A commercial vehicle manufacturer has a talented team of sales people working in its UK dealerships, but over the next few years many of the more senior and experienced sales people will be retiring.

Nurturing talent in commercial vehicle manufacturing

The Challenge

A commercial vehicle manufacturer has a talented team of sales people working in its UK dealerships, but over the next few years many of the more senior and experienced sales people will be retiring. This manufacturer identified a need for a new generation of van sales professionals to come into the industry, to work alongside the existing staff, and to be the new brand ambassadors.

The Solution

RTS Group was brought in to create a development programme to attract talented individuals to the brand, to retain that talent and to nurture the recruits so they can go on to become the next generation of sales professionals. We developed a two-year, innovative, intensive learning and development programme, which starts with recruitment, takes the trainees on a comprehensive development journey and then selects the very best to fast-track to management level.

We used social media to attract
the young and talented.

To recruit, we looked outside the automotive sector, focusing on transferable skills and candidates’ attributes rather than industry experience, and we used social media to attract the young and talented.

The programme itself combines learning theory with practical application and is delivered via formal training, observation, feedback, coaching and practical on-the-job experience. It is enhanced using state-of-the art technology, including via iPads and augmented reality.

Mentors and an interactive social media platform for the recruits helps keep them on track. They become thoroughly immersed in the brand, spending time work shadowing in each department, and also having a placement with a fleet client, so they can get a better understanding of their customers’ needs.

The Results

Within the dealerships, the addition of the trainees offers principals an opportunity to develop and grow the expertise among their staff. The trainees are selling, so increasing revenue, and – as the majority are in their early twenties – the goal of creating a rejuvenated workforce is being achieved. As icing on the cake, the programme was shortlisted for the finals of the prestigious Automotive
Management industry awards 2014.

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