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Featured Case Study

Picture of three people working togetherImproving the Performance of a
Retail Network in China


A major automotive manufacturer with an extensive retail network in China

Business need

The liberalization of China’s economic policies, reflected in the country’s entry into the World Trade Organization, 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 program consisting of the following key components:

  • Developing a coaching regimen that was fully aligned with the enterprise's sales methodology and process and that included practical templates and checklists;
  • Designing an evaluation tool addressing six core competencies for dealers – selling, showroom, sales management, promotion, service and business management;
  • Organizing, scheduling and dispatching teams of senior consultants to the dealers’ sites to conduct initial evaluations, which were followed up by customized training and coaching conducted in the presence of the manufacturer’s district managers; and
  • Revisiting the dealers to conduct follow-on evaluations and to reinforce key learnings

Business results

At the beginning of the three-month program, the competency scores for the dealers’ sales managers and salespeople averaged 2.4 on a five-point scale. By the end of the program, 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 program.

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