Local sales talent programme picks up BESMA award

By Nick Batten on 26 November, 2018

The Mercedes-Benz ‘Van Talent Programme’ – a scheme aimed at attracting and developing new talent among commercial vehicles sales teams – has scooped a BESMA (British Excellence in the Sales Management Awards.)

The programme – which was created in a partnership between Mercedes-Benz Vans and Chippenham-based learning and development agency RTS Group – won the ‘Sales Development Programme of the Year Award,’ beating seven other finalists.

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

Simon Snowdon, RTS Group’s Van Talent programme & development consultant, said the award was a “great tribute” to the success of the scheme, which has now been running for five years and so far attracted more than 80 people.

He explained: “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.

“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, added: “We are very proud of the Van Talent Development programme and to have received an award is a 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 – including RTS Group’s Kat Searle, Stuart Rudd and Chris Jossaume, with Vikki Aitchison and Debbie Wells of Mercedes-Benz Vans UK Ltd – were presented with their award from comedian Jack Dee at a ceremony in London at the Grosvenor House Hotel in October.

Pictured above: Jack Dee (right) presents the BESMA award to the team from RTS Group and Mercedes-Benz Vans