As Christiane Meyer readied for her third induction into the Penske Winner’s Circle this month, she reflected on what’s made her successful in a senior logistics sales role.
“I love being in front of customers and learning about their business, and leading internal proposal teams within Penske,” Meyer (photo right) said of her work as a strategic account executive, where she specializes in working with Penske Logistics’ automotive customers.
The Winner’s Circle is an elite sales group within Penske, and the event is held annually.
In the SAE role, Meyer works to attract new customers and win multi-million dollar supply chain contracts, with both new and existing customers. In addition to possessing the proverbial overflowing rolodex of automotive contacts, she understands that a mix of approaches is in order.
“Yes I am very persistent and I make things happen,” she noted. “But I also have to be very patient, especially in the automotive business.”
Before a deal is signed, Meyer expends a lot of energy with the company’s product line managers, general managers and senior operations personnel, to ensure that these new and existing, and often complex multi-year business opportunities go off without a hitch. She also aids existing customers in a consultative role.
“I work on bringing different cultures and personalities together and understanding the roles of different departments,” she explained. “Most of my accounts are global and I assist our team in different countries.”
Meyer’s work with auto customers has taken her across the globe – to China, Europe and Mexico. Much of her domestic travel is centered on South Carolina and the Midwest. Meyer is based in Michigan.
A German native, Meyer has worked in logistics representative and program manager roles in Graz, Austria, and Cologne, Germany, before joining F.X. Coughlin in Romulus, Mich., as a senior program manager in 2000. She was a director of business development for Exel Logistics before becoming a Penske SAE in 2005.
Meyer earned degrees in business administration from Germany’s University of Passau. She got her first taste of life in the U.S. on a Fulbright scholarship, matriculating for two semesters at Western Michigan University.
Her career aspirations include becoming a vice president of sales, or working in a senior strategic role. She has designs on remaining in the logistics industry for years to come.
Noted central region vice president of sales, Joe Carlier: “Christiane has the drive and confidence to be successful; customers count on her as a trusted adviser. She is a focused, high-energy person with a true global perspective and experience, which makes her a vital part of our team.”
Deedra Froemming Transitioning
While Meyer’s had a distinguished logistics career, SAE Deedra Froemming (photo right), who’s based in Kennesaw, Ga., is settling into a new role.
After gaining entry to the Winner’s Circle three times in eight years as a lease sales representative, Froemming made the switch midway through 2010.
“Deedra has the respect of her peers and senior management, and the customers really value her,” explained Kris Greenhut, Penske’s sales vice president for the east region.
“She is a relationship sales person and her motor is always running. Deedra has a gift of establishing a rapport with customers,” he said.
Like father, like daughter – transportation is family.
“I’ve been saturated in the business,” Froemming recounted. Her father worked in both logistics and leasing sales. Froemming earned a literature degree from Indiana University.
She has spent over two decades working in the transportation industry, winning rental salesperson of the year and business development manager of the year awards while working for a competitor. At the start of her career, she worked with J.B. Hunt, selling dedicated contract carriage and lease services.
Before beginning work with Penske Logistics, Froemming in her lease sales capacity was effective in building larger market share in Atlanta via an effective C-Suite outreach program.
She noted that logistics sales is a richer experience, that she can now view a customer’s business from new angles.
“I like the challenge of working with clients in many different facets,” Froemming said. “I am learning so much working with clients.”
She gave the example of a healthcare Fortune 500 company, a customer in both leasing and logistics.
“I’ve been able to help them with so much more in this role: transportation carrier management, network standardization, and reporting metrics and visibility (of their supply chain). We’ve also worked to solve some of their human resource and compliance issues,” she said.
As Froemming continues to learn the nuances of offering contracts in areas like warehousing, she takes pride in how improving one’s supply chain can impact the bottom line.
“I can help a company differentiate themselves,” in the marketplace and “position a struggling company for growth,” she explained.
She acknowledges that the transition has been “challenging” and that “she’s learned a lot.”
Froemming also takes pride in the fact that she can be an example of how other sales people, inside and outside of Penske, can make the same type of switch, and to do it as well as anyone.
Interested in a sales career with Penske? We’re hiring sales representatives in leasing, rental, used trucks and in our supply chain and logistics teams worldwide. Follow @GoPenskeCareers on Twitter and be sure to visit www.GoPenske.com/careers to apply and create job alerts for your area of career interest.
Strategic account executive is great sales career path w Penske Logistics, work w Fortune 500s: ow.ly/9gyO1
— Penske News (@PenskeNews) February 24, 2012
By Alen Beljin