March 31, 2015
Kriete Truck Group, headquartered in Milwaukee, has five full-line, premium dealerships across Wisconsin, spanning the entire state from East to West and covering nearly two-thirds of the state. With eighteen salesmen, the group was successful, but felt they could expand their market share. “For a long time, our sales planning process was a pipe dream,” said David Kriete, CEO and Dealer Principal. “We had some ideas, bounced around some high level goals, but there was no real process for realizing them.” David decided to enroll in a pilot program offered by one of their premium truck brands and KEA Advisors.
The dealership undertook what became a grueling 18 months of planning. “We committed the time and efforts of our top area sales managers and me to form the team that would hopefully bring about some eventual change,” Kriete recalled. With KEA Advisors’ professionals, the team began gathering data and examining their entire sales process.
The next major step was taking the data to the frontline sales personnel. “We invited them into the process, showing them our figures, asking them for goals and suggestions for how to set them,” said Kriete. By this time the team was drilling down into dealership practices. “By taking this step, I now had buy-in from not only my sales management team, but also the salesmen themselves.”
“We performed an Operations PROFIT assessment of Kriete’s new truck sales performance and processes,” said Keith Ely, Managing Partner of KEA Advisors. The team focused on prospecting, quoting, managing salespeople and market area penetration. “As the project progressed, we began tying the data to a specific objective for the department, then evolving the information into activities and performance measurements to achieve the objective,” Ely said.
That was accomplished by bridging the sales management team’s goals with the set of performance goals outlined by the frontline salespeople. “The result was extreme buy in by all parties,” said Kriete. “We began to concentrate on the daily tasks and activities that would drive success, rather than just looking at the larger goals.” As the process crystallized, sales and market share began to increase.
Growth in sales is an obvious measurement of improvement, but there are other indicators that demonstrate the efficacy of the new process. “Every objective put in place in the last two years has been met,” said Kriete.
“The Kriete sales team reached the necessary point of holding themselves accountable, both as individuals and as a group,” said Ely. The baseline for customer touches, demonstrators, quality proposals and the other performance activities has been met by the sales team.
“We all understood at a very high level that selling more is a good thing. Now, however, we very deeply understand what is involved in our New Truck Sales process and our role in managing sales activities,” Kriete said.