Interview with Richard Lockley, Sales Director of Superstat
There is a lot of buzz around Superstat at the moment and what we're doing in 2018; we talk to Richard about simplifying the offering and the effect this has had on the membership.
SS: People talk about Superstat having ‘pared back’ over the past couple of years. Can you explain for readers what that means?
RL: Sure, it’s something we get asked about a lot when we meet new dealers; they’ve heard on the grapevine that staff count at Superstat has reduced and for some that might be a negative thing, but for us that is not the case. Our number one objective has always been to help a dealer be profitable; but with our business branching out into different areas (Business Works, Cadabra, etc.) we felt that objective wasn’t being met in the most efficient way. Time and resource were being ploughed into initiatives that certainly worked for a few, but not for the majority of our core dealers and that is where the changes have been made. By making the decision to close these areas, we are now focussing entirely on initiatives that benefit the bulk of our core membership.
SS: Side Question… Was it a difficult decision to close these services?
RL: To be totally honest, once we could see that these services weren’t benefitting the majority, it was an easier decision to make. In the case of Cadabra, we found that the best cost-savings available were in logistics (as opposed to customer service and credit control, where you cannot replicate the dealer’s knowledge of their customer and they don’t really want to lose control of it!). Initiatives like Spicers Alliance were in a much better position to offer considerable savings in this area.
SS: What kind of dealers are you hoping that Superstat’s approach will attract?
RL: This new approach is based on three things. Good marketing, utilising sales data and exploring new product areas. Our current members are on board with this and we’re seeing a much better take up of initiatives as a result. In terms of new dealers, being focussed has helped get across what we do in a much simpler way - they know exactly what we do and what benefit our initiatives will bring to their business. I’ll blow our own trumpet slightly here, but it’s worth mentioning that we’ve had a cracking start to the year - hitting a third of our new member recruitment target in just one month!
SS: In your opinion, what are the challenges dealers face today?
RL: Most of our members are SMEs and the challenges they face are pretty similar. Trying to break into new product areas, not having the time/resource to maximise the potential of existing customers/bring on new ones, dealing with internet-savvy customers who know the price of everything... these will be familiar to most I think, and that’s what we’re here to help with.
SS: So, how does Superstat’s offering as a group help them?
RL: We help them in many ways but the three main ways are: through great, effective marketing, which includes unique content written by the marketing team, online solutions (including websites and social media) and marketing strategies to suit each type of dealer. By identifying the potential of their sales data using INsight, our CRM and automated marketing tool; and finally by exploring new product areas through our approved supplier programme. Each of these areas addresses a pain point our members have identified and feedback has been overwhelmingly positive - we’re creating conversations with customers which are targeted, reflect your brand and crucially, are no longer based on how cheap you can go on paper!
SS: What is in the pipeline for Superstat?
RL: We will continue to build on what we’ve achieved so far as it’s working! We will keep talking to our members, because it is their feedback that shapes what we do as a group. It’s something we value very highly, and we’ve changed how we go out and see dealers to reflect this. Our annual conference in October is a good example. When we dictated the content for the sessions, it clicked with a few members but inevitably didn’t apply to everyone. We’ve changed to the format of this now so we gather feedback and ideas prior to the event and shape the sessions around what you want to tackle. At the end of the day, meeting up with other dealers, sharing ideas and getting a fresh perspective on things is why people turn up and the popularity of our events (we had to add extra days to some of our regional pop ups) is testament to that.
If you would like to talk to Superstat about your business, then please get in touch with the Business Development team on 0113 391 1100 or firstname.lastname@example.org.