Employment laws in Brazil meant that Volvo Trucks couldn’t directly approach auto dealer employees as part of its effort to increase sales of spare parts to Volvo customers. The manufacturer could enlist the help of entire dealerships, however. This focus on the entire team enabled Volvo to exceed its US$400 million sales goal.
Volvo and agency Marketdata created an incentive program in which dealerships competed against others in their region to win prizes. Although top-performing individuals were recognized with their own prizes, the emphasis was on rewards for the teams. These included all-out celebratory parties for the top-selling dealerships, complete with everything from gift cards to buy food and drinks to balloons to dartboards and darts.
Each dealership received a series of communication pieces that included a welcome kit; a mobile-accessible web portal with up-to-date rankings, a blog, sales tips, and prize information; and weekly updates to keep the program top-of-mind among dealership employees.
Most dealership employees had never participated in an incentive program before, and being included with sales staff in this one motivated everyone from clerical workers to mechanics to pull together to reach their sales targets. Dealerships even reported a decline in sick days and other absences during the four-month campaign, which ran from September 2014 to the end of the year.
Volvo presented the campaign at a national sales event, and all 806 of Brazil’s Volvo dealerships signed on to participate. The company had hoped to increase aftersales parts from $350 million to $400 million; sales in fact zoomed nearly 27%, to $451 million, with a profit margin of $135.3 million. The campaign proved that there’s truth in the saying “Teamwork makes the dream work.”