If you’re responsible for sales, marketing, or overall business performance, it’s vital that you have a clear grasp of what your team’s sales interactions are actually like.
Whether you sell goods or services, if your customers need to be advised, then knowledge of what is really happening “on the ground” is essential if you want to be sure your sales team is being as effective as possible.
You need to be sure that what your staff do (in real life, when you’re not looking) is effective.
Another article here includes some key areas for B2C and retail businesses to consider in terms of effective sales interactions. But how do you actually check? There are options (other than Mystery Shopping)…
You could use customer surveys. They are invaluable and can provide reliable feedback from large numbers of customers, and will often make clear what stood out for them, and what their lasting impressions are. Surveys won’t allow you to hear back from people who didn’t buy from you (perhaps because of an ineffective approach by your staff). And even those who do buy aren’t likely to complain that they didn’t spend enough!
But you could always listen to calls and you could watch interactions, if you have the time. If you’re confident in your preferred sales structure and approach, then you can train and coach staff members (or have a team member or someone else do it).
Those steps are important and can be very helpful. If you can take them, you clearly should do so (depending on the size of your business, your time and other resources, and the opportunity cost).
The only possible limitations are:
- You might see “best behaviour” (i.e. the Hawthorne effect).
(If best behaviour isn’t normal behaviour, perhaps you have a motivation or morale issue which will need to be fixed. And perhaps you need to see the Hawthorn Effect some more through some ongoing system of monitoring!)
- If there tends to be a longer, multi-step sales process, you might not see the whole process with every interaction and touchpoint included. You might not see where or why things tend to stall.
Another limitation is that you probably also won’t get the chance to compare your own team’s performance against your competitors (Competitor Mystery Shopping can help to unearth very valuable insights!).
There’s also a chance that your own process might lack some objectivity, and perhaps ideas. If you want to truly maximise performance, you might need to try something new. Maybe you could benefit from a fresh pair of eyes, and some new ideas and insights.
We can help with that (contact us to discuss your business or see below for more info).
Using Mystery Shopping (including the option of Video Mystery Shopping), we can help you to gain a crystal-clear understanding of how real interactions play out with real customers (when you or your managers are not watching, listening, or supervising).
But we’re not “just” another Mystery Shopping company. We specialise in helping in situations where we can make the most difference, by looking closely at sales interactions and finding ways to improve processes, methods, approaches and habits.
Every client and every situation is unique and receives a unique approach. We do our best to gain an in-depth understanding of your business, your market and your priorities. Then we work with you to look at how (sometimes quite small) changes can significantly improve your results. We can tailor a staff training programme to maximise sales and customer satisfaction, and a Mystery Shopping programme to monitor implementation.
Whose words are you reading?
My name is Paul Taylor. I have decades of experience in sales, and as an entrepreneur I’ve trained and managed my own sales teams (selling B2B services). As the Managing Director of Customerwise, I work with retail, B2C and B2B organisations to help them monitor how things are done and find ways to improve results.
Having been “in the trenches” in sales, I’ve been on corporate sales training courses and I’m familiar with most of the “established wisdom” regarding selling.
More importantly, I’m an avid consumer of the latest thinking in sales and marketing, psychology and specifically behavioural science / behavioural economics: the science of influence as it relates to purchasing decisions and sales.
A big change has started taking place in recent years thanks to insights from these fields. There are now clearly proven rules about how to be effective in sales.
Selling is becoming more of a science, with clear evidence that shows how to increase (and decrease) effectiveness.
Of course, there is still an “art” aspect to sales, and we’re still human beings. We need to connect with each other, and people will always do business with people they like.
But where in the past people have debated methods approaches and techniques (based on their opinions and “gut feel”) it is now increasingly clear (and provable) what is a “good idea” and what is a “bad idea” in terms of sales effectiveness. Science now has some of the answers.
Forward-thinking businesses are making use of this new clearer understanding about how to increase sales effectiveness. When will you do the same?
If your organisation is considering using Mystery Shopping, or working on any of these ideas, and you want help or just an initial chat, then please get in touch online or by phone on 01392 984224.
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