A survey by Briggs Equipment, the UK's national Cat® Lift Truck dealer, has revealed that when it comes to making buying decisions, customers rate the quality of sales force representation as crucial, with 80% of larger customers rating it as important. Briggs' survey also found that when it comes to the sales team, customers' foremost priority is knowledge and ability to provide advice on the right truck.
Customers' demands mean that materials handling companies need to rise to the challenge and recruit and employ high calibre sales people, if they are to meet customer expectations. However, Briggs Equipment has decided rather than recruiting externally, its priority is to draw on its internal pool of talent. It has therefore launched an internal recruitment drive and developed a bespoke 12 week Trainee Sales Programme.
Briggs' mission is to be its customers' first choice of service provider. This means that its sales force must have a 'right first time' approach, be reliable and responsive to customers' needs, deliver on promises and take ownership and accountability for customers' problems.
“As Caterpillar® Lift Trucks exclusive UK distributor, we do far more than sell lift trucks. We provide complete solutions for our customers,” says Greg Mulhearn, Briggs' national sales and marketing director. “Our people create relationships with our customers and it is the quality of that relationship that dictates our customers' experience of Briggs. We have over 900 sales and service staff who are in regular daily contact with our customers from the Isle of Wight to the Shetland Isles. They create over 66,000 'moments of truth' with our customers every year. We want every one of those moments to be positive and to enhance the customers' experience of working with Briggs.”
A company with strong values, it is important for Briggs to be able to promote from within. Yet it was not prepared for the response it received when it advertised internally for five Trainee Sales positions, with twenty four members of staff applying.
The successful applicants, who were selected for their raw talent and scope for high potential, were drawn from across the business from areas including field service engineer, sales support and customer services. They are Leanne Teesdale, Dan Carley, Lee Hodgson, Nigel Cave and Dave Everall.
“We are committed to investing in our people and are delighted with the response, which reflects the enthusiasm of people in Briggs for new challenges,” says Peter Fanning, director of human resources. “The intensive 12 week training programme covers all aspects of our business and at the end of it the trainees will have a complete understanding of the internal business operations, our products as well as the selling process. It is not just about producing good salespeople, but about giving them a holistic view of our business.”
The programme has been designed to build the trainees selling skills, product and company knowledge and teach them the art of building superb customer relations. The individuals will spend in-depth time across all departments and will conduct project work that will benefit the business and further their own understanding.
Briggs Equipment UK
Briggs Equipment UK, with its acquisition of Finning Materials Handling, became the sole distributor of Caterpillar counterbalance trucks and warehouse equipment in the UK, offering a range of trucks suitable for all applications – over 130 types of materials handling equipment in total. The company, which is head quartered in Cannock, provides innovative, tailored and cost effective solutions for new or used lift trucks, to buy, lease or short-term hire along with comprehensive customer support services.
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