Featured Case Study

Improving the Performance of a Retail Network in China

A major automotive manufacturer with an extensive retail network in China

Business need
The liberalisation of China’s economic policies, reflected in the country’s entry into the World Trade Organisation, has generated tremendous commercial growth while creating a new business culture that increasingly emphasizes individualized customer service. The automotive industry in particular has experienced a rapid rise in demand, driven largely by automobile purchases by individuals and families. While striving to meet growth in demand, automotive manufacturers have struggled to staff their dealerships with personnel skilled at retail management, sales promotion and customer service. A lack of depth in retail management and sales competencies has translated into lost sales opportunities and decreased customer satisfaction. To address this challenge, a major automotive manufacturer in China retained RPS to improve the competencies of its dealer personnel, with the ultimate aim of increasing dealers’ sales volume and customer satisfaction.

How we helped
RPS’s solution targeted 36 automotive retailers in Guangzhou, Guangxi, Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Henan, Harbin, Yunan and Shenyang. In developing its solution, RPS tapped into its extensive experience in working with automotive dealers in Europe, North America and other parts of Asia. From that award-winning experience, RPS understood not only the value of establishing an initial baseline of performance from which to gauge improvements, but also the importance of aligning the training with the manufacturer's policies and standards.

Together the manufacturer and RPS determined that traditional classroom training for dealer employees would not be sufficient to overcome the steep learning curve. A highly interactive initiative combining real-time assessment and personalized coaching was identified as the most effective approach.

RPS collaborated with the manufacturer to design and execute an ambitious, three-month programme consisting of the following key components:

Business results
At the beginning of the three-month programme, the competency scores for the dealers’ sales managers and salespeople averaged 2.4 on a five-point scale. By the end of the programme, the competency score average improved to 4.1. During that same period, sales volume among participating dealers increased 36%, approximately twice the rate of increase of dealers not participating in the programme.

The manufacturer asked RPS to expand the programme to 64 other dealers. The manufacturer has also standardized the programme, incorporating it into its field manager development programme.