Community General News - Members & Suppliers Innovation New Members & Preferred Suppliers

November 11, 2022

Tip #2 – Gateway for Growth

Gateway for Growth can potentially be overwhelming. Here’s a fantastic template that the Women’s Executive Group created for you to help build out your roadmap: Sphere 1 GFG Template.

Once the selection window has closed and your matches become available, decide which Members / Suppliers you would like to target and set up a meeting to discuss your ideas.

Now for the meat and potatoes… GFG Plan Details

The general strategy for GFG for both Members and Suppliers:

Three options with levels in between:

  1. You stretch
  2. We stretch
  3. A no-brainer item (education / training) for more Member employees – attainable items
  4. And then we all get ice cream!
  • Be tactical in the amount of time – by quarter or by strategy (i.e. joint sales calls)
  • For a new Member or Supplier, consider doing a multi-year growth plan. You can measure growth in the second year, and then get the juices flowing in the third year.
  • Your GFG needs to be easy to follow. If you start wavering from your plan, come back and review the plan together.

* * Note – Only Suppliers can author the Plans and Rewards, as they are the ones to provide the incentives.

Canned or Customized Plans for Members?

Members and Suppliers are always pressed to find the “perfect” GFG plan, but even the pros are always running into challenges. The goal is to manage the thought process. Come prepared with a few different ideas to present. Customized plans typically work better than canned plans, but nothing is off the table. Have a couple options to present on how to grow, then tailor it accordingly to the Member needs. Here’s a checklist to help manage the thought process behind GFG plans.

Things to ask yourself first…

  • How are you going to grow? How are we going to get there?
  • Who does this involve? All sales or an engineer? Who do we need to get into that account?
  • What do we need to do to support you to get it done? 

GFG Ideas:

  1. Ride-alongs for Joint Sales Calls with Reps
  2. Friendly competitions between stores / locations
  3. Create tiers – Hit $ in sales or % of growth (whichever is greater), sell X of brand, take X # of Sphere 1 University courses to train on those products
  4. Offering a Buy Back plan with a limit
  5. Merchandising (displays, counter racks, etc)
  6. Lunch and learns
  7. Conversion from other non-Sphere 1 Suppliers

New Products

  1. Got new products coming in? You can do quarterly launches with 2-3 products each time, including a soft launch for Sphere 1 Members.
  2. Get a team to support your strategy.

No New Products? Shoot for conversions.

  1. Show the Member what they’re not buying from you.
  2. Increase growth opportunities.
  3. Look into seasonal items that you can provide them in advance.

GFG Rewards

  • Even though it’s up to the distributor, motivating and incentivizing the Member employees to get behind your GFG plan to sell your product is key. Get more skin in the game and reward those who make it happen!
  • Spiffs, gear, TV for lunchroom, grill, Yeti
  • Food is always a winner – host a nice dinner, pizza parties for the next 3 months
  • Free product on conversions
  • $$$ – additional rebate, gift cards, credits, discounts, etc.
  • Additional marketing co-op funds
  • Prepaid freight
  • X% off any (brand) for the initial stocking order