How a major retailer enabled sellers for +140% sales increase
sales increase with an active user audience on Rallyware
sell-through boost with a mere 8% increase in platform engagement
sales boost when training content is actively promoted and engaged with
From one store in 1970s’ Sacramento, California, Fleet Feet has expanded over the past fifty years to become a 200-plus-location run shoe powerhouse. Even as in-store retail struggles, Fleet Feet continues to grow and add franchises, in addition to maintaining their own company-run stores.
Known for their dedication to the running community, Fleet Feet’s business model is unique, and their dedication apparent. Their stores are mission-driven rather than task-driven, focused on meeting local market needs in addition to moving inventory and converting footfall. Owners and employees are sourced from the surrounding communities. Leaders from the store appear at races, cheering on runners in need of an extra boost.
Fleet Feet employees join the team not in order to fill vacant positions, but because they are friendly individuals who genuinely like running. Fleet Feet upskills these hires to be “Outfitters,” which is what they call their brick-and-mortar sellers–experts trained to find the right fit.
At the same time as their sales approach is hyper-local, their brand has national flair, with a unified approach to selling and a consistent brand image across states and regions. They are known for their collaborative approach to brand relationships, avoiding an adversarial position to instead work directly with their vendors in order to market, train on, and ultimately sell their products.
Heather Fencik has been Education Manager at Fleet Feet since October 2021, when the company already had Rallyware in place. In her role, she is responsible for sales floor and leadership training. She supports management and collaborates with running merchandise (sneakers, gear, clothes) vendors to develop best practices and stimulate “Outfitter” performance with the Rallyware platform.
The company’s pain points differ slightly from the average retailer, in that Fleet Feet has grown exponentially over the past several years, while many companies have shrunken or shuttered altogether. “We’ve acquired another company and we have a lot of stores, 262 at my latest count,” she says
“I’m the sole education manager, the point person for L&D and sales enablement. Being able to train through video-based sales enablement content at scale–that’s really the only way for us to do it. And Rallyware allows us to do that.”
While new hire training is required, the continual upskilling of Fleet Feet’s Outfitters demands weekly sales enablement videos about specific SKUs–Brooks cushion socks, for instance, or new HOKA sneakers. The question for Heather is how to motivate staff across a wide geography to watch and absorb these micro-sized product demonstrations. Thankfully, she says, she has Rallyware to help her track and analyze engagement activity for weekly sales enablement content, and she distributes rewards on that basis. This has material rewards for the company: Rallyware data shows that keeping an active audience on the platform leads to a 140% increase in sales.
“I just pull a report of who watched the weekly video and do a drawing for three five-dollar gift cards, then blast out the winners as an announcement. I’ll include the old video and announce next week’s in the same message. It’s extremely effective.”
Rallyware enables Heather to train at a massive scale, both geographically and chronologically. And if she conducts remote trainings for a live audience, she can record this session and store it on Rallyware for rewatch purposes. “We see significant engagement with rewatches. It gives flexibility to folks who might not be able to make the training because of their work schedule or their time zone, and scalability to us.” Because lesson engagement and promotion increases sales 54%, that flexibility is crucial.
Building Better Brand Relationships
Having this sales enablement ecosystem across Fleet Feet franchises helps Heather develop vendor relationships. How?
As mentioned, Fleet Feet makes a point of collaborating with vendors so that everyone wins–the brands, the Outfitters, and the customers. “I ask vendors’ reps to push their content. They visit the store and say, ‘Only half your store has watched this content. We’ll get more done if everyone watches it at once,’ and the presence of the vendor in the store, their interaction with the staff, helps ensure the content gets engaged with.” After engaging with one vendor’s content, the probability is higher that an individual Outfitter will stay in the Rallyware platform and watch more, a positive “pile-on” effect.
Says Heather, this collaboration has led to even deeper relationships between Fleet Feet and their vendors. “We communicate directly with each other now about what kind of storytelling is working, what kind of content we’re seeing. We’re really looking for opportunities to collaborate with each other.”
Adapting KPIs on the Fly
Rallyware’s sales enablement tools have helped Fleet Feet target desired KPIs quickly and accurately as the situation changes. “If we see something sagging–say, sock add-on percentage–we can ‘feed’ Outfitters more content about sock add-ons and how to improve the buying experience for customers.”
In essence, she says, Rallyware helps Fleet Feet be Fleet Feet.
“We’re all about empowered, knowledgeable staff–that’s core to our brand identity. Our people really know running and like running, and they care about the communities they’re in. Rallyware is perfect for that. Just in terms of proactiveness of staff, we see big engagement boosts. Outfitters can really be the experts, the salespersons, that they want to be. Having the opportunity to have all this education and enablement in their pocket is fantastic.”
Rallyware data demonstrates that a mere 8% increase in user engagement with the platform can fire up a 44% increase in sell-through. The engagement boosts Heather is speaking of are not only about knowledge but real, material business outcomes.
Deep-Diving to Drive Engagement
Without Rallyware on her side, as Fleet Feet’s Education Manager, Heather would be overwhelmed by abstract results and unprocessed data. How would she be able to monitor progress and engagement for 200+ stores? She might be able to view the end result but not see the store-by-store breakdown.
With Rallyware, however, she can see analytics per store, with deep-dive reporting on engagement numbers for each piece of content. She can even source feedback from individual Outfitters on specific sales enablement content, and then re-tailor content to take this feedback into account.
Though performance varies from store to store–“We have some power users for sure,” Heather says–Rallyware helps her even out the numbers so that no store falls behind.
“Some stores are super engaged from the start. It comes from the manager and the operating partner, the franchisee’s buy-in. Though we do see adoption in most of our stores, we’re always driving for more, and Rallyware helps us reach that point.”
Teams actively using Rallyware score a 10% bump in sales compared to non-users. So it’s a worthy goal to try to make as many stores as adoptive of the platform as possible.
Using Rallyware, Heather can produce a detailed roll-up of how many people in each store consumed content week over week, which helps Fleet Feet identify power users, then reach out to them to spread the word about Rallyware among their fellow Outfitters. “We try to bake the platform in to so many of our resources. I’m adamant that anything we do that’s a live training, we do it through Rallyware.” Rallyware data shows that a 40% uptick in training score can trigger a 3% surge in add-on sales, so ensuring a constant stream of training helps increase order size beyond what it would otherwise be.
Heather wants everyone, at every level of the organization, to be able to interact with sales enablement content, particularly training videos, through Rallyware, making the platform a “one stop shop for all your video learning,” as well as a collaborative platform with vendors.
“Even our management resources link back to content that’s available in Rallyware. Our store-level managers, retail experience managers–they have a whole channel dedicated to content for them, training them in their role,” she says.
“It’s up to their operating partner to work alongside them with that content to help them get up to speed on any of the platforms we run outside of the platform. Where do they go for that content? The platform. If Outfitters need to learn to use foot scanning technology, that lives on the platform. If managers have to learn to use our point of sales system, that lives on the platform. If marketing managers have to learn to use Canva, that lives on the platform. The platform touches everyone.”
Indeed, at Fleet Feet, as corporate responsibility increases, so does the amount of platforms. Rallyware synthesizes all these platforms in its “one stop shop” for iterable content that can be created and distributed flexibly and at scale. “I just did some walkthroughs on video editing so that someone else could take care of video training for me. It helps you be more flexible in your role in the retail corporate structure, just as it helps Outfitters be more effective. Anything we want to upskill on, we use Rallyware to help do it.”