Julian Cooke promoted to Director of Sales

Here at Stairways, we believe that our dedicated colleagues are key to providing the best products and services to all customers. We’ve worked hard over the years to build a team that is both passionate and highly knowledgeable, in order to ensure clients are delighted with the items we provide. As part of our mission to further enhance the business, Stairways are pleased to announce the promotion of group commercial manager Julian Cooke to director of sales.

This is the first board appointment for Stairways in 15 years, and Julian now joins joint managing directors Karen Wood and Neil Stevens to help grow the business in the right direction.

Julian has been active in the stair manufacturing business for many years, having had a wealth of knowledge on the subject even before joining Stairways back in 2009 as a sales representative. Over the last eight years, Julian has continued to work in a commercial role, progressing through external sales and bringing on key accounts.

In 2014, he was promoted to group commercial manager, where his responsibilities included overseeing sales, marketing and estimating, all while successfully holding his own sales accounts. Over the last four years, Julian’s hard work has helped to increase business, build awareness of the Stairways Group name, bring in new staff and help others develop their careers and achieve promotions.

Throughout his time at Stairways, Julian has demonstrated a number of key strengths, such as exceeding customer expectations and providing solutions – particularly from a technical specification angle. He is a true professional in all that he does, and excels in building relationships both internally and externally.

Karen Wood, Joint Managing Director, explains “Neil and I have been the only directors at Stairways since we took over 15 years ago. We purposely waited to add other directors in order to ensure the right controls and culture were established first.”

She adds that their plan has always been to bring the right people on within the business to create a board, providing clear career paths for the team and also retaining vital skills and knowledge that grow within the business over time.

“Over the last year, Neil and I have felt that Julian would be an outstanding candidate for promotion to the board. There is a lot of potential within his remit and capabilities to increase the commercial awareness of Stairways, key accounts and focus on sales strategy,” Karen says.

In his new role, Julian will be responsible for shaping the sales and estimating departments. He will set strategies, objectives and targets, determining which products are pushed to market, and the pricing for those products. He will also continue to build senior-level relationships, carrying out negotiations and establishing long-term accounts to help bring further success to Stairways and enable the company’s future growth.

Julian says his promotion demonstrates Karen and Neil’s desire to bring through staff and ensure team members feel they have a long-term future at Stairways.

He adds: “I’m looking forward to the independence to be able to deliver my own strategies within the sales team and commercial estimating departments, as well as visualising the owners’ growth and delivering strategies through performance.”

Julian’s isn’t the only recent promotion that we’re excited to announce. Sudesh Fermahan who has been with Stairways since 2004, has become head of estimating within the doors division. She now has three direct reports and will be working with Julian to set margins and specifications, while responding to customer enquiries.

“Sudesh is excellent at building relationships with key accounts,” Karen explains.

“Customers trust what she says, and they rely on her to provide the right information quickly. She’s a strong asset to the business and is always willing to build new relationships.”

Interested in becoming a valued member of the Stairways team? Take a look at our current vacancies, or don’t hesitate to contact us at enquiries@stairways.co.uk

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