Keeping things agile: a new sales training project

We have been involved in a sales training project with Mercedes Benz Financial Services since mid-2014. It is an unusual project for us, and has been exciting! Find out more about the project here.

A conversation between Judith Haupt and Helene Smuts about our involvement with the ‘Agility’ finance project at Mercedes-Benz South Africa.

Judith:
Helene, you’ve been very busy for the past few weeks, managing the training and facilitation side for the Agility finance project. How did we get involved with Mercedes-Benz Agility Finance?

Helene:
We have been doing training for Mercedes-Benz South Africa for some time now, we were approached by MBFS to do dealer training as part of the roll out for a new product launch in May/June of 2014.

We were involved in training all staff on a new financial product called Agility finance. The goal was to make financial training fun and exciting – which is not so typical for ‘financial stuff’. It was a huge success and everyone loved it. Who wouldn’t enjoy racing around a racetrack with 2 SLS AMG remote control cars while learning about the product called Agility finance?

Due to the successful delivery of this project MBFS nominated us to be the South African partner to deliver all Agility sales training country wide.

Judith:
What’s special about the training we’re facilitating?

Helene:
It’s engaging, relevant and fun. And what makes the application of new skill easy for delegates (who are sales executives and finance and insurance consultants), is that the finance product is innovative and attractive. Practicing their new sales skill allows them to not only have a job but be in a position where they can build a very lucrative career within Mercedes Benz.

Judith:
It sounds like you are very passionate about the product yourself!

Helene:
Yes I think I got quite ‘sold’ on it too. Who wouldn’t? Its about driving a brand new Mercedes-Benz more often, offering the latest in safety, security, performance, economical fuel usage, environmentally friendly and comfort, all whilst enjoying a new car every 3 years without worries about remarketing the vehicle at the end of the contract. I think it is exciting as it challenges South Africans to look at buying vehicles in a different light. It’s not about owning a vehicle anymore and us taking the risk for the depreciation of that vehicle. It is a new concept in South Africa however it has been very successfully done in Europe.

Judith:
Ok I can see you’re about ready to sell the product yourself! And how has the training been received?

Helene:
Thus far we have had a great response to the training, and people informing us on how motivated they feel. Participants say that they can now actually also have financial plans in place for their private lives – we never thought a sales training would impact personal lives so deeply and this is a great feeling for us as facilitators.

There is a high demand for this training and dealerships are eager to get all the sales executives trained to be able to sell the Agility finance product.

Judith:
How would you say this fits in with the rest of our work at CONTRACT SA?

Helene:
This is an interesting one as it is not generally the type work that we do as it is very much driven by the client and prescribed material by another company in the UK. But we got ‘sold’ on the idea of being part of a new leading financial product, setting a trend together with our client and making a success of it. And as with everything, we still bring in the CONTRACT flavour to ensure successful learning and implementation.

What has also made it easy for us is that we are in a real partnership with our client, and we know that this product is something that will give them bigger coverage and will increase the service they give to their customers. We’re happy to be contributing to our clients experiencing an increase in their turnover, a decrease in their cost and a developed workforce to make their vision and strategy happen.

And one last comment: One thing we are passionate about is building strong client relationships. The Agility finance product contributes to this for our client – and that makes it easy for us to support that.

Judith:
Thanks for the chat!