Business Insights 22 Jan 18 Rashmi Kapse

The in-store retail execution strategy is transforming owing to severe competition and fewer resources. There is an ever-growing urge for businesses to scale up revenues at retail stores. One of the popular approaches that is rapidly gaining momentum is enhancing sales through “Upsell” and “Cross-Sell” techniques. Focus is slowly shifting towards equipping field forces with modern tools and technology such that they sell more in the store. Small and big retail players are increasingly deploying sales force automation systems to sell more capabilities and subsequently scale up.

In-store sales teams are valuable and continuously trained towards assisting customers such that they upsell or cross-sell their products. At the store level, there are definite opportunities to increase the basket size of each shopper by upgrading their purchases. This can be done by educating them about the larger benefits of upgraded purchases. However, the key to upselling and cross-selling is to show value to customers and approach it the right way. One must bear in mind that although the objective is to enhance sale value, it is important not to go too hard converting the shopper to upgrade their buys or else they might lose the original sale too. The upgrade offer deal must be advantageous for the shopper and ensure that they see the value and the cost benefit of the purchase.

FMCGs big and small have realized the power of engaging with customers on the floor to understand their buying behaviour, their psyche while shopping, tendencies toward evaluating special deals and impulse buying. Understanding the cognitive sequence of a buyer before they make planned purchases in a retail outlet is an important step that must be considered by field executives where sales force automation tools can play a vital role of providing all the necessary data required to upsell or cross-sell. An ideal case in scenario is a situation where consumers intend to make a quick cost benefit + perceived/actual value analysis on consumer retail schemes in order to consider an upgraded purchase. While merchandizing and shelf display plays an important role, what is critical here is to stand out amongst several competing brands, get noticed and considered for a filtered evaluation.

The Gartner’s Market Guide for Retail Execution and Monitoring Solutions for the Consumer Goods Industry recommends the following steps to enhance an in-store sale close:

Guided Selling

Sales representatives must provide a customised presentation about the POS displays, ongoing product offers and cost benefits to the customer. They can share information on the benefits of the newly introduced products that are pricier but enhanced versions from the existing one. Valuable feedback of customers from other stores can be shared to ease their buying decisions.

KPIs of Sales Representatives

As part of their KPIs, an incentive plan is attached to their in-store performance. The key is to align their focus on understanding the criticality of their role for the business and obviously the associated return on excellent performance. It is an essential driver since it motivates them to achieve more and improve their skill set once they see the effect of their actions on the customer purchase pattern.

Optimizing Retail Activity

It is important for the sales executives to understand their roles and responsibilities and the activities most important for them to focus in the store that will provide them the greatest return. Equipping them with a good sales force automation system helps them simplify sales processes and automate tasks to build their efficiency and improve their in-store performance.

Simply pitching in add-on products is not enough. In order to close an enhanced sale, it is not important what you say but how you get it across to your customer. The inherent ability of the sales representative to connect to each customer differently basis their need, budget and general shopping behavior is a tact that must be encouraged to develop. Sales spiel therefore becomes a brand association of sorts that must be carefully crafted for great results and long term brand association.

Rashmi Kapse

Rashmi is a Content Specialist at FieldAssist. After spending 11 years in the Executive Search business she decided to change tracks and follow her passion for writing. For the past 8 years, she has been writing on Sales Tech, HR Tech, FMCG, Consumer Goods, F&B and Health & Wellness.

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