Former Monaco executive Ed Kinney has joined the management team of Carriage Inc. as vice president of sales and national sales manager for the Millersburg, Ind., towable RV manufacturer.
A well-known professional in industry circles, Kinney actually started out at Carriage, a mid-size company located in northern Indiana’s Amish country.
So, the surprise announcement of Kinney’s arrival at Carriage after a two-year hiatus from the industry — he left Monaco Coach Corp. prior to its Chapter 11 transition to Monaco RV LLC — is somewhat of a reunion.
“After more than 25 years away from us, Ed Kinney has finally found his way home,” said Carriage owner Glenn Cushman in today’s (June 15) press release. “Ed Kinney, formerly vice president of sales for Monaco Coach Corp., has taken over the reins of our sales team at Carriage. Ed started at Carriage as a regional sales manager in the late ’70s and early ’80s. We are pleased to have him back. Ed will be responsible for Carriage’s three lines of high-end fifth-wheels — Cameo, Carri-Lite and Royals International — as well as a fourth line we are introducing at our national dealer show in Dallas next week.”
“I have always admired Carriage as a company, and the product is the best in the business,” added Kinney, who also spent time at Mallard and Prairie Schooner during his career. “I look forward to talking to all my industry friends and growing Carriage’s dealer network. The atmosphere at this company is amazing.”
Carriage’s 2010 New Product Show is slated for June 21-24 at the Gaylord Texan in Grapevine, Texas.
A new company headed up by industry veteran Ed Kinney — RVSalesForce.com LLC, Elkhart, Ind. — has launched an online program to assist RV dealers in hiring and training a sales force.
”There’s been nothing out there other than generic programs to hire, keep and train good, honest and ethical sales people,” said Kinney, executive manager of the new firm and a former Monaco Coach Corp. vice president of marketing.
Although components of the program have been available previously for automotive dealerships, SalesForce VT (virtual training) has been designed specifically for RV dealers, Kinney said.
”We tweaked it to spin it into the RV world,” said Kinney, who left Monaco in 2008 and opened the Mug and Brush, an old-fashioned barbershop in Milford, Inc. ”This lets me keep my ties to the RV industry.”
Kinney partnered with Jim Fisher and Dale Dandurand, a former auto dealer, to create SalesForce VT, which involves an online pre-hiring sales aptitude test and pre-employment training on RV sales.
”Then all the dealer has to do is fine-tune the training to their particular way of doing things,” Dandurand said.
The program costs $995 to hire and train three people, although the cost is adjustable for fewer or more hires, Dandurand said.
When the person hired trains online before beginning to work, they understand what their job is and management knows what areas of additional training they need, according to the company. Additional training is ongoing.
”Auto dealers that are using the SalesForce VT tools are experiencing unprecedented success in hiring and training their salespeople,” Kinney said.
RVSalesForce claims to save dealerships can 80% of the time and 50% of the cost associated with hiring and training a sales staff.
”A dealer doesn’t have to send a new sales person to a sales-training conference that will cost them $5,000,” Kinney said.