In 2011 we changed our organisation to better reflect the needs of our customers. Our main sales channels are now split between national customers (large group dealers and UK wholesale customers looked after by national account managers in head office) and regional customers (local retail and wholesale customers who want local field-based support). We believe that it focuses resources in the right areas and enables our sales teams to provide comprehensive fuel support.
Although my title simply says ’manager, regional sales’, I’m actually responsible for leading the brand, retail services and transport teams and a field-based sales team of nine covering most of the UK.
This means that on any given morning I could wake up in a hotel in Inverness, Portsmouth or anywhere in between!
My wife works at Phillips 66 so, whenever possible, we share the journey to work, arriving by 7.30am and we leave by 5.30pm if we can. Modern technology means that working hours can extend beyond office hours and I am often found replying to emails while watching the television (it’s true, men can multi task!).
What I love most about my role is the sheer variety. To give you an example of what my role entails, here is one day from last week:
After catching up on emails, the working day started with a Strategy Update meeting with Pete George, our managing director, and the rest of the leadership team. The fuel industry is a constantly changing landscape, and Pete ensures that his leadership team is proactive in keeping Phillips 66 at the forefront.
I then met with our Brand Communications team to talk through our planned PR activity, including sharing the success story of our recent Retail Dealer Roadshows (we held six throughout October and November).
Mid-morning, I met with our Retail Services team to help plan our ’Proud to Be Jet’ celebration dinner. We are hosting a dinner at Warwick Castle this month for all sites who achieved 100% in our award-winning service and standards programme in 2014.
It will be a busy event (with a 400% increase in winners compared to 2013) because our dealers have really embraced the new programme.
At 11.30am, I joined our Transport team to discuss our involvement in Brake’s Safety Week. We are long-term supporters of this national charity and to help raise awareness of road safety issues, we rebranded four of our tankers for the duration of Road Safety Week (November 17-23). The tankers went to the towns and villages in our core delivery areas the South East, the Midlands, the Yorkshire/Humberside area and Scotland visiting around 100 Jet forecourts.
At lunchtime I go into an afternoon-long sales meeting with our team of territory managers. Regular face-to-face meetings ensure that our sales guys are given the latest information and advice from head office. This means that they are fully up to speed when talking to new and existing customers.
This particular meeting focused on our plans to further improve our supply chain, enabling us to move more of our Humber Refinery’s quality products.
Twice a week I go to dinner with customers or suppliers. I really enjoy spending time with our customers over a beer and getting honest feedback. Many of our initiatives in 2014 came from talking to dealers and asking them how we could support their business, and this is something we will certainly continue to do. The golf course is also a good place to mix socially with our business partners but unfortunately my game hasn’t improved enough to take their money this year!
As a company, we have ambitious plans in a competitive market, but I am very confident that we have a team that will deliver. This means I can sleep easily in my bed at night no matter which hotel I may be in!
Name: Guy Pulham
Job title: Manager, regional sales, Phillips 66 UK & Ireland Marketing
Company: Phillips 66 Ltd (Jet)
Career History: After graduating in economics from Surrey University, I joined the company 27 years ago and have held a number of roles since. Nearly all of these involved some element of analysis until I took a sales role in the North West and Midlands in 2008.
Greatest Achievement: Getting married!
Tip for Business Success: Deliver on your promises
Most likely to say: Can we go to Italy this year please Mrs P?
Least likely to say: That’s a birdie for me on this hole!
Other interests: Golf, cooking and holidays!