How can an online store increase its sales in 2019? What is the most important thing about today's sales process? The question, in fact, is quite confusing. The thing is, nowadays almost any business can be classified as highly competitive – and we can thank Internet and globalization for that. Unless your item is unique, the customer will definitely get offers from your competitors. All he has to do is google something along the lines of “where can I buy...”
It wouldn't be a problem, but you have to consider the fact that other people's offers are very likely to be similar to yours. Same prices, similar assortment, identical delivery times – in modern competitive environment you've optimized everything you could. And other companies have done exactly the same. Therefore, today it's not about the characteristics of an item, it’s about the service you offer.
You lose 59 customers out of 60 unless you work fast!
What does modern customer hate the most? Waiting. People don't want to waste their time and experience inconvenience. They have a lot of options to choose from – if a customer can't get what they want right now, they simply switch to another company. This thesis is supported by Harvard Business Review study that showed the following:
- If a company responds to an order or question from a customer within an hour, the probability of them receiving an order is seven times higher than that of an organization that responds within 2-3 hours;
- 24-hour pause in communication reduces the chance of fruitful purchase by 60 times – almost to nothing.
In other words, sales manager's pace is one of the main factors for success in today's business.
Russia tries to not fall that far behind, too. According to our data, 44,4% of managers who monitor their employees' work pay particular attention to the work of the sales department. All that's left to do is decide what should be monitored and what exactly should be done.
We've looked into the situation a bit more and prepared 3 simple tips that will help you make your sales managers work faster and be more efficient.
Separate your communication channels
Often the case is that the same person covers all channels of communication with clients:
- Website chat;
- Phone requests.
Well, as long as sales volumes are small, a scheme like that may work just fine, but it will inevitably start to malfunction. During peak hours manager won't be able to handle the amount of work that needs to be done. Requests will pile up, and in the evening the waiting time can get ridiculous.
A problem like that is solved in three simple steps:
- Analyze each communication channel: during what hours clients' activity is higher? During what hours it's lower? How many orders does this communication channel even bring?
- Determine the maximum amount of traffic that can be handled by one manager (to do this, you can use Kickidler's Time and Attendance reports, which show the average productivity for each employee individually);
- Divide the communication channels – or the amount of requests that come through one channel – among several employees. Try to ensure that your employees don't work all the time at their maximum.
Let's be real, the solution is quite simple, yet at the same time very effective. It allows you to get rid of the bottlenecks in communications and reduces the number of errors your employees may make because of the overload.
Categorize your incoming requests:
There are no two completely identical sales managers in the world. Inevitably, somebody works more efficiently and somebody lags behind. Some people are good at b2b communication and VIP services, some – at b2c and mass segment. Try to utilize the strengths of each of your employees:
- Create a profile for every sales manager in your company. What their strengths are, how effective they are, what areas are difficult for them. Again, Kickidler's report and general information about employee's KPI is enough to get the clear picture.
- Now look at your orders for the past period (2-3 months). You'll probably be able to divide them into several groups, each of which will probably be best suited for certain managers;
- Record these groups and add “qualification of the lead” to the communication script. Let the first-line employee identify the category of the contact and move it to the appropriate manager.
Of course, different KPIs will have to be created for different departments and employees. The good thing is that the overall efficiency of your sales will increase notably. It's important not to forget to keep track of productivity indicators in Kickidler, adjusting the strategy when needed.
Write clear standards of processing the lead
Creative approach is good when we're talking about top sales managers – those people, whose work can be compared to art and who can carry out any task impeccably. Such employees need personal approach, but in all other cases a well-written instruction is able to drastically increase the efficiency of the manager's actions.
We advise you to create at least two types of standards:
- Stringent. Script that regulates working with typical requests. Specify the time an employee has to process one lead, write down the structure of the conversation, list the data you want to receive from the customer and make sure managers follow this scenario sharply;
- Recommendatory. Instruction on dealing with non-standard orders. It doesn't entail a clear scheme of actions, but describes in detail the rules of interacting with clients that are adopted in the company.
A unified standard always simplifies the process of control. The system itself will draw your attention to the cases where the regulations have been violated. In addition, it’s much easier for the manager to work when they have a clear script of conversation in mind.
Create scripts for dealing with customer objections
The exact things your managers say to the customers, the way they respond to the customers' objections, the level of expertise in their words – all of that is perhaps even more important and influences the sale more than the speed of processing the lead.
Formulate key objections from your customers. Why is your product more expensive? Why don't you give discounts? Can your product solve non-standard problems? What are the advantages of your product over X, Y, and Z?
Plan the correct the way a sales manager can answer all these questions and turn the conversation in a positive direction. For example, the product is more expensive because you have your own service, the insurance period is longer, the option of quality control is available, there is a bonus system and so on. A pre-written and clearly formulated answer is always better than improvisation, especially when a client is talking to an inexperienced manager.
Make sure managers always have this script, but also don't set strict requirements for its use. The client shouldn't be under the impression that they're talking to a mindless machine.
Monitor, monitor and monitor again
This is the fifth advice, a somewhat “bonus” point – and yet it's the main one. Always be on top of everything. In order to boost your sales, you should have a clear picture of what the situation looks like right now:
- How long does it take to process one lead?
- How many customers do we close in a month?
- How many leads are lost and at what stage?
You need this data both on the whole company and on every manager individually. That's the only way to understand who's enhancing the company's performance and who's slowing down its development. Plus you'll know when exactly the problem arises. The more detailed your statistics are, the better your company functions. That's why we've programmed Kickidler to track all aspects of the sales managers’ work.
Try it and help your employees make better sales!
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