Introducing Ryan Croft, Head of Business Development here at Highway Care.
At Highway Care, our people are just as important as delivering innovative solutions for a safer future with our market-leading product range. We’re proud to have a team that is creative, knowledgeable and committed to delivering the best outcome for our customers. One of the latest to join our team is Ryan Croft, an experienced sales professional who loves helping customers overcome challenges and thrives on face-to-face interactions. We asked him to tell us about his career, his approach to his job and why he chose to join Highway Care, and here’s what he said.
What was your first job?
I’m originally from South Africa and national service was still mandatory when I was a school leaver, so my first introduction to the world of work was actually in the army’s dog handling units. I’ve met a few Rottweilers in business since then, but that was the start and end of my dog handling career!
How did you move into sales?
When I finished my national service, I took an operational role with a large recycling company and over the course six or seven years, I rose through the organisation to take on sales and marketing responsibilities, including the launch of a number of new initiatives. Although this was a completely different sector from highways industry I work in now, it was a great training ground for my current role. I think it is always useful for someone in a customer-facing sales and business development role to have a good understanding of operational pressures and processes. It means I really understand the value of integrating marketing with sales as part of a joined up approach to customer outreach and communications.
How did you come to be working in the highways industry?
I decided to move to the UK with my family and was offered a role as a business development manager for the traffic management division of a large construction group that works extensively in the utilities sector. It was a completely new sector, new home and new country for me, all at the same time, but, with transferable skills and a really good team around me, I loved it from day one.
I’d joined the business at a challenging time, and was tasked with rebuilding the division, working closely with the operations director to grow our customer base. We built it up to beyond where it had been within just four months, and then continued to keep growing for the next three years. By then, I was ready for a new challenge and the opportunity at Highway Care came along for me to do something different but remain in the highways sector.
What made you choose Highway Care as your next career move?
Throughout my career, my skills and knowledge have evolved, and I was looking for a role with a company that reflects that focus on continuous improvement in its culture and its products. Highway Care has always been known for innovation but it has never relied on past innovations – instead the company is still investing in product development, constantly developing its people and collaborating with customers and industry bodies, such as National Highways, to continue developing innovative solutions.
I enjoy the team culture and customer centred approach of the business. I’ve also been trained on products outside of my current remit, which means that I’m able to signpost customers to solutions that are right for them.
What is your remit at Highway Care?
I am Head of business development responsible for supporting our barrier customers and growing our market share for barrier in the UK. Our #BG800® range is the UK’s leading low-deflection, portable steel barrier – it’s great to be responsible for business development for a product that offers such exceptional levels of safety and functionality.
What do you love most about your job?
There are two things that make my job really rewarding – purpose and people.
My role is helping customers to procure equipment that will keep people safer when they are working on the roads or driving on them. Contributing to a supply chain that literally saves lives is a great thing to get out of bed for every morning.
As far as people are concerned, that’s what’s always motivated me. I love being part of a team, and face-to-face interaction with people. Video calls and emails were great during the pandemic, but now that the world has reset, I’m really enjoying getting to know customers face to face and working with colleagues.
What does the future hold for you and Highway Care?
I’ve only been with the business for a matter of months, I already feel like I’m part of the fabric of the business. The company is ambitious for growth and I am excited and proud to be part of that ambition. I’m looking forward to helping to make it happen.
And the exciting news is, we are hiring into my team at the moment – I am looking for two Business Development Managers – Please get in touch if you would like to join us for what promises to be a very exciting future for Highway Care.