We don’t have salespeople, just ‘order takers’. Sound familiar? A common moan in management circles as sales dip below the target line. The words imply a shortcoming – that something is missing – and that the result is inferior.
The tricky bit in real sales is finding the key things which if met will lead the customer to buy. This requires a dialogue, the use of some skills and normally a process. Simply highlighting features is easier but if used alone is just ‘order taking’.
With such distinction so commonly made with reference to people, does the same principle transfer to digital channels? The simple answer is yes.
In digital channels, it is easy to promote features. Simply lay them out and invite self-service: good search and filter tools, or perhaps a product selector. But this is being an order taker.
As more and more customers make online the primary means of purchasing, a serious problem looms for anyone that actually needs to have salespeople in the business.
If you offer complex products or have a large catalogue, its likely sales representation has been a significant part of your business to date. You should really be thinking about how you will deal with that digitally.
Dialogue plus process to identify the specific elements that will cause the customer to buy is the key to success. In the transformation of sales to digital channels there are some clear signposts of how to proceed and who you should be working with:
- First: Look for a focus on selling. If you make sure that the tricky bit is done well then rest is going to be much easier
- Second: ensure that the digital solution will reflect the way you sell – can the system easily be taught your methods
- Third: Complement existing systems. Your ecommerce system should already have order taking covered
If you are facing the issue of how to move beyond taking online orders and want to move to driving sales, get in touch. We will be happy to share our experience with you.