Special Biography Edition #1: Lane Babiak, BDM of CraneWorks CanadaPosted: Mon Dec 22, 2014
Mechanics, human mastery equal Babiak success – Competition is the fire that drives Lane Babiak’s work in Canada Sales, but it is his technical prowess and discipline which ratchet up otherwise measurable results into outstanding successes.
Babiak grew up on a farm, working with mechanical equipment at an early age. A fairly academic fellow, he is mathematical by nature. Hence, engineering proved a natural fit. Building on a diploma in mechanical industrial engineering from Northern Alberta Institute of Technology, Babiak worked as an HVAC designer for six years. He “fell into” sales while working on his bachelor of commerce degree at the University of Alberta.
“I’m more interested in freedom and dealing with people. Sales was a natural fit. I figured I had a couple of choices,” Babiak remembers. “I could go the technology sales route or continue to completing an MBA.”
Sales won, and Babiak was soon selling Mack trucks.
“I love the competition of it. I love to win. It’s a great competitive field. You’re competing against your natural competitors out there and also yourself,” Babiak says. “This can be a very driven field if you’re a very driven individual.”
Babiak is clearly driven, by the thrill of the hunt as well as its sweet payoff.
“Competition is about winning; money is the measure,” he says.
As a boy, Babiak nurtured his competitive nature in sports. Today, he still plays rugby in the summer and hockey during winter. He has found, however, that his unique skill set affords him success in sales.
“Very few in the industry have the combination of technology and sales. Many possess a strong sales competency, but they don’t know how to put things together. Few are able to bring what I bring to the table,” Babiak explains. “My background gives me a competitive edge against my competitors, and I enjoy leveraging it.”
Babiak starts his workdays at 5:15 a.m., with a workout and shower. He’s in the office by 7:30, making sales calls “first thing in the morning.” Although the office closes at 4:30 p.m., Babiak stays until 5:30, working. He then heads home to have supper with wife Nicole and daughters Olivia,17, and Julia, 14, “two mini-versions” of their mother “who know how to spend” the money he makes.
Another hour of work then commences from home.
Fifty percent of the job is travel, working in a vehicle and assorted hotel rooms. One should be able to compartmentalize easily for this to pay off, by attacking a territory geographically and via industry, continually perfecting how to “move capacity,” Babiak says. He describes himself as “very disciplined.”
“The great thing about sales is that you have the freedom to do your job. One of the biggest pitfalls about sales is that you have the freedom to do your job. No one’s monitoring you, so you can easily waste an extremely large amount of time in a day,” Babiak notes, 24 years in. “There’s always someone to call and something new to learn in order to give you a competitive edge. You have the ability to structure your day any way you want.”
As sales manager of Wajax Industries’ Western Region crane division, Babiak increased the 2012 crane division’s revenue to a company record. In 2008, he’d increased Palfinger crane and hooklift sales, posting historic returns for the 156-year-old company. Three years earlier, as a truck equipment specialist, he’d been gathering steam by developing the northeastern Alberta sales territory for HIAB cranes, which resulted in growth of 690 percent at A.R. Williams Truck Equipment Ltd.
Not only did Babiak complete a $1 million Bron plow sale to Vermilion River Gas Co-op last year, he’s also sold 17 cranes in a single transaction to Albian Sands Energy, for the Muskeg River Mine Site startup. In 2002, this $650,000 deal was the largest single-unit sale in A.R.Williams company history. (At the time, the company had been in business 107 years.)
“We put the right systems, processes and focus in place,” Babiak says, when explaining the methodology behind his track record of success.”
“The company was misdirected in regard to where the market was. There were low unit sales and low production. We focused on increasing penetration and increasing unit numbers, then we realigned with certain controls,” he says. “We offered a premium product and premium quality. Then we applied certain directives and measured the results.”
Crane Works is the proud beneficiary of Babiak’s years of sales experience in the field and on the road. In December, Babiak celebrates six months of employment with the company as Crane Works Canada’s business development manager and sales representative.
“I’m really looking forward to seeing where we can grow this business,” Babiak says. “A.R. Williams was a fledgling business. We took it from nothing to something. So was Wajax. I’m looking forward to doing that again, here.”
In his spare time, Babiak likes to golf and ride his Aprilia motorcycle.
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