Joe joined Gripple as Industrial Area Sales Manager for the East of England in March 2011. Such was his flair for sales, he doubled turnover in the region during his time in the role and was subsequently promoted to manage the Southern area sales team. As the business has evolved and reacted to market changes, Joe has developed with the business and now manages the Gripple London technical sales team.
Can you tell us a little about the Gripple London team?
It’s a relatively new team; we’ve recognised in recent years the huge growth in London and the number of building projects in the pipeline is massive so we’re really trying to capitalise on that growth now. We’ve been involved in a number of high profile projects in London over the years and we’re looking to further enhance Gripple’s reputation across the capital.
What’s the most iconic building in the London skyline to use Gripple?
We’ve been involved with a number of major projects in recent years but I’d probably say The Shard is the most iconic. Closely followed by The Swiss Re Tower and The Leadenhall Building.
What do you like about working in sales?
The main thing for me is the variety; no day is the same really. To give you an example, yesterday, I was working on specifying Gripple to suspend pipework services in a primary school; today, I’ve been working on a project which would involve Gripple products being used to suspend services across 12 stories of a new skyscraper in the city. Previous to this role, I was on a graduate scheme with a bathroom supplier in Victoria; it was desk-based and to be honest, I found it really boring so the difference from then to now is significant and refreshing!
What do you like about working at Gripple?
The thing that stands out with this business is the ethics and values underpinning all we do. There’s a great ethos of caring for people at Gripple; I’ve experienced quite cutthroat environments in previous sales roles but Gripple is different and the team spirit that exists throughout the company really goes a long way to make it a great business to work for.
What does a typical day in your role consist of?
I usually have a number of meetings in the city; they involve selling Gripple to people for the first time, or managing the key accounts we have with existing customers. The other side of my day involves designing and specifying Gripple, which means recommending the best possible Gripple solutions to meet the contractor’s requirements.
Are there any achievements you’re particularly proud of?
Our work with contractors managing Waitrose and John Lewis building contracts has been a big plus for me. We’ve developed good relationships with the M&E contractors on these projects which has ensured Gripple is specified on new Waitrose and John Lewis stores across the country. Naturally, that means consistent turnover for us, and putting Gripple’s name alongside high profile, consumer brands.
What kind of challenges do you face as a leader?
There are two main challenges for me, when to delegate being the first one. I’m obviously used to being out and about, on-sites, talking to architects and contractors but as I’m now managing a team, it’s important that I can make the best use of the personnel in the team and cast the Gripple net as efficiently as possible. Secondly, finding the right people for sales roles is key. They’ve got to be the right fit for Gripple, have a good flair for selling, but also be tenacious and determined enough to take the knock backs you inevitably get in this profession, and keep plugging away.
Where do you see Gripple in the next 5-10 years?
The business seeks to grow by 10-15% per annum and 2015 proved we have the capability to surpass that. I think we’ll keep investing in new products and new technology, and in terms of our London operation, I see us developing a regional office in the capital as our presence continues to grow.
Do you fancy following in Joe's footsteps? We're currently recruiting for our 2016 Graduate Programme - click here for more information.