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Coca Cola HBC : Constantly developing the sales team of the future

04/21/2021 | 03:56am
Constantly developing the sales team of the future
21 Apr 2021

By Stuart Ward, Head of Customer Capabilities

This year, I'm celebrating 20 years in Coca-Cola HBC and l still believe that pursuing a career in Sales is a very exciting path for people to follow. In my view, in no other role do you get that excitement and reward of seeing immediate impact in the results you bring. You get to deal with customers and add value to their business and can measure the impact of all your work through the execution in the end outlet.

Of course, compared to 20 years ago, huge changes have taken place, mainly driven by technology and especially now with Big Data and Advanced Analytics. One thing hasn't changed though and that's customer centricity. Still today, the winning teams are those who drive value for their customers by constantly seeking to improve their service and executing with excellence in every channel. That's why in Coca-Cola HBC we take pride in saying that that's what we stand for, and this is reflected on our vision to be the 24/7 leading beverage partner.

In this context, in 2021 we developed our own Coca-Cola HBC Sales Academy.

Our purpose is to accelerate the development of our current and future sales teams and give them the capabilities they need to remain unmatched performers and true partners to our customers for the future. In a nutshell, we aimed for a comprehensive end-to-end developmental experience for our entire Sales force that would cover both the business and commercial knowledge, as well as leadership skills and mindset components.

One of the biggest changes with the Sales Academy is that we've established one curriculum for all Commercial roles, across all countries based on the latest market needs and the experience of top performers. Essentially, with Sales Academy we help our Sales teams understand their gaps and get all the tools to develop faster and advance their career through the best in the world capability support.

That's one of the main reasons why I'm absolutely convinced that this is the best time ever for someone to join our Sales team.

Whether someone is a Merchandiser, a Business Developer (front liner) or a Sales Team Leader, we offer them a dedicated curriculum and specific milestones to grow from the first day they join, all the way to full performance and beyond. So, no matter if one is based in Russia, Nigeria, Italy or Croatia, they will be getting the same depth and breadth of knowledge into our commercial practices, as well as, and even more importantly sometimes, they will be enjoying the same experience as a new joiner into Coca-Cola HBC.

We are also making sure they all feel personally welcomed from the very first moment. We want them to feel excited that they have made the right decision for their career to be with Coca-Cola HBC from day one. To this last point, I'd particularly like to highlight the complete digitalization of the experience for the newcomers. We make sure that, on that first day, we give them all the information they need at their fingertips, on any device, any time - wherever they are! From a personal welcome message from their new team to digital learning modules that will help them grow into their new role, serve our customer and deliver results they can be proud of.

'Personally, I had never had such a well-structured and beautiful training before, and the overall experience was extraordinary'. I'm really touched by these words that Tudor from Romania used to describe his first days with us. Sales Academy is all about our people and when we hear from our new stars and talents how we can continually learn and improve our support to them, then it drives me on to be better.

That's the spirit of our Sales Academy. And we're all up for the challenge to play our part in ensuring that we create an engaging, performance stimulating environment in which everyone contributes, grows and thrives.

About Stuart Ward

Stuart is responsible for leading the capability development of our amazing customer facing teams in order to drive growth for our customers across all of our 28 Coca-Cola HBC countries. Over these years, he has assumed many different roles from running a Customer Teams, Head of Key Accounts and National Field Sales Manager, as well as group roles, as International Key Account Director and Customer Marketing Director. Over those 20 years he has lived and worked in Austria, Ireland, and Greece, before relocating back to the UK.


Coca-Cola HBC AG published this content on 21 April 2021 and is solely responsible for the information contained therein. Distributed by Public, unedited and unaltered, on 21 April 2021 07:55:01 UTC.

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