot of meticulous planning had been done – in business development, client services, data, IT and HR – to ensure that we are able to effortlessly scale-up throughout the year and meet unprecedented client demand.

“The phenomenal performance in the first half of the year demonstrates the unique value BNZSA brings to the B2B IT lead generation marketplace. It also indicates that demand for enterprise hardware and software solutions is very strong globally. We are seeing businesses aggressively investing in their infrastructures to enable their teams to operate effectively from wherever, and to ramp-up their agility in responding to customer needs.”

BNZSA’s teams are able to physically qualify and route a lead within hours of it being generated to provide client-side sales reps with pipelines that have a 70 percent led-to-conversion rate.

“BNZSA is built on four core values – people, highest quality, extra mile and changing the industry,” Brahim added. “Firstly, our business is all about people and the relationships we build with clients and their prospects. We’re obsessed with the quality of the information we hold, how we use it and the insights it brings to client programmes – as well as the quality service we deliver daily. Going the extra mile is not a nice to have, it’s how we operate. Bring all of this together and we’re changing the industry by default.”

Arnaud Burel, Channel & Distribution Manager France/North Africa at leading wireless edge solutions provider, Cradlepoint, concluded, “What’s really different about BNZSA is that they don’t just deliver leads, they deliver meetings – and meetings that convert. That is truly unique. It means that my team is able to focus on nurturing the great relationship that BNZSA’s agents have already developed. It shortens the sales cycle and enriches opportunities.”

BNZSA in Numbers


BNZSA is a leading EMEA marketing agency specialising in tele-based demand generation with a team of more than 300 who are experts in delivering qualified, sales-ready leads. It was established in 2013 and has grown rapidly over eight years. The company is based in Madrid, Spain, and has offices in the UK, France and Morocco. It invests heavily in its agents who are all native language speakers and deliver client campaigns in 16 languages globally. In addition to the uniquely human and personal dimension of the company, BNZSA is a leader in the application of technology to underpin its value proposition. It built its own bespoke CRM platform, and is a pioneer in the use of AI, NLP and ML technologies.

Brahim Samhoud: A Man Driven by Four Core Values

I sat down with Brahim Samhoud, CEO and founder of BNZSA, to understand his motivations, why BNZSA and how it is changing the industry.

Firstly, maybe a silly question. What does BNZSA stand for?

It stands for my family initials. My name, Brahim, my son Noa, my daughter Zoe and SA for our surname. It’s not the best name in the world, and I didn’t consult an expensive branding agency. But it is personal to me and I hope it means a lot for many of our team. You could say that BNZSA is another one of my children, whose eighth birthday we celebrate this month!

Calling the company BNZSA reminds me every day why we’re doing it. It’s personal to me. It drives me every day because I want my kids to be proud of what their father has achieved, to have a legacy, and maybe for them to join and lead us one day.

Why did you step away from a progressively senior career path to set-up a one-man shop in your garage?

I wanted to create a company with a story, to be a success on my own terms, but also to build something with meaning. I didn’t build it with an exit strategy in mind. If it was all about money, then I could have gone anywhere to make a lot of cash. No, it was all about building something worthwhile, a company that stands for something more.

I want BNZSA to be the best at what it does. I want it to be a good company with values where people are treated fairly and with respect.

So, I grabbed all the things I’d learned from past experiences; I did a really strong analysis of what I would like this company to stand for. I came up with four core values which still stand today and inform everything we do: people, highest quality, extra mile, and change the industry.

Eight years later, we’re nearly 280 people with offices in four countries and delivering $1.5 billion to clients’ pipelines.

Let’s start with people. Can you tell me more about your thinking here?

The first thing that came to my mind was people. Business. Society. It’s all about people. It’s not just about the people in the company, but also the people we deal with as a company – our clients and their prospects.

A big motivation for me is that when I was younger it took me about 10 years to go from a junior position into management. I wanted to build an environment where anyone can learn, develop and thrive - and quickly. Another thing about people is that when you work in bigger environments, it becomes all about politics. It’s more about how many shoulders you stand on rather than how many people you can bring to the next level.

I also wanted to create something with respect for our various cultures. I don’t care about your background, if you’re highly motivated and you want to be successful, then this is the place for you. I don’t care if you’ve been to Harvard or whatever you’ve done in the past – your gender, religion, ethnic background, sexuality or age. It doesn’t matter to me.

I want to give our people the opportunity to be rock stars. There are so many people in the world who have ability but are never given the opportunity to shine.

Then it becomes about the highest quality and the extra mile. These tie together because people will only produce the highest quality and go the extra mile when they are motivated to do so.

The extra mile is a mindset where you are forcing yourself to go further. To get out of your comfort zone. It’s not all about doing more, it’s around training yourself to think outside of your box. It’s about training your brain to see things differently, because you know that you’re not limited by anything.

Obviously, the extra mile creates great results, but it’s about the mindset that comes out of people who are motivated, driven to succeed and to think differently. That creates a process that goes the extra mile.

So, when you take these three things together – people, highest quality and extra mile – you can pretty much change anything you want. I’m not going to try and change the world, but I am committed to changing the industry we’re working in.

If you put all those things together, it’s all about helping our clients – to sell more, better and faster.

So that that was your objective and purpose from day one?

No. when I started, it was all about crunching data better than others. We evolved because a client at the time said we love what you do with the data, but can you have someone calling on the data? So, I hired an agent to make some calls. After about three weeks the client called to say that the calls really weren’t any good. I asked for recording and I was appalled at what I heard. I realised there and then that if I wanted much higher quality, I had to do it myself. Basically, I had to review my mission statement.

I took it on myself. I was buying data and selling data all over the world. I started the day in Japan and ended it in the USA. Every single cent I made was reinvested into the company.

As we grew, I needed an office, I needed desks, computers and phones. We started with two to three people on the phones. That’s how BNZSA started growing and evolving into a call centre based on the highest quality data.

I also began to build up a team of ex-colleagues who started working from their couches and in time relocated to Madrid. They are still with me and are trusted leaders – Cristina Biet, Chief Production Officer, her husband Alex who heads our IT and Gina Goanta who heads data. That was nearly eight years-ago and we’ve been together ever since. We have hired nearly 280 people since then – many are young and enthusiastic, and willing to learn and develop. We also have some ‘grey hairs’ with many years of industry experience. It’s a great mix.

How did you get from the garage in France to Madrid?

Madrid has a good mix of international people with many languages and cultures. It’s an open and welcoming place, and I knew that it's a place where foreigners would want to come to live as we grew. People are happy to come to Madrid for a job, it’s a place to work, not so much to party – but it still has great arts and culture.

Also, my best friend lives in Madrid – so that helped as well. Let’s be clear, it’s not all about the weather either. It’s a nice by-product, but it’s less important, and actually, it gets quite cold here in the winter.

Does Madrid give you a good pool of international talent?

Madrid is excellent for growing a business like BNZSA. There are a lot of ex-pats - which gives us our local language capabilities, and I believe it's comparable with other major European locations.

Right now, if I pooled the salaries that we offer to our people, we are comparable to London or Paris – we’re on par. And because I’m paying people at the level I am, I can attract great talent and compete internationally. For example, when the minimum wage for call centres was increased by about 33 percent a few years ago, we didn’t have to readjust our pay ranges at all.

It‘s about being able to afford to pay people the right amount of money for them to be motivated and focused, happy where they live – so they can easily live the four core values.

You’re a career sales guy. How come you’re leading a marketing agency?

Our biggest strength as a company is that we are not dictated to by the market. We’re not looking at what others are doing. We’re looking at the overall process, and then saying with the eyes of a salesperson – what would I like to change? We’re an agency providing marketing services, but with a very commercially minded approach.

The critical lens is ‘does what we’re doing going to help me sell more, better and faster?’ If the answer is yes, then we should do it. The obsession about sales processes is coming from a sales point of view, not a marketing point of view. I’m a sales guy who has access to a marketing engine. It means that as a company we can easily bridge the gap between marketing and sales. This works well for us as a company, but it also helps our clients.

My focus is foremost about asking what does my client need, and then aligning our skills and offering to meet those needs.

Another important thing about this approach is that we can easily sit down with both the marketing and the sales director. In fact, where we normally begin client relationships with marketing, I always say let’s get everyone around the table so I can fully understand what everyone’s needs are and deliver a solution for the enterprise, not just one function.

BNZSA seems to have carved itself a niche in the agency world. Can you elaborate?

Most agencies are run by the creative guys, the marketing guys or the financial guys. BNZSA is run by a sales guy, so we really do have a deeper and wider perspective on client needs.

Also, it’s important to understand that we are a direct marketing agency. We don’t go up against the creative agencies. We accept that we work in the not-so-glamourous part of marketing. Everybody hates data. Everybody hates cold calling. But that’s the job we’re doing and we’re taking it to a whole new level as we are so specialised in it. And personally, I love data!

Our clients are always telling us ‘we’re getting leads, but the leads aren’t converting’. That’s where we come it. We have weekly calls with our clients’ sales reps where our agents present them with their pipeline. You don’t get more insight than that.

BNZSA is now adding digital to the core telemarketing and data engine. Is BNZSA now going against the digital agencies?

No. The reason to add digital to bring another dimension to our client prospects’ experience with us. To be end-to-end, we need to engage with them digitally as well as on the phone. Plus, our data is so rich, we can ensure that the digital programmes are really relevant and enhance the overall experience with us. We look at the funnel as a whole and need to have everything in-house.

It’s the same when we see how bad other companies are with data or telemarketing. We're bringing the same approach to the highest quality to the whole experience. We don’t force irrelevant content on prospects. We only provide material that’s relevant and useful to them. What we’re doing is powered by real people for real people.

How does BNZSA tie-up the client and prospect’s experience?

That’s the icing on the cake, and really is the BNZSA difference – we call it the 'warm handover'.

Our data team is constantly cleaning the CRM so the insight we have is both the highest compliance, but very rich. We’re engaging digitally and also having many calls with prospects to develop the relationships – understanding and trust. We're informing our clients’ reps on a weekly basis of how their pipelines are developing and then when the time is right, we have what we call a warm handover.

The warm handover is a value-add like no other and ensures that client sales reps and their prospects are a long way down the path to a deal before they ever meet one another.

In researching and engaging with prospects, our agents make many calls into client companies over time. Our teams map buying committees, develop personal relationships, understanding and trust with budget holders, decision makers and influencers. We only host three-way meetings between clients and prospects when we have a complete picture of the sales opportunity – which delivers conversion rates unprecedented in the industry.

You talked about real people working for real people. Can you tell me more about training and development?

The great thing about generating a lot of cash is that we can reinvest it into the business. Training is very important to us because it’s our agents that deliver success for BNZSA and our clients.

For instance, five or six years ago it might take three months for a new agent to be up-to-speed, confident and effective. Now with our investment into on-boarding, that timeframe is more like two weeks. This means that a brand-new agent is contributing almost immediately and is a productive part of the team rather than being a cost to the organisation.

It comes back to always trying to find ways to do things better, faster and more efficiently. It’s back to the core values – take care of the people, they will go the extra mile to deliver the highest quality, and in doing so, we’re changing the industry.

What is it that really motivates you personally?

My personal philosophy is very simple - you can only eat with one spoon at a time. I don’t want four sports cars or seven villas or yachts – or to travel on a private jet. Actually, I would quite like the jet from time to time, but I don’t have to and it’s not good for my carbon footprint!

I’m excited when something contributes to taking us toward my vision for the organisation and how I want the organisation to be. I take a lot of pride when I see people join the company and become incredible at what they do and move up in the business. I’m really proud of the people and the teams that surround me and how they are stepping-up and supporting one another. But I also want everyone who works for BNZSA to be well treated and proud to say they work here. I want them to feel proud of their achievements at BNZSA.

Finally, what vision do you have for BNZSA in say, three to five years?

Simple really. To keep doing what we’re doing. To grow. To live our core values and help our clients to sell more, better and faster.

Learning from a legend: my conversation with David Cote

Call me boring, but there’s nothing I enjoy more than talking about business strategy and exploring new ways to power growth.

It’s even better when I get to pick the brain of a business legend, and a few weeks ago I was lucky enough to have a one-to-one with David Cote, former CEO of Honeywell and current Chairman of Vertiv.

David’s new book Winning Now, Winning Later is a modern business classic, and I could barely believe that I won this opportunity through the HarperCollins Leadership Book Club. Even now, it seems at times like a very strange dream since David did the whole conversation whilst enjoying a pre-workout cigar!

The interaction was completely inspiring – we got on so well that we continued way beyond the scheduled 30 minutes. We talked about the challenges of growing a company, the direct marketing business model and how to make time for big ideas, like his famous Honeywell (and now Vertiv) Operating System.

Here are some of the topics we touched on, and the things I’ll be taking away:

Running a growing small company is just as hard as running a big one

I breathed a sigh of relief when David brought this up – I’d been feeling our growing pains a little this year as we expanded beyond 200 employees and wondered if it was just me.

The thing with this size is that you have to learn that you can’t control everything, and your people have to be empowered and motivated to push for increasing profitability through lower costs and higher quality.

We’ve been lucky enough to grow without too much hierarchy, but we need to keep a constant eye on our processes to make sure they’re fit for purpose as we grow.

Building a change culture requires cross-functional teams

Change is constant; there is no endpoint. We have to bake this into our culture and make sure everyone is comfortable with that. Lately we’ve been running and running in the hope that things “settle down”, but we need to make sure that we keep that agility and flexibility without burning out.

I loved talking to David about how to prepare a team to live like this. His advice was to pick just one process to begin with, then build a cross-functional team of stakeholders to work on it. It’s important to bring in different viewpoints, since as David says, “the obvious is not always obvious to the person who has to solve the problem.”

By focusing on just one process to begin with, we’re more likely to have a success that will empower the team to move forward with the intent for future change.

Think of new strategies and models as part of your R&D

A tough challenge for most entrepreneurs is innovation – not just in terms of your product or service, but also with regard to pricing. This can be super sensitive as you’re really putting your profitability at risk; I certainly didn’t get into this business to lose money!

David made a suggestion for a new pricing model that might work in the direct marketing industry, and at first, I’m embarrassed to say that I went straight on the defensive with all the reasons it wouldn’t work.

As we discussed it further, however, I really saw his point that pricing can and should be something that we experiment with. Any risks that we take could be considered an investment in R&D – if we crack the code and find a more profitable pricing model, that could be totally transformational!

There’s so much more I could say about our conversation but I’ll leave it there for now. I’ll share a few clips from the recording over the next few days – let me know if you have any questions and let’s have a debate about some of these big ideas!

Finally, thank you so much to Rainer Stiller for advising me to pick up David’s book in the first place!