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Brad Giles (Habito Development Team Manager)

Gyproc Habito is a game changer.

Brad joined British Gypsum nine years ago as a Regional Sales Director. He had held various positions at different construction companies before moving to Rockfon UK as the Sales and Alliance Director, but it was his desire to work at a market-leading company that brought him to British Gypsum.

Brad joined British Gypsum nine years ago as a Regional Sales Director. He had held various positions at different construction companies before moving to Rockfon UK as the Sales and Alliance Director, but it was his desire to work at a market-leading company that brought him to British Gypsum.

After three years as Regional Sales Director, Brad became National Account Director between Sheffield Insulation Group (SIG) and British Gypsum with a focus on building greater co-operation and linking networks between the two in what had been quite a combative relationship.

It felt at times like one was stood in the blue corner with its boxing gloves on and the other in the red corner. The natural thing was to meet in the middle, do some things together and talk about it. Through a shared senior management strategy, that’s what we did and it worked.

Brad then became Sales Director for Ceilings, a product area he was familiar with, but it still presented a challenge. Namely, promoting and selling a nuanced product in a company that does not primarily focus on the ceilings market. Yet, despite a small working team, there are sizeable market opportunities through organic growth, the introduction of a wider product portfolio and possible collaborations.

Then, in February this year, Brad took command of the Habito development team (of five), which has brought more new challenges.

We’re in the final stages of setting out our tactical plan on who to contact, how to contact them, and with what collateral, because this is no easy, quick sell,” he says.

Yet, despite the slower adoption curve, Brad remains optimistic: “It is a game-changer for us because there isn’t a competitor with a like-for-like product. What we have to do is to make sure we create the demand for it.

When asked what he sees as the key skill needed for a sales role, Brad stresses the importance of knowing your product and its market, while keeping the customer in focus.

The two products I can give you as examples are very different. You’ve got ceilings products that the market uses and accepts, but we don’t have vast resources to deliver them. Then you’ve got a product in Habito, which isn’t as well known, but we have considerable resources to back it up. Yet in both products, you have similar targets. So what I’ve found is the need to be flexible and adaptable; not necessarily sticking to the plan, but adapting it if needs be and allowing the team to have the freedom to find different places for it.

When asked for any words of advice for anyone joining the business or wishing to progress, Brad offers two tips. “First, be good at what you do, knuckle-down and crackon. And if you’re struggling, ask how to improve. Get on that development track and keep asking, keep pushing.

Secondly, a business this size is all about networking. There’s no reason why you can’t go and find out, for example, someone in Supply you can talk to every so often, and then do the same for Finance, Sales, Human Resources and Marketing. You can build a pool of people that you can talk to when you need help or advice.

Brad Giles (Habito Development Team Manager)

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