Case Study: Alpine Sales
A complete turn-around in sales presentation effectiveness

What the client needed: To effectively reach 5000 retail chain partner sales personnel in a one-day, nationwide technology and product presentation.

The situation: The client’s approximately twelve competitors (including Sony, Panasonic, Kenwood, Pioneer, Sherwood, etc.) made sensational yearly multi-media presentations to showcase their new car audio products. The client’s yearly sales presentation had been dead last in popularity over several years. While clearly believing that their audio technology was superior, the client’s market share of sales through this partner retail chain needed improvement. The client was at a loss to design an effective presentation, and this retail partner represented 15% of their US sales.

Before designing a presentation, CKI wanted to determine what particular challenges needed to be overcome. When we start with a client, we typically review their competitors, the market and confer with experts in that industry as needed.


Among this research, we visited two dozen of the partner sales locations to interview the sales force and line managers. We found fundamental flaws in how the sales people marketed the client’s product line; that sales personnel asked the customer what brand of home stereo equipment they owned, and sold the same brand of car audio. The problem was that our client only manufactured car audio. Presented with the opportunity, sales personnel sold equipment that generated the most installation commission (the product that was fastest or easiest to install).

The line managers told us their sales people needed general education in car audio technology. We also learned that the primary training the sales personnel received was how to spot petty theft, not how to sell anything! The sales staff was ill-equipped to address well informed customers’ advanced technology and other questions.


What was needed was a training tool that gave the staff basics on sound systems that would remain as a reference work in the store, since the sales staff turnover was very high (the average age of the sales staff was between 20 and 30 years old.) An additional challenge was how to effectively communicate sophisticated car audio technology to a medium-education level audience. The final hurdle was that the sales people had to attend this training on a weekend morning (before store opening), in addition to their regular shift time.

We decided that we needed a quick orientation to the products and technology in a snappy and interesting format, with a comprehensive technology and sales technique booklet that could be used for training and/or further self study. The result was a two-pronged approach: A catchy movie modeled after a popular motion picture film presented key technology concepts, and a technology and product booklet included sales tips and strategies to improve the sales peoples’ overall ability (increasing their commissions overall), and increase their ability to sell the client’s product line.

Growth and Value

The result: 3000 of the 5000 sales personnel attended the one-day presentation (held over a two-day period across the country). Seventy five percent responded in the after-presentation survey, giving the client future contact and data-mining opportunities. The movie and booklet were rated the most popular, and the most helpful, of all the presentations. Not only did this enable the client to more successfully market its product to the sales force, it also enabled the personnel to increase their overall sales effectiveness.

It was a victory for the client’s customer, as well as for the client.