Ricoh Australia is one of the largest suppliers of photocopiers, printers and projectors in the country. Ricoh pride themselves on being a leader within the industry and have won numerous awards.
Ricoh Australia had been in business for many years, and had built a solid base of both Direct Sales Staff (working within Ricoh itself), as well as a large Dealer network. Incentive Action had been managing a travel rewards program for Ricoh for the past 15 years, called the Ricoh 100 Club. This incentive program was aimed at Direct Sales Staff who had to hit 100% of their set targets to qualify for an international trip each year. However, Ricoh were concerned that this program ignored the Dealer Network, and wanted a parallel program that would target all Dealers with an opportunity to reward many of them. With this in mind, Ricoh turned to Incentive Action to see if we could expand on the already successful Ricoh 100 Club.
Incentive Action looked at the issues Ricoh were facing and contributed the problems to the following:
- Demotivation within the Dealer Network due to perceived bias based on the Direct Sales Staff incentive program, the Ricoh 100 Club.
- Frustration within the Direct Sales Staff at perceived non-commitment from the Dealer Network
Incentive Action understood that the Direct and Dealer Network were essentially two separate arms of Ricoh, and should be treated as such. They both dealt with different industries, and had different methods in play, mainly because the Dealers were individual companies and were pushing competitor products. It was decided to firstly focus on one incentive rewards program for the Dealer Network, to see how that tracked before including the Direct Sales Staff.
With the focus set on the Dealer Network, a program based on a points system was instigated. Each Dealer could register, and earn points for every product sold. There were specific categories created that allowed Ricoh to target sales of various products:
- Various items were weighted, so that a less popular product could earn more points.
- At various times over the program, products that Ricoh wished to focus on could earn more points over certain months.
- Regional Dealers, who had a smaller cliental base, also had their points weighted to allow them to earn comparative points to their metro cousins.
The reward was a selection of top shelf merchandise that could be redeemed for points at any time over the course of the program, from the latest technical products (iPads, TV’s, kitchen appliances); to clothes; to furniture; to special requests such as holidays or concerts.
Dealers could choose to save up points for one large purchase, or make numerous smaller purchases over the course of the program.
MANAGING THE SOLUTION….
Implementing the program was only part of the solution. Pushing the program and communicating with the Dealer Network participants was the most integral step, and a few channels were utilised to draw the Dealers into the program:
- A clean and easy to navigate website was created, and each Dealer participant was provide with a unique login. The website contained all details of their sales, points earned and points redeemed. A complete catalogue of available merchandise was also built into the website, which made accruing points and redeeming points a simple process.
- Regular email blasts and text blasts were sent to all Dealers, advising them when their latest monthly points were uploaded to the site, and letting them know of any new merchandise additions to the catalogue.
- Monthly promotions that could earn additional points – such as quizzes or product related games – were also added to the website regularly.
- After the program had been in play for a year, we started to make all the Dealers points visible to the entire Dealer Network. This created a competitive edge to the program, and really pushed the Dealers to try and outdo each other, thus increasing sales dramatically.
After the first year of the program, sales had increased by 10% across the Dealer Network. This was attributed to the fact that the program really incentivised these Dealers to sell Ricoh product above that of other competitors.
The program was such a success that Ricoh requested it be pushed into the following year, and also made available to Direct Sales Staff, where it had an immediate impact.
The program ran for a total of 9 years, finishing in 2013. In that time, sales increased an average of 8% year on year, and the Dealer Network grew almost 20% between the program’s launch and end.
“The Ricoh Rewards program was the most successful program we have ever run. Not only did it achieve all the targets we wanted to hit, it galvanized our Dealer Network like never before, and really made everyone excited once again about selling Ricoh product.”
National Sales Manager, Ricoh Australia