Whether he’s leading business change, taking the kids to Disneyland, or powering through a spin class, John McCarthy isn’t afraid to give it his all.

When John was asked to lead the CRM transformation of the sales department, he stepped up to the challenge. Even though he’d never worked with Salesforce before, he rallied his troops, set out his strategy, and 12 weeks later had smashed his targets. We talked to John, National After Sales and CRM Manager at Daikin Applied UK, about the most challenging - and most rewarding - aspects of the project.

What do you love about your job?

I like to lead, to innovate, and help people progress on their chosen career path. I’m lucky as I get to do all three in my role.

I’m a goal-oriented person, and have been responsible for quite a few improvements and innovations within the business, which gives me a great sense of satisfaction. I’m currently on the Daikin Leadership Programme, which is giving me the chance to develop new skills. I also love a challenge, both at work and at home – which is why I’ve recently got into spin classes!

When I was asked to work with Salesforce to transform our sales approach, I saw it as a great opportunity to get stuck into a new challenge.

What have you enjoyed about working with Salesforce? 

I’ve always worked in the HVAC industry and know the industry inside out, so it was actually quite refreshing to work on something so different. Collaboration was a really crucial aspect of the project, we built great relationships with Salesforce and with our implementation partner, Ceterna. It was a great learning experience, but also reinforced what I already knew in some ways: working with people from a completely different sector helped me realise that the skills I’ve learnt as a manager are transferable to whatever I put my mind to – whether it’s managing a diverse team, developing people, or rolling out a new business platform!

I also really came to appreciate the Salesforce philosophy – it’s nice to see such a big business treat people in the right way, from employees, partners and clients to its 1:1:1 model of integrated philanthropy.


So what was the most challenging aspect of transforming sales in just 12 weeks?

The Salesforce solution was all very new to me - there was initially lots of terminology that I didn’t have a clue about! But that wasn’t actually much of a challenge. I don’t embarrass easily so was happy to stop people and ask even the most obvious questions, and there was plenty of help available.

The biggest challenge was the change management aspect and getting everyone on board when you’re turning their world upside down. I had lots of help with this though – I had my team, managing director, marketing manager and Salesforce admin all behind me. I couldn’t have done it single-handedly.

…And what was the most rewarding?

Seeing people develop and reach their full potential is always a great feeling. As part of the Salesforce project one of my team, Lewis Howel, has become a full-time Salesforce admin, and he’s really thriving in the role, even though it’s been a complete change of direction.

And the sales piece has been such a success that I’ve now got sign-off on funding to do the same in service. I grew up in that part of the business – I started as a field service apprentice before working through to senior manager. Now I’m really looking forward to making an impact with Service Cloud, not just on business financials, but improving the service team’s roles and morale.

What advice would you give to other Trailblazers?

Be fearless! It’s easy to access the help you need if you start by building a strong relationship with Salesforce and your implementation partner. It’s important to understand what you want to achieve though, have a clear vision and make it a shared vision. Always bear in mind that it’s a change management piece, and some people will need gentle encouragement. Get all the right people involved from the beginning so you have access to the resources and support that you need – tick those boxes first and the rest will be much easier!


Find out more

See how Daikin Applied UK keeps sales hot and customers cool with Salesforce in the full customer success story.