Internal sales manager - Yvonne Brierley
Upon graduating from university with a joint BA Hons degree in International Business studies and French, I thought the world was my oyster. The scary thing was after six years of further education, I still had no idea what I wanted to do. Looking for direction, I had a discussion with a local business entrepreneur who had set up a small but international business, manufacturing and selling leather belts to the great and good of the fashion world. At the end of our discussion I was offered a twelve month contract, an opportunity I could not refuse.
Why did you choose Daikin?
I guess through circumstance, they chose me. I may not have known what I wanted to do but I knew I wanted to join a company who could offer long term career development. From leather belts and the glamorous world of fashion, I was offered an opportunity with an international freight company. Not really the ideal industry sector, but the company had the reputation and prospects I was looking for. Unfortunately after less than twelve months they went into liquidation. So off I went, CV in hand, to the recruitment agencies and despite their efforts I knew telesales was not for me. Just when I thought the travel bug was calling, I was given an interview with Cooling Services Ltd, a distributor of Daikin equipment. I can honestly say I had not really thought of a career in air conditioning, but twelve years on here I am.
What was your first job?
I joined Cooling Services in November 1999 as a Dealer Development Coordinator working in what was known as Central Services. It was an amazing role which gave me a great start in the world of events and marketing. From promoting the Dealer Programme through our network of approved installers, to arranging conferences and events, customer visits and writing newsletters, it was fantastic.
What is your current job?
I have transferred from the ‘fluffy world’ of Events and Marketing to the ‘dark side’ of sales. As Internal Sales Manager for the Western Region, I run a team of seven great people who are responsible for providing the internal support mechanise for our external sales team and customers. For all elements of the sales process prior to the equipment installation, the internal team are there to assist.
What other roles have you held within Daikin?
After the acquisition by Daikin, a whole world of opportunities opened up. As Deputy Customer Development Manager, in conjunction with Nick Wring (who is now a Sales Engineer), we developed, marketed and implemented what we know as the D1 Partnership. Then came the challenge of raising brand awareness as Deputy Manager of the Marketing department from 2006-2007. What a fabulous time to be in Marketing, we did some great events and marketing campaigns. Then the opportunity to move out of my comfort zone to Sales as Deputy Area manager for what is now the Western Region. This brought the challenges of managing customer expectations alongside a team of sales engineers and targets. It certainly increased my knowledge of the industry and processes. Now I am experiencing the chance to change the internal processes in order to deliver the support required, drawing on my experiences of managing the External Team. It’s fantastic to see just how great an impact you can make if you bring all your experiences to the table to challenge the process, so far our success speaks for itself!
What did you do to progress your career?
I considered and will continue to consider all opportunities that are available, even those that take me outside of my comfort zone. I’m also not scared to challenge people and process, it may not always seem like the best career move at the time, but so long as it for the right reasons and done in the right way, it is actively encouraged within Daikin.
What’s been the highlight of your career so far?
At the risk of sounding corny, it’s first and foremost the people. I have had the opportunity to learn from and work with some really life-changing people. However if I have to think of some key moments then my top three have to be:
- As a closet petrol head, The Suzuka F1 tour 2006
- 2006 the Daikin Team winning the first Sir Matthew Pinsent, Corporate Regatta
- 2007 Making the Difference Conference with 400 customers at Wembley Stadium, prior to its official opening
What career advice would you give?
- Look to challenge the process, system and people around you. If you feel things can be done in a better way, do something to make it happen, don’t just sit back and hope someone else will.
- Ensure you are open to any and all opportunities to develop in the company even those that challenge you.
- Work with your team and those around you. There are some fantastic people in the company who can help, advise and coach you on the path you choose, just don’t be afraid to ask for their time.
- It’s a fantastic place to be and yes I am proud to work with the people we have and be part of Daikin.