Hammer’s hugely successful sales academy has been given a regional twist: 12 trainees from Belgium, Germany, Netherlands and Sweden have become the latest candidates to be immersed in the company’s unique ethos.
This is great news for Hammer’s customers as it means Hammer’s value-add, partnership approach that helps companies increase their market share and revenue is now being expanded across the continent. Hammer sells to 40 countries via seven European offices.
The academy was formed in 2003 with a view to taking young sales staff at the start of their careers to ensure they became trained in the unique ‘Hammer way’. “Hiring people with a lot of sales experience did mean they arrived confident, competent and with good established business relationships,” says Steve Cowley, general manager at Hammer, “but they found it hard to pick up our value-add ethos. It wasn’t bringing the results we wanted.”
So the emphasis switched to nurturing home-grown talent. The academy is a kind of Hammer youth team where tomorrow’s top sales talent can be supported and developed. So far it has only focused on head office recruitment in the UK but this latest expansion to include staff from the rest of Europe shows the company’s commitment to sales team development. Today half of Hammer sales force is a product of this training programme.
The initial two-week course covers the Hammer portfolio and ethos as well as sales training to drill the culture – customer service and adding value at every stage – deep into the new employees’ sales psyche. That is followed by three months of mentoring where Hammer staff and vendors support the new recruits.
“Hammer’s pro-active, value-add approach really reaps results helping customers to increase sales and profits. A more proactive sales person will give a better service,” adds Steve Cowley.
The figures speak for themselves: For three years (2012, 2014 and 2015) Hammer has featured in The Sunday Times International Track 200 – a list of Britain’s 200 most successful mid-market private companies based on fastest-growing international sales.
The academy’s success rests on finding the staff with the right character mix: someone who strives to achieve the best, can communicate effectively and is quick to understand new technologies, customer’s business needs and the sectors in which they operate. “Our sales people become an extension of our customers’ business,” says Steve Cowley.
Published Date: 01/03/2016
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