Leaders Forum: Robynn Shave, P&C National Account Manager, SimConnect

As part of the 2022 C&I Industry Leaders Forum, Robynn Shave, P&C National Account Manager, SimConnect, talks about her passion for working with retailers to develop strategies to grow the telecommunications and tech category.

C&I: What have been the biggest highlights for SimConnect over the past 12 months?

Shave: There have been four key highlights: Creating a category approach at retail level for our core business – Telstra / Unlocked / Accessories. Growing our share of the Telstra business during the pandemic. Maintaining 100 per cent of our workforce regardless of extended lockdowns, ensuring our retailers continued to receive face to face service around the country. Increasing Telstra and accessory sales ‘year on year’ by nine per cent.

C&I: What will be your main priorities for the remainder of 2022?

Shave: We will continue to grow and educate customers on the benefits of promoting Telstra in their stores.

We will utilise recently introduced data analytics and business intelligence tools to drive product placement, ensuring maximum sales and minimum outlay for our retailers.

And we will continue to focus on providing a total category approach for our retailers, again with the aim of driving sales across the whole category.

C&I: What do you enjoy most about what you do?

Shave: I am always passionate about growing retailers’ business, working with them to develop strategies to grow the telecommunications and tech category. If they grow, we do too.

What is your company doing to meet changing customer demands?

Shave: We are creating specific display options for Telstra Prepaid, accessories, audio and gift cards, which assists growth in the stores by creating customer awareness.

We’re always looking to stay ahead of the game. We understand markets are constantly evolving and demands as a result are constantly changing. Business development is a key focus for us to ensure we continue to add new sales opportunities to our retailers.

And we’re identifying sales trends and changes in demand to ensure we steer our significant field team in the right direction – time = money.

C&I: What does your crystal ball say about the year ahead in convenience?

Shave: While there was a significant shift from bricks and mortar to online trade during the pandemic, we have recently seen a shift back to bricks and mortar with a huge increase in foot traffic.

We have also identified a reasonable shift towards higher end prepaid mobile devices in recent times, driving an increase in revenue for our retailers, and we expect this trend to continue.

There is also a switch from consumers purchasing the older style format (candy-bar, flip phone) handsets to smartphones driven by the need to access QR code scanning functionality.

C&I: Is there anything else you’d like to add?

Shave: We are immensely proud of the fact that we continue to provide face to face service to our retailers all over the country through a dedicated team of 21 sales representatives. This service is rare these days and we understand the value it provides to our retailers.

Our team provides face to face support in training, stock management, merchandising and display building. We continue to diversify and expand our product range and very much appreciate the support and loyalty of our strong retail base.

The work we do together across 12,000 retailers generates around 25 per cent of Telstra’s total prepaid customer acquisition, a number we are also very proud of and again, appreciate your support in driving this contribution to Telstra’s business.  

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