Developing the future talent for the automotive sector is high on the agenda of many businesses and a programme to attract and develop new talent among commercial vehicles sales teams has scooped a top award.                                           

Top award for automotive talent development programme

19th November 2018

Kathryn Searle

Top award for automotive talent development programme

Developing the future talent for the automotive sector is high on the agenda of many businesses and a programme to attract and develop new talent among commercial vehicles sales teams has scooped a top award.

The Van Talent programme, created in partnership between Mercedes-Benz Vans and by the team here at RTS Group, has scooped a prestigious BESMA, or British Excellence in Sales Management Awards. The programme’s aim is to attract and nurture new talent for the sales division of Mercedes-Benz Vans UK dealerships.

The BESMAs are run by the Institute of Sales Management, ISM, which represents sales professionals in the UK and internationally.

The Van Talent programme won the Sales Development Programme of the Year Award, beating off stiff competition from seven other finalists.

Simon Snowdon, our Van Talent Programme & Development Consultant, says the award is a great tribute to the success of the programme, which has now been running for five years and so far attracted more than 80 people.

“We worked with Mercedes-Benz Vans to create the programme to help attract new, talented people into van sales who hadn’t worked in the automotive sector before. We start two cohorts each year, and the programme takes two years to complete. It’s been very successful, and our cohorts have comprised people from all walks of life; we have graduates, people who’ve worked in retail, and a former traffic warden,” says Simon.

“Its success is down to how comprehensive a programme it is. Everyone on the programme has a business manager as well as a dedicated Mercedes-Benz mentor, they have to complete practical assessments and a business improvement project. At the end, the graduates attain recognised qualifications – a C-Sales accreditation from Daimler and an ISM level 3 in sales management.”

Vikki Aitchison, Training Manager, Mercedes-Benz Vans UK Ltd, adds: “We are very proud of the Van Talent Development programme and to have received an award is testament to the hard work that went into creating the training. Watching the cohorts completing the programme is a great reward and we enjoy following their career within the dealer network.”

Along with Simon, representatives from RTS Group and Mercedes-Benz Vans UK were presented with their award from comedian Jack Dee at a ceremony in London.

You can read more about the Van Talent programme here. If you’re interested in learning and development to attract new talent from beyond the automotive sector, to help future-proof your business, please get in touch with the team.

Kathryn Searle

Kat is RTS Group’s director of learning and development, overseeing our solutions, strategy, design, delivery and quality, and she works closely with the operations director. She also oversees a number of the client accounts.

Kat’s background is in learning and development, partly in the automotive sector and also for a large computer/IT corporate – one multi-million pound project Kat managed was the 2001 Census. Her first ever job was also in automotive, as her father owned a car dealership for a short period of time and Kat was paid to clean cars!

When she’s in the office, Kat sits with the central services team to catch up, and also spends a lot of time in meetings. She describes herself as “calm” and she is also very patient. Kat’s spare time revolves around family life with her two children and her Golden Retriever, and they all love being outdoors.

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