April 12th 2023
“It’s a challenge to keep the plates spinning, and you must work well under pressure, but I love it because no two days are the same!” says Abigail Southwell, Regional Account Manager.
Abigail joined Selwood six years ago as a Territory Manager following various roles within the construction industry, before being promoted to her current role of Regional Account Manager.
Based at the Liverpool depot, Abigail looks after regional customer accounts in the north of England.
“I work with large and small accounts, but regardless of size, it’s important we provide the same service to our customers and build the relationship with them so that they trust our expertise and keep coming back to us.
“My regional customers are interested in the quality of service we provide and our investment in them as a valued client. It’s important for me to take time building up that relationship by exploring their requirements and providing the information most important to them.
“I also assist Strategic Account Managers with customers in the area during quarterly review meetings and have a presence on strategic sites to support the growth of these accounts.”
Solutions and site surveys
“Each day is different. Previously as a Territory Manager I would try to aim for two appointments a day with my customers. As a Regional Account Manager that doesn’t always happen because appointments tend to be more in depth and require more preparation. I might need to prepare presentations, tracking rebates, spend reporting, invoice queries, customer event days etc. or these might arise as action points to follow up afterwards.
“Things will also often come up unexpectedly, such as reactive site surveys, urgent quotes, phone calls or assisting other colleagues within the business. Regardless, I still make sure to check in regularly with my customers and offer support whenever needed. There is no single average day, you have to be really adaptable.
“If a customer requires a pump on site, I’ll carry out a site survey. For this, I’ll go down to site and assess the requirements, deciding what pump and equipment will be suitable for the job. For complex cases, I might ask my manager or the solutions team for support, but I will always aim to visit myself as having a presence on site is really important.
“It’s important for me to maintain good communication with the customer so that I’m able provide the best solution for them. I worked with a customer recently on a flood alleviation scheme. They initially wanted a quote for two, six-inch pumps – but when I assessed the site, I found these wouldn’t be suitable to tackle the problem. When you’ve built a good relationship with the customer, they trust your recommendation, even if it’s not initially what they asked for or think that they need.”
“If a customer has requested us to install pumps, then we’d quote for the install team and build a job pack. This is so both the customer and install teams know exactly what’s going where and how it is meant to look. I like to attend the first day of install to hand over to the installation team, however, if this is not possible, I would set up a meeting with them beforehand via Teams".
“I often work alongside various people within the sales team, and in the past have worked with our Revit Specialist. On more complex applications, I’ll ask the solutions team for support. We have even worked within a classified location which is always exciting!"
Abigail often does work outside of her job role, but as she says: “it’s all part of being a team player, if we can help each other out, we will.”
“I might get a customer phoning for a pump that we haven’t got in the delivering branch, in which case the hire desk will try to source it for them. If they are really busy, I would help by trying to source it myself, or I would change the quotation to suit what we have available if its correct for the application. I’ve also helped the hire desk when they were short staffed – if the calls are coming in, someone has got to be at the end of the phone. In this role, you have to be adaptable, help anybody and work as a team.
“If I’ve got the capacity, I’ll cold call and pass on any leads to the local Territory Manager. Something that makes Selwood really special is how involved everyone is willing to get. Everyone is happy to go above and beyond or help with work that doesn’t necessarily sit within their job role. We all get stuck in!”