Aug 31, 2012

BlackBerry Sales Training

Driving Conversion Rates in Store - End Result = Sales +15% Overall!

The Pain: Sales assistants across South-East Asia were only knowledgeable about devices from a feature perspective. Their sales skills were extremely limited, often as a result of complex social and generational factors which viewed low paid retail workers as 'servants' - only there to answer questions. Thus conversion rates were low in stores all the way from India to the Philippines

The Answer: A bespoke Sales Cycle program for BlackBerry owned and dealer environments, teaching all Sales Staff how to sell. Entitled "Wow....Sell!" - this was a 2 day classroom course with an extensive self-guided workbook to help embed the skills. Participants were taught a range of very advanced techniques from the world of NLP, including the opening acknowledgement vs greeting, body language and the power of suggestion in their words.

How It Was Brought to Life: An extensive Train the Trainer approach was used, whereby 20 trainers from around SE Asia were brought to Singapore for an in-depth 7 day event that quite literally changed their lives! A thorough certification process meant that the trainers were not guaranteed sign off, and only when we were confident that they themselves could teach the techniques were they free to go and take the courses.

The Results: Simply stunning! A control group of 40 stores in India and Indonesia showed a 15% gross increase of sales in the months after the event, adjusting for seasonality. Some stores literally doubled their sales overnight! We achieved over 5,000 graduates from the program, and this was an integral part of the sales success of BlackBerry in Asia whilst the rest of the world was declining.

Aug 31, 2015

A Career Path for Retail Staff that Begins with a World Class Induction

How to Design An End to End Program that Delivers Change in Behaviours and Aids Staff Retention

The Pain: Old fashioned job roles in a heavily unionised environment were stifling growth, as fixed positions such as cashiers were not delivering revenue, nor were having two advisors to do both "customer service" and "sales". A fragmented past apporach to retail meant that 15 markets had all changed pieces to suit their own needs, and as a result internal HR were powerless to make changes to the group, including positive moves such as introducing performance based pay.

The Answer: Creating a new set of JD's for the entire retail estate in all markets, flattening the structures by creating a sub-set of "retail roles" under the umbrella of the core "Retail Advisor" JD. Such "roles" included cashier, greeter, sales advisor, service advisor and business sales without having to have a new JD for each. A comprehensive Induction program was then created which guided the new starter through their first 8 weeks, with a structured performance monitoring system and a self-guided workbook to help drive their knowledge.

How It Was Brought to Life: Once the core JD's has been agreed, and the career path structure identified, work then began on modelling the desired skills and behaviours of the core JD - Retail Advisor. Creating both a 1 day classroom Induction and a complementary 8 week program, this meant we were able to quickly upskill existing staff who all took part in the program. Local HR teams helped with the removal of all old contracts and JD's, and the implementation of the new.

The Results: Staff turnover fell from 10% yoy to <5% in the six months following the completion of the program. Sales actually INCREASED (adjusted for seasonality) by over 3% as the store teams were more multi-skilled, resulting in better conversion and less walk-outs. A hugely successful program which took over 1 year to complete due to the varying local laws and union resistance we encountered.

Feb 01, 2011

ENTEL Chile Franchise Transformation

Ensuring the Purpose of the Channel Matched the Customer Need

The Pain: An under-performing Channel and a disgruntled group of franchisees, coupled with low attractiveness of the franchise proposition meaning that little growth was possible in the channel due to a lack of new franchisors. The root cause was the intial reason for the channel's inception - all "Entel Express" stores were within 500 metres of a flagship store, and were created to help the post-pay sales efforts of the flagships, due to the over-crowded traffic conditions created by bill payment. Express stores only sold post pay plans and handsets, which accounted for around 30% of the base in Chile at that time.

The Answer: Understanding that the Express stores were often situated in secondary locations, much cheaper to run than the large flagships, also meant that the lower demographic traffic passing by these stores were much more pre-disposed to pre-pay products. By introducing a controlled range of pre-pay handsets and products for the franchisees to sell, while simultaneously concentrating their sales efforts on pre to post conversion techniques, this meant that 100% of passing customers at least had some interest in the store.

How It Was Brought to Life: By re-focusing the marketing efforts for the channel, and introducing a new product set for the franchisees to sell, both footfall and sales grew exponentially. Aligning this to a heavy staff training program focused on up-sell and conversion to post pay, the channel became a more focused sales engine, with happier franchisees and a waiting list to take on a new location finally appearing.

The Results: Gross sales in some locations were up over 40%, with the final EBITDA figure of all franchisees exceeding 20% combined when compared to the previous year.

Apr 30, 2015

Self Service Kiosks in a Caribbean Cash Culture

Making Stores Faster and more Efficient through Engaging Self Service Kiosks in Store

The Pain: A predominately cash culture in the Caribbean, coupled with a mistrust of banks, led consumers to visit their Telco retail store every month to pay their bills in person. Coupled with an ageing billing system which had limited bill pay runs, this led to queues at stores of over 2-3 hours for 6 days every month either side of the bill pay period. This in turn leads to over-staffing, inefficient transactions and poor sales in stores as they are over-whelmed by taking so much cash.

The Answer: A bespoke design kiosk - fast, takes cash AND card, gives a receipt (a vital customer ask!). We designed the UI to be like the simplest mobile app - touch screen and a walled garden design that enabled a transaction of less than 60 seconds. With the capability to retrieve account details by scanning the barcode on the bill, or entering account number OR service number, we focused on making the kiosk as easy to use as possible due to the IT-sceptic nature of the consumer in Caribbean markets.

How It Was Brought to Life: Once the system architecture had been created, a POC was established in one store in Barbados, with a heavy focus on collecting customer feedback. Once a strong BC had been established it was easier to then quickly scale to other stores and markets, with the target hit of 60 machines being installed within 1 year of the start date.

The Results: A superb impact on NPS scores for stores that had machines vs the control group (an over 10 point increase) was also coupled with the ability to reduce headcount in conjunction with the Career Path exercise of re-categorising the Job Descriptions for Retail Staff, saving over $3M p/a across the entire Group in terms of payroll cost. The machines had a payback period of <12 months, with a positive profit contriubtion after 3 years in excess of $50k for each machine.

Aug 31, 2009

Live Device Display Changing the Model in Russia

How to Successfully Range, Display and Secure Live Devices for Success

The Pain: In 2009, Russian mobile retail was dominated by indirect retailers, with 95% share of the market. The style was to display devices behind glass cabinets, due to a mistrust of the customer and a fear of theft. MTS Retail were breaking the market, and were the first network operator to realise that a large chain of mono-branded stores was going to be crucial in their quest for the #1 operator position.

The Answer: A thorough RFP of device security manufacturers, coupled with an in depth review of Global Best Practices from many retailers was undertaken. A small trial was arranged in a store location, which was gradually extended as the results became clear and attitudes changed towards the project.

How It Was Brought to Life: By steadily increasing the scale and complexity of the trial locations, we were able to convince the Board that this strategy had to be followed through in order to break the monopoly of the independants. Once the newly designed retail stores came on line the business case was solid, and a nationwide roll-out of live device tables began. A crucial learning point was the need to educate the front line staff, as their attitude towards demonstrating the devices with customers was critical, as was their vigilance in monitoring the key devices to ensure theft was virtually zero across the entire chain.

The Results: In-store sales rocketed by over 15%, and soon the independants and other operators were following suit with a live-device strategy, however MTS gained big wins from an undoubted first-mover advantage.

Jul 31, 2015

Making FLOW Retail Paper-Free via Enhanced Digital Marketing

Using Simple Technology and Repeatable Marketing Techniques to Drive ROI

The Pain: A plethora of expensive paper leaflets, allied to a chaotic marketing approach with zero digital capability, meant that the Flow Retail outlets were stale and old-fashioned. Sales were an after thought behind bill payment and service queries, and the stores needed a much more modern focus.

The Answer: Building a layered capability for the chain that started with the 'best case' approach in the newly designed stores, using a dedicated b2b content management approach via all of the in store screens. Complementing this with a similar system for legacy stores, that may well have 1-3 screens only to manage, however it was vital that all stores started to showcase the latest marketing campaigns.

How It Was Brought to Life: A series of digital adverts were created, some fixed screen 1 pagers giving tariff ladder information, some animated 30 second spots showcasing products and services and handset offers, and some 60 second branded spots with video showcasing the latest sponsorship and Teir 1 assets such as Rio Olympics and Manchester United tie-ins. A playlist was scheduled and managed based on the size and category of the store, and all stores were included in the roll-out regardless of location or age.

The Results: Over $1M direct marketing costs were released p/a due to removing the paper, net/net this resulted in a zero effect situation, however the NPS increases from all stores following the immersion of the screens and the campaign unprompted awareness scores from the Brand Tracker justified the investment in this very successful project, which is loved by customers (they have entertainment and engagement in stores now) and internal product managers alike (who have a direct link into stores for their products and services)....

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