In October last year, Ryobi introduced ‘The Strike Force’, a concept that is part of an exciting new sales strategy that has already been successful implemented. The reason behind the sales strategy is to ensure a new approach to sales and service that benefits the consumer, the retailer and Ryobi.
Effectively it is a new approach to how direct and indirect sales are achieved through the implementation of the strategy as a team. The teams ‘strike’ a store to achieve the following:
- Stock integrity – the Strike Force team go into the store in a planned and strategic way and put an action plan in place together with the store owner or manager to move stock quicker, using either in-store promotions, price adjustments, order manipulation etc. The outcome is one where stock integrity is achieved – ordering issues are sorted out and slow moving stock is a thing of the past
- Indirect sales – The Strike Force team negotiates with the store on the acquisition of space – be it gondola ends, shelving, display stands, snake aisles, promotional bulk space etc to allow for clever and clear merchandising of all products and accessories. This effectively results in more sales for the retailer as newly delivered and older products are merchandised in such a way to ensure convenience for the customers and sales for the retailers
- Direct Sales – the team come into stores in a planned manner to help sell the products. The team can sell a combination of slow-moving items at the same time as promoting the faster moving products. This is achieved by making a ‘bang’ with the ‘strike’. This involves music, demos and advice for the customers. The aim is to create a stir, engage in conversations with the consumer, listen to their needs and educate them on choosing the right product for the correct application. This also creates an opportunity to upsell by advising regarding spare parts and accessories. The consumer is engaged rather than intimidated and leaves the store educated and confident with the right product for their needs. This has a knock-on effect of turning over more stock benefitting for both the retailer and Ryobi as happy customers are also returning customers. The Strike Force can assist with after-sale service; pick-up and drop off of machines as well as assess and troubleshoot products as required.
When the Strike Force concept was introduced, John Stevens managing director of Stevens and Company (agent for Ryobi) was optimistic and agreed to start rolling the strategy out with ten Strike Force teams, conveniently situated around the country. These teams also service stores beyond South African borders. “The response to the concept has been phenomenal with teams being kept very busy. The Strike Force teams are easy to identify as all members share a team identity and strike the store in the same corporate outfit. The teams also travel around in branded vehicles with enough packing space to properly service the stores”, says Stevens.
The introduction of Strike Force has also proved a great motivator for Ryobi sales and support staff says Stevens. “These people are at the coal face of the business and intricately involved in the entire sales channel, from warehouse to store to consumer, each member of the team is highly skilled and understand the intrinsic of the tools they represent and are able to assemble, demonstrate and answer questions on all the Ryobi products.”
The concept has ensured a constant channel between the storeowner and Ryobi. This has also ensured greater efficiency as everything is done at store level. Issues are picked up on the day and feedback given immediately. The value of The Strike Force concept is one that has ensured a fast, flexible and focused service coupled with energised and motivated Ryobi staff, energetic and driven Ryobi retailers, and last but not least, happy end users.
Ryobi will be expanding this service as needed and are working on implementing the next phase of this exciting force shortly.
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