Mercedes-Benz has announced its Corporate Sales Person of the Year using the most stringent criteria ever which it claims will set a real benchmark across the industry.
The programme has been running for three years, and for the first time this year even the candidates' customers were asked to provide feedback, demonstrating the company's confidence in the customer service provided by its teams.
The title of Corporate Sales Person of the Year was awarded to candidates at two different levels. Frank Smith from Mercedes-Benz Corporate Sales in Manchester was the key account manager awarded the title and James O'Neil of Mercedes-Benz of Bristol was the sales manager crowned with the same accolade.
Mercedes' corporate sales staff took part in a rigorous three-phased assessment programme under DRIVE UP 09, the Mercedes-Benz Cars Corporate Sales Reward Programme.
Sales managers were ranked on areas such as performance vs. targets and growth in their market area for 2009 vs. 2008.
Key account managers were assessed on total sales volume, the number of trading accounts and the number of new accounts they won.
Customers scored the candidates on the management of their account as well as the individuals understanding of their business, their fleet needs and demands, the service back-up and their ability to communicate and plan ahead.
In the final phase candidates attended an assessment day where they had an opportunity to demonstrate team work, deliver a presentation and be interviewed by a panel of judges including Colin Niklas, national corporate sales manager Mercedes-Benz Cars, and respected fleet journalist Julian Kirk, formerly deputy editor of AM's sister title Fleet News.
Niklas said: "The Corporate Sales Person of the Year programme is a great way of raising standards across our network and we are delighted to have had so many high-calibre candidates this year."