Women Worth Watching 2015
Manheim’s VP of Dealer Sales Leads by Example
Susie Heins is a dynamic leader with extensive experience and tremendous passion for the automotive remarketing industry. In her current role as Manheim’s vice president of dealer sales, Susie oversees national and regional dealer sales, which involves the company’s largest dealer accounts. She is responsible for all aspects of the company’s overall sales initiative, from strategy and business planning, to budgeting and forecasting, to coaching and developing key sales teams that play a consultative role for these critical accounts.
Susie joined Cox Automotive (the parent company of Autotrader and Manheim) in 1999, when she became a district sales manager for Autotrader. Approximately one year later, she made the move to the Manheim sales team.
“Don’t be afraid to sell yourself more.”
Susie’s career success and industry recognition is the result of her ability to lead by example, remain customer centric, builds strong relationship, and take a strategic and thoughtful approach in everything she does. She has achieved double digit growth in new business and key Manheim verticals by implementing a winning sales strategy and building a topnotch analytics team, and creating world-class recognition programs that increase employee engagement, productivity, and satisfaction.
“Being a woman in my profession has been both interesting and ground breaking,” said Susie. “Fifteen years ago, I would look around and see only men in decision-making roles. Our business and our customers’ businesses have definitely changed, and along with it the dynamic in decision-making. In my opinion, it’s become much more collaborative, which leads to more opportunity for everyone.”
Well respected in the automotive industry, Susie has spoken at several industry events, including the Conference of Automotive Remarketing and the National Automotive Dealers Association Conference. In 2012, she was named one of AutoRemarketing’s Women of the Year.
Education: BA, English from Old Dominion University
First Job: Selling golf balls to desperate golfers on the worst water hole. I was 8 years old.
What I’m Reading: “A Curious Mind: The Secret to a Bigger Life” by Brian Grazer
Words I live by: Do what you say and say what you do.
The most important quality a woman leader should have is…
…focus, focus, focus. And don’t apologize for it!
The career advice I’d give my former self:
Don’t be afraid to sell yourself more.
Words I live by:
“Do what you say and say what you do.” I learned this when I made the transition to sales. One of my first key sales executive used this as a mantra when I was at Autotrader.
The one thing I’d do differently in my career, knowing what I know now, is…
…don’t be so hard on yourself. As a leader, you have to move on quickly. If you’re beating yourself up all the time, your team feels it and it will impact their perspectives/performance. I learned from that very early on and always keep that in mind.
When I really need to focus on a project, I…
…don’t procrastinate! I have to dive in and surround myself with a good team.
My biggest career leap (and what I learned from it) was…
…from Operations to Sales. I learned that you have to ALWAYS stay close to your customers.
Being a woman in my profession has been…
…both interesting and ground-breaking. Fifteen years ago, I would look around and see only men in decision-making roles. Our business and our customers’ businesses have definitely changed, and along with it the dynamic in decision-making. In my opinion, it’s become much more collaborative, which leads to more opportunity for everyone.
I’ve learned that failure is…
Failure happens, so learn from it and move on.
I maintain a healthy personal life by…
…having a great partner in life, my husband Joe, and taking time for us.
I knew my present career was what I wanted to do when…
…I was able to sit in on a general manager’s meeting at the dealer group I was working at right out of college. Wow – I was hooked on the car business from that moment.