The Secret to Selling More – Know Your Numbers and Use Them

sales2I am staggered when I visit stores or run training sessions and staff (worse still managers or owners) don’t know their numbers. By numbers I mean the obvious ones such as Average sale, Items per customer, Promo conversion and Loyalty card conversion.

As one CEO said to me “the numbers don’t lie.” As long as your data is clean, these are powerful KPI’s that a retailer can use to grow their sales. Also, you not only need to know the numbers by store/team, but the real value comes when you can identify these numbers by individual staff members.

We all want our sales to increase and it’s getting more and more competitive out there. New competitors, or retailers expanding by opening new stores, therefore means it’s really easy for your valuable customers to go elsewhere. To grow sales, you either need more customers or sell more to your existing customers. The best way is to have both.

Here are some simple tips that you can use to drive sales using these numbers:

  • Benchmark your current KPI’s and set some goals

How can you improve if you don’t know where your starting point is? Measure these KPI’s via store and individual team members and this is your starting point. Identify which staff are above the store benchmark and who is below. Now set an individual goal for each staff member based on their result. Better still get them to set the goal – you’ll get much more buy in if you do this. Ask all staff how they can achieve their goal – what do they need to do with customers to improve their current result – the answer should be – “Have more conversations about other products and ask every customer for their loyalty card.”

  • Track your sales daily and even hourly

Set up a goal sheet for the store and each staff member, so you and your team can tell instantly how they are going at any time of the day. Run these reports (or get a team member to do this) and check in how they are going on a regular basis. Keep these goal sheets out the back and updated so they constantly see how they are going. If they are close or over their target praise them, if they are under ask them what they need to do to improve.

  • Provide training on how to have these conversations

Most staff I see that try and upsell or add on do it poorly. They use the same technique with every customer and they get bored and customers don’t buy. Teach them new techniques and obviously lead by example.

  • Observe and provide regular feedback

Watch your staff in action with customers – are they having the conversation they need to or not? Help them if they aren’t by providing improvement feedback, praise them if they are. This is an ongoing process that never stops.

  • Catch up when they start their shift

I see staff wandering in to start their shift, very unfocussed about serving customers to their best ability until they have warmed up – how many opportunities do they miss? Have a 1 minute catch up just before they start and ask them – “How did you go against your goal yesterday (or last shift)?” If they don’t know get them to check the goal sheet. Depending on their result either provide praise or improvement feedback – they will now be focussed.

  • Encourage friendly competition

Try having some fun rewards in place. Be careful with always rewarding the staff member who sells the most, it’s normally the same person (or two people) and staff who don’t serve as many customers (or work less shifts) can’t win and give up. Use conversion rates – how many sales compared to how many customers, or average sale or items per customers. These three KPI’s are all fair because they are based on sales versus number of customers served, so anyone can win.

The above six points don’t take too much effort and will drive your sales upwards. The best way to keep this going – focus on catching your staff doing it right and tell them – they love it.

Roger SimpsonRoger Simpson – CEO, The Retail Solution and Author of “The Retail Solution” With over 35 years’ industry experience, Roger Simpson is recognized as Australia’s #1 Authority on customer ROI in the retail industry and as a global expert on staff coaching, customer service and selling skills.