Hyster-Yale is a leading global lift truck manufacturer.
Hyster-Yale’s national account sales team generates between 20 and 30 percent of its business. The other 70 percent comes from the company’s dealer sales organization. In North America, that dealer network includes 48 separate companies and about 700 salespeople. One of the company’s biggest challenges, according to Bob Bladel, director of sales operations at Hyster-Yale, is how to provide the selling support their dealers need to help them hit their numbers.
With this sales structure, marketing message consistency is a primary challenge.
“There’s been a lot of apparent problems with consistency of the programs we try to implement,” Bladel said. “Dealers call it the flavor of the month or flavor of the year, so when we try to implement those things, the level of adoption isn’t usually where we need it to be, because they think ‘this too shall pass.’”
He added: “The key is having [dealers] understand this is all part of a comprehensive plan to enhance our sales and marketing capability, and that these are not individual elements—all the pieces will come together over the next couple of years and they’ll continue to grow and expand.”
Bladel describes Hyster-Yale’s industry as extremely competitive and not necessarily high growth. However, recent market developments, most notably the eCommerce boom, have created new opportunities in warehouse and distribution—areas that present some of the highest growth opportunities. Traditionally, these are not areas the company has been strongest in.
“What’s historically been our weakness is now our biggest opportunity,” Bladel said. “So that creates an opportunity for us but a little bit of a challenge of how we get customers to see that we can play in that competitive marketplace where they maybe haven’t seen us…in the past.”
Hyster-Yale rolled out Corporate Visions’ Create Value Skills training to help salespeople, both internal and in their dealer networks, differentiate their story and make inroads into some of the high-growth areas in their market. The training has not only helped drive adoption of the most important skills for building pipeline and delivering an impactful story—it’s also helped salespeople articulate the attributes that make Hyster-Yale a differentiated player in their industry.
“We have the widest range of services, and our ability to compete in all markets is there,” Bladel said. “Our overall menu of solutions is certainly a big competitive advantage.”
With Create Value Skills, Hyster-Yale’s salespeople are able to tell that story and show prospects and customers why they can offer value in industries where they might have been overlooked in the past.
“I’ve been in the sales game 36 years, and for 32 of those I’ve been leading sales teams,” Bladel said. “I’ve been through every training program that’s out there and I can honestly say that the Create Value approach and its potential benefit for a salesperson is by far superior to anything else that can impact their ability to separate themselves from the competition and engage the customer in an entirely different way that significantly increases their ability to succeed and maximize that opportunity with customers.”
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