3 Ways to Jumpstart Your Retail Sales
2017 opened on an optimistic note for retailers, with Moody’s forecasting core retail sales increase of 5.4 percent, up from 4.2 percent in 2016. Analysts anticipated that higher employment and wages would drive higher sales. The preliminary results from the holiday shopping season are bearing this out so far, with Cyber Monday posting a 16.8 percent increase from 2016, making for the biggest online shopping day in history to date. Holiday shopping is on track to reach the $100 billion mark.
This spending environment creates an excellent opportunity to give your independent retail business a sales boost heading into 2018. Here are three strategies you can use to jump-start your sales as you head into the New Year.
Use CRM Technology Effectively
One of the most powerful sales tools in today’s retailer’s arsenal is customer relationship management software. CRM lets you spot emerging marketing trends, identify your hottest prospects and customize your sales efforts to reach individual buyers. When integrated correctly into a company’s sales processes, CRM can generate a return on investment of 245 percent, according to Forrester. Half of sales teams using CRM see productivity boosts averaging 5 percent, with revenue increasing by an average of 2 percent while labor and marketing costs also see significant decreases.
To use customer relationship management technology effectively, it’s essential to train your staff on how to get the highest and best use out of CRM tools. Infor CRM training can provide your team with cutting-edge training on the latest CRM technology and techniques for boosting your sales.
Optimize Your Communication and Collaboration
One way CRM can help you improve your sales efforts is enabling you to optimize your sales team’s communication and collaboration. CRM tools provide a platform that sales managers can use to see which representatives are currently available and to pair your highest-performing reps with your best prospects.
Another important technology you can use to jump-start your sales is chatbots. Chatbots can complement your human sales force by automatically handling routine online inquiries and channeling customers who need human help to your available representatives. This speeds up wait time for your customers while reducing the workload on your sales team, enabling your representatives to spend more time focusing on customers who truly need help. Leading sales and marketing chatbots you can deploy include ManyChat, Motion.AI and SurveyBot.
Incentivize Your Sales Representatives
In order for your sales team to perform effectively, it’s vital for your sales representatives to feel motivated. Harvard Business School research has found that five components go into an effective sales compensation plan that really motivates sales reps. The pay level must be set high enough to attract top talent. The balance of salary and incentives must be appealing. The plan must be carefully-designed with metrics to track performance, bonuses for representatives who exceed quotas or meet other goals, and a progressive payout structure that rewards top performers. Payout periods should be short to motivate low performers. Finally, non-monetary incentives such as contests and recognition programs can also help motivate your team.
In addition to monetary incentives, sales representatives require regular training to stay motivated. Scheduling regular skills training to upgrade sales knowledge and regular motivational training to keep your team pumped up will help your sales representatives perform at their best. Organizations such as Sandler offer traditional sales training opportunities, while sites such as Retail Sales Academy offer online sales training tools.
Using CRM technology effectively, optimizing your communication and collaboration and incentivizing your sales representatives are three strategies you can use to jumpstart your sales. Putting these strategies into effect will help your sales team reach more buyers, convert more opportunities and make more sales.