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Case Study #1: Sobeys
Double the Sales Productivity

Client Background: A market leader
As one of only two national grocery retailers in Canada, Sobeys Inc. serves the food shopping needs of Canadians with more than 1,300 stores in 10 provinces with retail banners that include Sobeys, IGA, Foodland, Price Chopper and Thrifty Foods.

Sobeys’ 85,000 employees and franchise affiliates are committed to building sustainable worth for each of their customers, employees, suppliers and shareholders through their focus on food, innovation and superior customer service.

In 2007, Sobeys marked its 100th anniversary and was taken private by majority shareholder, Empire Company Limited.

Challenge: More volume required
In 2008, Sobeys launched the Club Sobeys loyalty card program and Club Sobeys MasterCard in its Sobeys banner stores in Ontario and Western Canada.
While Sobeys customers enthusiastically received the loyalty card, the Club Sobeys MasterCard had less than expected penetration in the market. Initially, Sobeys attempted to use in-store employees to increase activations but results were less than compelling. Next, a third party field marketing agency was engaged, but again, delivered unsatisfactory sales results.

Actv8’s challenge was to turnaround the unsuccessful MasterCard launch by the previous field-marketing agency and increase penetration of the program.

Solution: Effective team building and management buy in
To directly address the issue of lagging penetration, Actv8 built a 17-person sales team solely dedicated to the Club Sobeys MasterCard.

Using our proprietary hiring and selection process, each team member was screened for suitability and professionalism, and then trained by our experienced sales managers on the specifics of the Sobeys program.

Recognizing that we needed the buy-in, support and trust of the store leadership to be successful, team members met with store management daily to communicate results and reinforce the value of the program.

Actv8’s Evalu8 Reporting System™ was employed to provide Sobeys with real time sales information with the goal of increasing store management acceptance and buy-in for the program.

Outcome: Increased sales by 100%
Within the first month of launch, Actv8 had shown a significant increase in card applications that caused the program to be expanded from a handful of locations to more than 50 stores across Ontario.

In addition to doubling the sales productivity of the previous field-marketing agency, Actv8 was able to deliver a higher quality application resulting in stronger approval and usage rates.

Actv8’s online reporting system as well as daily face-to-face updates from field representatives played a key role in increasing store management acceptance and buy-in for the program.

Club Sobeys MasterCard is now an established, valuable offering to Sobeys customer base.

Case Study #2: Selling big ticket products successfully
Learn how Actv8 sold technically complex, expensive consumer products in a big box retail environment

Challenge: Drive efficient sales in a unique retail environment

In the spring of 2008, a major Canadian big box warehouse-retailer partnered with an international Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) systems company to participate in a series of in-store “Road Shows” across Toronto. The objective of the Road Shows was to drive sales by offering warehouse members premium HVAC products, with exceptional customer service at market-competitive prices.

Initially, the HVAC systems company utilized trained HVAC technicians to staff the Road Shows and sell the systems. By not being in the field servicing existing and potential customers, these technicians were not fully productive. As a result, Actv8 Marketing Inc. was engaged in the fall of 2009 on a pilot basis to staff and drive sales through the Road Show program.

Solution: Hire a team of teachable sales experts

Actv8 hired a dynamic, dedicated team of experienced sales professionals to support the HVAC systems company in the warehouse-retail environment.

By providing intensive initial training and regular on-going support, Actv8 was able to successfully hire and retain a team of professional Sales Representatives.

As quickly as possible, Actv8 built a collaborative relationship with the HVAC systems company and with the warehouse-retailer. Given the technical nature of HVAC products, Actv8 needed the support of the HVAC systems company to ensure that its team was knowledgeable enough to complete the sale and provide the customer with an experience in-line with expectations.

This opportunity represented a unique one for Actv8, ie. selling high ticket, very technical items in a warehouse-retail environment. The process also required that all transactions be executed fully at the time of sale without financing. That meant that Actv8’s team of Representatives were required to complete the sales cycle in its entirety which sometimes meant transactions in excess of $10,000.

The requirement to validate results in an efficient manner to ensure the business case made sense was critical.

Outcome: More sales, greater efficiency

Over the pilot term, Actv8 drove approximately $190,000 in sales by selling 41 HVAC units with an average transaction amount of about $4,600.

More importantly, the HVAC systems company was able to realize full efficiency with its team of Technicians by keeping them in-field.

Actv8’s ability to build a team capable of selling high-ticket, technical products was confirmed.

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