Proven Approaches to Help You Sell More with Less
By now nearly every sales professional in the country knows the basics of eCommerce–many even have a small eCommerce storefront. However, the online market is getting larger and larger, and more and more competitive. Sales professionals are being asked to do more with less, to secure more sales with less funding, less manpower, and less complicated software.
Simply having an online storefront isn’t enough anymore.
This isn’t news, of course. Businesses around the globe are working hard to improve their eCommerce presence… but knowing which way the wind is blowing and actually harnessing that power are two different things.
At Kissinger we are working tirelessly to help sales professionals succeed. We believe that good sales managers are an important source of good ideas. To that end, we’ve spoken to leading sales managers from a variety of markets and industries. We want to share their good ideas with you.
Below you’ll find tested and successful tactics to move past eCommerce basics into new and vital growth.
Don’t just Open New Sales Channels. Intelligently Target Them.
The eCommerce market is huge, totaling over $1.95 trillion worldwide in 2016. Adding online sales to your already existing sales arsenal immediately expands your potential customer pool beyond the typical customers, standard retailers, and dealers you already do business with.
eCommerce has the potential to open up new opportunities for you around the world.
But building a functioning eCommerce website is just the first step. Thorough research into your online customer base and into your potential market are crucial to healthy growth. Building a deeper understanding of how your products are seen in an online, worldwide market allows you to adjust your sales tactics, eliminating ineffective approaches and expanding successful tools.
Imagine that you’re accustomed to selling certain products during certain seasons in certain regions of North America. This is your standard customer base. Thorough exploration of your eCommerce potential might reveal that your products sell well globally in different seasons. This knowledge can help to expand your global customer pool, opening up opportunities to sell to buyers in South America when North America is out of season.
By putting energy into this important research, you can take advantage of targeted sales channels. In our example, region specific products had a higher sales potential depending on the time of year. A successful eCommerce sales strategy can improve the sales of that product outside of its most impactful season.
By putting extra energy into where, when, and how potential customers are viewing your eCommerce website, you can gain a significant sales advantage.
Streamline with ERP Integration
Lower overhead costs and operational efficiency are top of mind for sales managers around the world. Perhaps that’s why your organization built an eCommerce presence; eCommerce excels at both. With a functioning, attractive online marketplace, customers are able and willing to order online at their convenience–even outside your business hours or on holidays.
But to further streamline your eCommerce presence, ERP integration is vitally important. This valuable merger is usually overlooked because of perceived cost and complexity. “Perceived” because today’s options are more cost effective than ever. ERP systems like Sage 100, Epicor, and Microsoft Dynamics are already part of standard business practices. If you already have an ERP system, we cannot recommend ERP integration enough.
It is the single biggest efficiency booster available.
ERP integration helps to cut down on many of the time-killers that companies are beginning to see with eCommerce–Duplicate data entry; incorrect inventory levels; customer information that is incomplete, incorrect, or simply missing. Typically the efficiency savings pay for the cost of integration within months and allows you to provide a better customer service experience.
Demand More from your eCommerce Technologies
eCommerce technologies have changed drastically in the last few years. Simple shopping carts have become a thing of the past. Sophisticated storefront environments and eCommerce websites loaded with self-service features have become the new standard for B2B and B2C eCommerce.
Business owners used to complain that eCommerce solutions were rigid and expensive, that they failed to adapt to a changing and demanding eCommerce market. But we promise you, the eCommerce solutions you researched or used years ago have been left to history.
Today’s technology is robust and expansive; eCommerce solutions are versatile and adapt quickly. The plethora of new eCommerce options can be overwhelming. At Kissinger, we recognize that every business has unique needs, and every sales team should research what eCommerce solution is right for them.
In general, we recommend a flexible, non-proprietary eCommerce solution. Avoid getting locked into one specific vendor’s ecosystem. Markets will change and your eCommerce solution needs to be versatile enough to change with them. How are your customers going to buy in the future? Who are your customers going to be in the future? If the answers to these questions can’t be handled by the eCommerce solution you’re considering, look somewhere else.
Complement your Product Listings
eCommerce has become a staple in modern sales and people are getting more sophisticated in how they shop online. 46% of online purchasers read a blog post or a review before purchasing online. 13% said that a blog post had inspired their purchase to begin with.
Customers are moving away from simply looking at a list and making a decision. They hunt around, reading secondary information and examining other products.
Simply putting up a storefront doesn’t cut it anymore. Instead, successful sales teams are taking a customer-centric approach and adding additional content around product listings to boost sales. Customer-centric eCommerce sites display relevant accessories and complementary products. They have review sections and encourage customers to post honest reviews by adding incentives. They often have an educational blog that demonstrates their company’s knowledge of the industry and dedication to their customers.
As the online market grows and changes, getting the most out of your eCommerce solution is becoming increasingly important to the bottom line. At Kissinger, we’re committed to your company’s growth. Chat with one of our eCommerce experts to explore what is possible from your online presence.