/ Ecommerce

Win GOLD with online sales

Are you familiar with the theory of marginal gains? Here is how to adopt the principles into a winning process to become great at selling online, and turn 1% gains into pure gold.

As an eloquent recap of an article published by Harvard Business Review by Sir Dave Brailsford.

Forget about perfection;
focus on progression,
and compound the improvements.

Having set down Sir Dave's podium principles: Strategy, Human Performance and Incremental Improvement, the team went about identifying bridgeable gaps and putting plans in place. You don’t need me to tell you the enduring results that have recently been achieved in British sport as a result.

Now: apply this to online sales. Of course you must pick products people want to buy and offer them at prices they are willing to pay, but let’s focus on the mechanism of making the sales online.

I’m not convinced about big data soup. It sounds too much to me like the search for a silver bullet: success and fortune to the bearer. No I will stick with the small changes please.

There are three main elements: get people to your site, engage with them and finally convert interest into orders. Getting people to your site is a matter for marketeers and I will leave the first part of the journey to them.

But when a potential buyer arrives on your turf it really is time to change gear and go from marketing to selling, and this is where there are many, many small things that can be done to improve your online sales performance….

Here is my top 10 areas to look for improvements to become great at online sales

  1. Acknowledge the move from marketing to selling
  2. Know what your sales process is and how you will apply it online
  3. Use your sales process: engage and try to open a dialogue
  4. Collect and understand the customer need
  5. Add expertise to prompt important customer choices
  6. Show options and link one or more solutions to the need
  7. Summarise and ask the customer to confirm or adjust
  8. Position closing statements ‘if i could ….. Would you….’
  9. Introduce the cross sell, upsell and build trust as well as order size
  10. Ask and ye shall take the order

Of course you do need a strategy to deliver improvements. The three most popular today are:

  • Be a laggard: move the customer back to phone;
  • Be ‘me too’: use people to man online chat;
  • Lead: use a virtual agent that can be quickly trained and consistently improved based on activity.

Which one would Sir Dave pick? I think you know the answer.

Every area can be addressed, and consistently and progressively improved. Build your competitive advantage and win sales gold.