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Shell Lubricants Americas Challenges Distributors,Celebrates Top Performers with Travel Award

Shell Lubricants North America started the year with the goal of accelerating growth in the synthetics market and just ended it in Miami with 50 of its top performing distributors. Shell and its distributors were able to take a joint victory lap – celebrating double-digit synthetics growth.

“We have always valued the role our distributor network plays in selling and delivering our products throughout North America,” said Darren Cross, Shell Lubricants Americas Indirect/Wholesale team lead.  “This year, their performance was as critical as ever as we pursued synthetics market growth through our brands including Shell Rotella®, Quaker State® and Pennzoil Platinum® Full Synthetic motor oils with PurePlus™ Technology.”

Shell Lubricants encouraged its distributors to participate in the “2014 Shell Distributor Challenge Travel Award,” the success of which relied on business performance as well as various behavioral improvements. These included pipeline and target setting, implementation of Shell national and local promotions, building and executing effective marketing plans and training staff to fully understand and communicate about Shell Lubricants products. The outcome was a win-win experience in which distributors applied best practices to grow their businesses and Shell significantly increased synthetics sales.

2014 Shell Distributor Challenge Travel Award Winners

In late November, 50 top-performing Shell distributor principals, sales managers, sales representatives and their guests attended the 2014 Shell Distributor Challenge Travel Award event in Miami, along with the top three Shell Lubricants Americas indirect channel account managers, Shell leaders and their spouses. The trip included three nights at the Hilton Bentley Miami/South Beach, a customer reception, dinner cruise and activities like golf and a Miami food tour.

The highlight of the trip was attending the final race of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at the Homestead-Miami Speedway. Guests had the opportunity to tour the pit and garage areas, as well as watch the race from infield cabanas as Penske driver Joey Logano drove the No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford Fusion to a fourth place series finish. The logo of Distributor Challenge grand prize winner, Quality Petroleum, was featured on the deck lid of the No. 22 car. Quality Petroleum president Sam Edmondson and his spouse, Vera, had the “Best Seat in the House” during the race and won the grand prize trip for two to Belgium to be Shell VIP guests at the 2015 Formula 1 Shell Belgium Grand Prix.

NASCAR inspired the Distributor Challenge

Rusty Barron, Shell Lubricants General Manager, North America Marketing and Operations, said Shell changed the Distributor Challenge in 2014 to create excitement, visibility and clear expectations of what it takes to win. At the recognition celebration, he explained the NASCAR inspiration behind the changes.

“When the NASCAR races were only based on race points, the races lacked the excitement of drivers pushing the limits of the car and themselves to win,” Barron said. “This year, they defined that NASCAR is about winning and changed the rules to bring back that behavior-that drive to win. So throughout the season, every driver who won a race advanced into the Chase for the Championship.”

Barron went on to explain that Shell defined the behaviors that drive marketplace success and built them into the Challenge. “Like NASCAR drivers, Challenge distributors must continue to outperform others within their region every quarter. Ultimately, we get down to the top 12 best in class distributors representing our brands in the marketplace, and were fortunate to celebrate their successes in Miami.”

Jim Kohsel of winning distributor Merle Boes, Inc. said the changes Shell desired had the intended impact on his business. “The trip was a great reward, but the driver for me was implementing the best practices. They’re practices you know you should do in your business, but sometimes you lose focus when you’re busy day-to-day. They made us focus on the things that would make us efficient and profitable,” Kohsel pointed out.

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