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Raleigh may have been producing the UK’s favourite bikes for the past 125 years, but the Nottingham-based manufacturer is investing in training its sales teams to make sure it stays ahead of the pack.
The company has rolled out a training programme at its headquarters aimed at developing the skills and confidence of both its bicycle, parts and accessories sales teams to help drive continued success in a competitive marketplace.
Delivered by training specialist MLP, the four-day ‘Successful Selling’ programme held at Raleigh’s head offices, was divided into two tailored courses, one for less experienced sales people and new recruits and the other for more senior members of the sales team.
Comments Adrian Mawdsley from Raleigh: “We are a market leader in the bicycle sector but no company can afford to rely on its products or its brand alone to secure sales.
“We’ve worked with MLP for around three years as our only provider for sales courses and the training that the company offers has become a key part of delivering our goal for continuous improvement across everything we do.”
MLP’s training has been developed by the company’s managing director, Mike Le Put, who has 25 years of working with outstanding sales professionals across a wide range of industries.
Designed to be interactive and sectorspecific, the programme sets learning goals for delegates and provides them with proven techniques that improve both their confidence and their sales conversion rates.
Mike Le Put comments: “As an organisation, Raleigh is committed to training because it recognises how important it is to refresh skills and learn new techniques to remain ahead of the competition.
“The courses that we delivered build on the product training that the sales teams already receive and by tailoring the programme for two different audiences, we were able to focus on genuine outcomes rather than a one-size fits all approach.”
Adrian adds: “Working with Mike gives our team the skills set we need to keep growing the business and, even after 125 years, picking up the pace in terms of sales is still central to our success.”
One of the world’s leading electronics manufacturers tapped into home grown sales expertise by bringing its international sales team to a best practice training session with Bury-based MLP. Würth Group operates in 80 countries and, with Würth Electronics eiSos global sales totalling €0.35 billion, Würth Electronics has grown to a €13.4 million business in the UK since being established here just 15 years ago.
MD Rob Sperring attributes much of that success to the training developed and delivered by MLP.
Indeed, Würth has been so impressed with MLP’s approach to training that around 95 per cent of its 400-strong global sales team has now been trained by the company. Würth regularly flies new sales people into Manchester to attend courses with MLP and the company’s managing director, Mike Le Put, has also travelled to Würth offices around the world to deliver on-site training.
Comments Rob Sperring: “I first met Mike Le Put at an Institute of Sales Management conference in Birmingham and he immediately stood out against an extremely strong line up thanks to his passion, energy and real-world approach.
“We have worked with him ever since and he has really invested in getting under the skin of our 2 business, attending sales visits with our team to understand our customers and marketplace.
“As a result, MLP has been integral to our sales success, which has seen us achieve compound growth of 22 per cent year-on-year during the recession.”
The latest round of sales training took place at Würth Electronics’ UK headquarters at Salford Quays and followed recruitment of new sales people in Italy, The Netherlands and Spain.
Mike delivered MLP’s ‘Successful Selling Skills’ course at the two-day meeting, which was tailored to reflect Würth’s business model, company culture and commercial strategy.
Rob continues: “One of the ways in which MLP has added value to our business over the years has been the flexibility of his approach and ability to adapt sessions to reflect our business, our customers and current market conditions.
“In 2009, for example, we grew by more than 15 per cent, despite price cutting by our competitors and a European exchange rate that moved from €1.3/£1 to parity!”
Mike adds: “Würth Electronics is a major global player and the fact that the company comes to MLP for training, not only nationally but internationally, is a massive coup for us.
"Our approach is to take proven sales techniques and make them relevant to the business and sales team we are working with to help them build on their success. We’re delighted to have the opportunity to be part of that continuing growth with this latest training conference.”
Chorley-based Volvo truck dealership, Thomas Hardie Commercials Ltd, is gearing up to drive growth in its 30th year in business by investing in training as it continues to expand.
Celebrating 30 years in business this year, Thomas Hardie is the North West’s main dealer for Volvo trucks, buses and coaches with franchise sites in Liverpool, Preston Deeside, Middlewich and Trafford Park as well as a Chorley depot, which specialises in painting and refinishing as well as supplying and fitting ancillary equipment such as wet kits and hydraulics.
The company has recently added four new sales people to its team to help manage continued growth and is training them up for sales success with the help of training provider, MLP Training.
Sales manager, Steve Wilson, explains: “The whole truck sales sector is experiencing growth at the moment and we need to ensure that we have the staff and training in place to maximise that opportunity for our franchises.
“We have just appointed four new sales people and MLP’s ‘Getting Appointments Over the Phone’ course is the ideal way to ensure that they have the skills and confidence to generate new sales leads.”
The course is the latest in a long relationship between Thomas Hardie and MLP which has seen the Volvo dealership hold training courses at its own premises and send members of the team to MLP’s training facilities in Bury.
The company also uses Volvo’s training academy to ensure that it continuously invests in its team and develops the people that have made the company so successful.
Steve continues: “We first came across MLP because Volvo uses the company as a training provider, as do other Volvo dealership franchises across the UK.
“We’ve used other providers for specific courses over the years but have always gone back to MLP because of the joined-up approach the company offers.
“We receive a summary of how each team member has performed on the day and there are set goals to complete in the workplace as a follow up to the course. That means that we can continue the training process at the dealership, integrating the content and outcomes of the course with ongoing individual development plans and in-house training.”
Three of the new sales people have been promoted from non-sales roles within the business while the fourth is from a completely different sector and Steve expects recruitment to continue as the company continues to grow, adding to Thomas Hardie’s existing 360-strong team.
Managing director of MLP, Mike Le Put adds: “Training is an essential component of managing growth and Thomas Hardie has invested in a sustained programme of training across all levels for many years.
“Our approach is to give the individuals on the course the skills and confidence they need to succeed while offering their employer the ability to build on that training in the workplace.
“Judging by Thomas Hardie’s success, it’s an approach that seems to be working.”
MLP Training is on course for long-term success after marking 25 years of providing specialist training solutions to leading UK and international businesses. Founded in 1990 by trainer and motivational speaker, Mike Le Put, this successful Bury-based company has now delivered sales training and management development programmes in 9 countries and has produced programmes that have been distributed worldwide by the BBC.
In addition to MLP’s core client list, which encompasses multi-national companies and SMEs, the firm also supplies training to businesses using the government’s national Growth Accelerator scheme.
Says Mike Le Put: “I attribute our success to the fact that we focus on genuine outcomes rather than just a one-size fits all approach. Coaching on a personal level ultimately improves business performance by arming individuals with the skills they need to reach their full potential.
“Delegates on our sales programmes come away with proven techniques that improve both their confidence and their sales conversion rates, whilst leaders often come to us for training in how to bring out the best in their teams and successfully manage the challenges of the change process.”
Designed to be interactive and sectorspecific, MLP organises both residential courses and in-house training to hone skills across a range of areas, including sales strategies, business development and leadership.
MLP also addresses general business abilities such as negotiating, presentation skills, team development, time management, appraisal skills and effective management skills, and holds training courses at the Bolholt Hotel in Bury.
To celebrate twenty-five years in business, MLP Training is holding a series of Vision 20/20 sessions through the year, which allow business leaders the time and space to explore the long term direction they want their businesses to take. Using tried and tested methodologies, plus lessons learnt from military history, the session provides valuable framework for businesses planning for busy leaders.
MLP Training will also be running more than 60 Sales Training and Management Development courses at The Bolholt Country Park Hotel in Bury that will be attended by local, national and international companies.
Adds Mike Le Put: “After twenty-five years our goal remains exactly the same as on day one - simply to help our customers grow their businesses.”
The Vision 20/20 sessions are held at the Bolholt Country Hotel in Bury.