A French multinational company leader in components and automotive-related services has recently redefined its retail organization in line with a new Leadership model aimed to build a new customer centricity thanks to higher empowerment and autonomy of store managers.

The challenge

The challenge was to identify a path that could raise awareness in store managers - often with a more technical background rather than managerial - on the need of a new approach and the operational tools to act in their context.

The widespread distribution and the poor custom of training and development activities have made the phase of engagement and communication of the project particularly important. It was fundamental for the company that store managers were motivated to participate actively.

The solution

The project was split into different moments to ensure continuity, regardless of traditional in-class activities. The preliminary phase was to create a logo of the initiative, in line with company communication, as well as an ad hoc Mapp® to support the activities.

The following step was on-field shadowing (Store visit) that led to spending time at the store and understanding its peculiarities, pace, and challenges. The prerequisite for shadowing was observation through a shared grid and a series of interviews to different resources (technicians, sales reps, administrative clerks...).

The material gathered was then used as a template for case studies and in-class activities.

A self-assessment to all participants then followed, so that they could reflect on their areas for improvement and identify their interests for strengthening managerial competencies.

The self-assessment was also instrumental in generating interest and involvement, as well as creating expectations on both sharing the results and the different areas for improvement.

The in-class session, the third step, was marked by a high level of interactivity through the use of Mapp® and a series of ad hoc materials to allow participants to work on real issues and define winning behaviors that would lead back to the model of company Leadership.

The final moment, three months apart, was a virtual session to discuss results, overcome obstacles, and the paradigms that were still left to overcome.

A final self-assessment provided participants with a concrete indicator of their changes.

Results

It was a challenging and engaging project, and it had a great impact on how to involve professionals who do not normally participate in training on leadership and managerial skills. They contributed with great transparency and will for improvement, and they built action plans for their stores to transfer what learned to their collaborators.

The overall level of motivation rose and the company increased its trust in “local”professionals which are often seen as careless about daily issues in the retail world.

Both the pragmatism and the whole approach to the project were appreciated and the resources actively participated right from the start.

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