Buyers are inundated with choices. Order online or buy in store? Brand A or Brand B? Product Y or Product Z? Pay extra for those special features? Which color? As a seller, it's important that you train your sales staff to provide customers with all the information they need to make a decision. Consider these retail sales facts.
1. Companies Are Investing More in Training
According to ROI4Sales, companies spend as much as $1,238 per employee each year to orient new sales staff, train them on the sales process, and familiarize them with new products and services. Some retailers even train their sales staff on competitors' products, allowing them to handle comparison-shopping consumers with ease.
2. Buyers Do Their Own Research
The internet provides a plethora of information, and consumers use it to their advantage, reading product reviews, comparing features and pricing various product options. By the time a customer is ready to make a purchase, he's done plenty of research, so it's important to have an expert-level sales staff available to answer questions and guide the consumer.
3. Training Takes Time
Don't expect your sales staffers to be ready to head out onto the selling floor on the first day. ROI4Sales estimates that it takes the average sales representative seven to nine months to engage productively with a prospective buyer. Spend that time training your sales staff and reinforcing the company's buying process.
4. Mentors Make a Difference
While some people naturally possess the personality traits necessary to excel in retail sales, not everyone is born with the ability to sell. Nurture your sales staff by implementing a mentorship program. Pair new sales reps with veteran sellers to hone their skills.
5. Retention Is an Ongoing Issue in More Ways Than One
According to ROI4Sales, sales representatives forget approximately 80 percent of the information they learn within 30 days of attending training. Your sales staffers then rely on the remaining 20 percent of knowledge to stay afloat. Without continued training, representatives fail to reach sales goals and may leave the company.
6. Process Reviews Can Help
Review sales metrics regularly to find out what can be improved. Study those sales reps who are high performers, and determine which processes are working well for them. Establish and share best practices among your managers and staff.
For those in retail companies, competition is fiercer than ever thanks to the online marketplace. To ensure a successful business, it's imperative that your sales staff be able to supply customers with plenty of information to help them settle on the right product to suit their needs. While most companies are stepping up their training efforts to empower sales staff, those that don't are sure to fall behind the competition.
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