Distributor eyes V-twin market growth in 2016
As far as Tucker Rocky/Biker’s Choice is concerned, there was no better way to ring in the New Year than by hosting its National Sales Meeting Jan. 5-9 at the Fort Worth Convention Center. Nearly 50 vendors and the distributor’s entire sales staff used the four days to get a jump start on 2016 sales growth.
“One major way that we go to market is through our sales force, so we wanted to bring the sales force together and communicate the same message and set our goals for 2016,” said Dan Courtney, president of Tucker Rocky/Biker’s Choice. “How we can effectively participate in the market was really purpose of much of the dialog during the meetings.”
Small groups of Tucker Rocky/Biker’s Choice sales reps spent time with the selected vendors to learn about their 2016 product lineup. Sales reps also shared their own best practices with each other.
“It was a very positive response to get the sales force together to encourage each other, discover what’s working,” said Courtney, who continued to make a point to ride his motorcycle into work this winter as temps in Texas dipped into the 30s. “It also allows the reps to foster relationships with our staff at the home office and in the field.”
Selecting a manageable number of vendors for the event proved to be worthwhile, both for the reps who had more time to spend with each vendor and the vendors, who were able to provide more product insight due to the longer time period with the reps.
“We had a similar sales kickoff meeting in 2015, but we did not have vendor participation,” Courtney said. “That wasn’t necessarily the intention — to exclude the vendors — but I feel like the dialog was improved by having the vendor population there. This industry is one of partnerships, and to be able to partner with vendors and communicate a positive message about how we can improve the dealer’s experience is valuable.”
Courtney noted that much of the dialog during the meeting centered on the ability of the distributor to improve its service to brick-and-mortar dealers.
“We do that by having knowledgeable salespeople making good quality, frequent sales calls, and we do that by continuing to enhance our product portfolio with new brands as well as increasing the products for each vendor and the stocking locations for those products.”
Tucker Rocky/Biker’s Choice enters 2016 having published its four product catalogs — one Biker’s Choice and three Tucker Rocky books (apparel, off-road and street) — earlier than ever.
“It’s earlier than we’ve ever had them done in the history of the company,” said Dawn M. Zassick, senior director of marketing. “We wanted to hit the market at a time that we felt was more relevant for dealers as they’re looking to do their early year purchases. It’s also about coordination, trying to coordinate the product message for the sales force and having everything available at the beginning of the season.”
Courtney expects company expansion in 2016 following a year of market share growth.
“We’ve enhanced our product portfolio; we’ve improved our fill rate; we’ve increased the number of skus at our regional distribution centers to improve next-day delivery, and we’re doing that all with the end goal of improving the customer’s experience,” Courtney said. “Specifically, we are focused on improving the brick-and-mortar dealer’s ability to compete in the market.”
The V-twin and off-road space figure to be drivers of Tucker Rocky/Biker’s Choice sales in 2016.
“It’s a tough market, and I’m pleased that we gained market share,” he said. “We’ve strengthened our product portfolio; specifically, we’re more relevant in the V-twin market now, but also in metric. ATV and UTV continues to have growth with products from QuadBoss and DragonFire gaining acceptance in the UTV market.”
Expect to hear more from the company’s newest house brand — Black Brand — following its launch at V-Twin Expo.
All things considered, the addition of vendors to the 2016 sales meeting proved to be a step in the right direction.
“Our sales force left energized,” Courtney said. “We have expectations of growth in 2016, and we are actively putting programs together that will facilitate that growth and enhance our partnerships with dealers as well as vendors.”