Grant Brothers Sales invests in expertise and performance, as it celebrates three-quarters of a century in business.
(SPONSORED CONTENT) In a changing aftermarket, fraught with an increasingly consolidating assortment of players, international trade rules, and cost pressures that have taken many sales teams out of the field, Grant Brothers Sales has redoubled its efforts to buck this trend and be more – even as it celebrates its 75th anniversary.
“We are continuing to evolve as a sales organization. Being 75, we know that our relationships are there; they have been there for a long time,” says Charlie Grant, president. “We continue to cultivate those, but we need to keep providing more and more value to our manufacturers. So that is our major focus: continuing sales training for our entire team.”
As a way of punctuating this, Grant Brothers Sales recently held an unprecedented sales training event at a Mexico resort. The focus was to reinforce the concept that all members of the team understand the importance of closing the loop with client manufacturers, customers, and their customers at the service provider level. “We are an extension of the sales arm of the factory. We are able to assemble programs, and sell programs. The stigma of many sales agencies is that they don’t provide much value. We want to grow sales. We want to have targets. We want to execute wins.”
Getting everyone on the Grant Brothers Sales team to integrate that into their everyday process was a key takeaway from the training event.
“We have a sales planning and process in place, but we really are taking it to the next level. Our model for this is one that my grandfather put in place for year one, in 1945: work the plan, plan the work. That was the theme of our training down in Mexico.”
“And then everybody learning from each other – how they had success with certain lines that we represent, with different customers. And the focus we have with customers, how we’re going to win with them, was fantastic,” adds Adam Crisp, president of the traditional division.
“A lot of the discussion for me is talking about the pull-through – bringing value to clients and customers. We’re calling on jobber stores and working with their salespeople to get to the service provider. The more we do that, the more value we bring to our customers and clients.
“It’s really part of the culture that we’ve been building for at least the last 10 years. Everything is about looking forward. We’re very proud of the past and the legacy of Grant Brothers, but we want to build and grow and provide the services that our clients want today.”
“It’s about a solution-oriented, consultative selling approach,” says Jason Gorringe, president retail division. “Understand the customer’s business, understand where the pain points are, and provide a solution to make them more successful. So definitely the bar is set high for our team. We’re employing technology and CRM solutions, cloud-based computing, so they have access to information in real time with the tablets they’re carrying in the field.”
Access in real time to the latest product data, market and pricing information, as well as resources for training, are all handled centrally by Grant Brothers’ head office staff, so everyone has access to the latest information.
“There’s significant change going on. It’s important that you train your team to be effective in the field, and give them the tools needed to capture those opportunities. It’s not just keeping score for Grant Brothers; it’s for our supplier clients to grow market share with their customers – whether they’re automotive jobbers or national retailers.”
Investment in the outside sales team is echoed by an investment in inside sales. “That’s also been a huge benefit: having a dedicated resource of inside sales professionals who have been trained by the factory, who know the factory’s expectations,” adds Charlie Grant.
All in all, it is part of a larger initiative to be at the forefront of sales performance by bringing process and execution to the next level, and combining it with Canadian market expertise that comes from over seven decades in the marketplace.
“We are not afraid to invest, and we have been investing in our future in technology and people. So I want our process to be great, and I want the people to be great and the customers to know that we don’t waste their time. They get the information that they need, we present the products that they need, and we do the down-channel work. Not only do we put the product on the shelf; we have a pull-through strategy to get it to the customer too.
“We’re really taking it to the next level, for our clients and their customers.”