Give Salespeople Better Cars!

Eddie Jones (England Rugby head coach) says he wants to turn uncapped England lock Maro Itoje “from a Vauxhall Viva into a BMW”

HR Directors up and down the land are scratching their heads, wondering how to tweak their company cultures to squeeze that extra bit of motivation from their people.

Well why not give your sales team decent company cars!

There are few people more integral to a company’s success than its sales team. These road warriors are at the cutting edge of securing new business, they smooth out the creases with existing clients, and keep the wheels of commerce turning. They need to be sitting with their clients, holding their hands, right in the thick of the action.

In order to do this, they need to be mobile.

As the leading sales recruiters in the construction industry, we witness the power of a car at first hand.

Companies that value their sales people understand that it is crucial that they arrive refreshed and energised for any meeting. They may have been stuck in a traffic jam for an hour, but if their car is a pleasure to drive, then they will still walk into their meeting with a smile on their face. These companies understand that a car is an extension of the office for a sales person – therefore, they go to great lengths to extend their cultural considerations into this arena. They may have a strict “grading” system for which cars management may drive, but to secure a top salesman, they will be willing to bend the rules.

These leading companies tend to reward their sales people better, and they certainly retain them for longer. Why would you want to give up your swanky BMW for a basic Ford Focus?

When sales people see that a company doesn’t care about their comfort on the road, it is often an indication of the company’s wider attitude towards their sales force. If the company says: “you have to drive this Ford Focus” you can almost guarantee a “disposable” attitude to sales. They take on sales people to do a job, and if they don’t do a job with the basic tools that they are given, they will take on new sales people. This attitude is so wrong, but unfortunately so common.

If a company is going to go the extra mile and pamper any of its employees, I would humbly suggest that they should start with the people who are bringing truly incremental revenue into the business.

If a potential client sees the sales person arrive, fresh as a daisy, after a three-hour delay, they will be impressed by the company’s commitment to the wellbeing of their people. If, on the other hand, the client see the salesperson arrive hot and bothered because the air conditioning packed up, that is hardly a good sign for the future. Clients want BMW levels of service, not Ford Focus levels of service.

So, hiring companies, next time a star sales person walks into the interview room, please consider offering him or her a car in line with their value to you, rather than in line with your company car pay grades.

The investment will pay off, of that you can be sure.