How to sell online if your agents don’t know how to sell

03/27/2018 - Jordi Ordoñez

Sometimes we overthink something that is objectively unquestionable: customer service agents are the ones who have the most contact with users. In fact, sometimes they are the only people customers have a direct interaction with.

That said, ask yourself, are you making the most of that contact? Because in many cases the agents are limited to redirecting queries, answering the same questions over and over, and extinguishing one fire after another. It’s not a minor task at all, but at Oct8ne we know that you can redirect those agents and turn them into sales assistants or directly into sales associates.

How to sell online if you have a bad salesperson

The first thing you have to take into account is the type of people that make up your current team. In many cases, there will be agents that find it easy to do a commercial job but others won’t have that ability, even if they’re great in customer service. How can you get the most out of those with the sales talent, and specifically, how do you take an agent that doesn’t know how to sell online and end the process with them doing it well?

You have to design a three-step plan:

Training

There’s no question about it. You have to offer your agents sales pitches so they can practice the new task you want them to do.

Having regular training days with the best salespeople in the company will help them obtain the resources they need. The training must be continuous and progressive, don’t expect a radical transformation in one day.

Knowledge of the product and the company in general. No one’s going to sell something they don’t know anything about. You’ll have to make sure that they can easily handle:

  • The catalog: with each product’s characteristics and, what’s almost more important, the different advantages of the product and exactly what it’s used for.
  • Our target audience: to approach a sale using one technique or another, it’s essential to know what type of customer best fits each product.
  • The company and its methods: it’s vital that you don’t promise something that can’t be done or act in a way that contradicts the company’s policies. Here I would emphasize that you need to be very clear about your margin to move around. Can you offer free shipping at any given time? A coupon?

 

As we say goodbye to people who have chosen a customer service position, we assume that they can empathize and that they know how to create human relationships. This is 50% of the sale already, and probably the most difficult aspect to teach, they’re qualities that either you have or you don’t.

Implementing tools

You can have the best rock climber in the world but if you give him a pair of boxing gloves and some stilts, you wouldn’t know. If we look at this example and how it concerns us, it’s completely valid.

If there’s only one way for agents to attend to customers in an e-commerce, and it’s an account shared by several agents, whether it’s a telephone line that goes through a switchboard and sometimes connects, or a chat thatfalls short of customer service and sales agents’ needs, the agents won’t move forward.

This reflection seems to fit Oct8ne to a T, a company that has been concerned since the beginning with offering a versatile, multi-channel, multimedia tool that makes the agent valuable.

To begin with, there is a wide range of options; users can contact us in real time via chat or, if they prefer,by phone.

We also have the co-vision option, which can be decisive to understanding exactly what the customer needs and to offer sales insights that come out of the interaction.

When customers use the search engine, they leave a trail. The agent can see exactly what that person was interested in up to that moment. Thanks to the previous research, you’ll have a clearer idea of the intention of the current search, a context that can be crucial for strategies like upselling or cross selling.

It’s best not to forget about the opportunities that automation presents. Thanks to the triggers, we can have an impact on customers and predict based on their behavior. Too much time at checkout? Have you gone to the pricing page? Every one of these aspects leads to managing the customer more effectively and finding one with who’s inclined to conversion.

We can tell this works because our customerslet us know.Using our tool sells more (15% on the first visit), drastically reduces cart abandonment, by approximately 47%, and boasts 70% recurrence of visitors returning within a month.

Evaluation

The best title for this paragraphmight be “evaluation and incentivizing”. It’s important to know who’s getting better results and who needs a little more help.

This is a bit tricky because agents must be evaluated with two different profiles in mind: customer service and sales. Make sure you don’t lose sight of what you want and need from agents; you have to look for a balance.

The incentive is also relevant. Make sure that they feel recognized and evaluate their sales efforts as necessary. This is especially important if the agent receives these tasks in addition to work assigned to them in the first place.

It can also help if you establish an incentive or a bonus for the agents that make more than x sales per month.

Do you realize that even an agent who doesn’t know how to sell will be able to if you give him the training, tools and motivation?

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