Sales and marketing can have a big impact on your business. For Deanna Yang, founder of milk and cookie store Moustache, an $80,000 crowdfunding campaign was behind the temporary transformation of the store into a 1978 Bedford Moustache Milk & Cookie Bus.
Besides the famous cookie bus, Moustache now has two stores in Auckland.
When it comes to sales and marketing, Yang says keeping an eye on the bigger picture is important to both disciplines.
“I think flexibility and responsiveness are the most important things [for marketing] because most of the time your carefully curated plans never pan out anyway!”
Saleswise, Yang says she tells her staff to “worry about people” instead of sales. She feels individual sales targets create a toxic work environment by motivating staff to turn on one another and steal each others’ sales.
“Moustache is not about one person and how well they do, it’s about how well we work together and how we as a team make our customers feel like they’re a part of the family too,” Yang says. “If we focus simply on that then the sales should naturally follow.”
RedSeed’s Anya Anderson talks sales
Anderson co-founded RedSeed in 2009. Having spent years in retail roles, Anya knows what it takes to design, implement and maintain training that changes behaviour. We asked for her thoughts on some current hot topics across retail sales.
In the age of experiential retail, what’s the best way for retailers to tie sales strategies into bricks and mortar store upgrades?
Fit-out and branding are only designed to entice customers to your door. What you do with them inside is still of the utmost importance and is what gives you the return on your investment.
The critical factor in increasing your ROI is getting a customer to buy additional items, to become a regular customer and to tell their friends about you. And there is no better mechanism for this than well trained and passionate sales professionals. A top performing sales professional will sell 40 percent more than a poor performer and significantly increase revenue.
Showrooming is still a real concern for many retailers. How can salespeople convert showroomers into shoppers?
Showrooming is a practice driven by price. It happens when the experience in the store is not good enough to encourage the customer to buy then and there. They see more value in finding the best price online and are prepared to wait for the product to arrive.
The best thing that a retailer can do to convert a showroom browser to a buyer is to have skilled sales professionals available and motivated to give their customers a great experience.
When a customer is confident that they will be welcomed by a staff member that is genuinely passionate and knowledgeable about the product, there is more incentive to go instore.
Dan Bye from 99 discusses marketing
Bye is a multi-award-winning communications strategist who’s worked for agencies such as M&C Saatchi Australia, OMD Sydney and SapientNitro. We asked him to cover off some questions about current issues in marketing.
Is it still important to plan marketing projects in advance or is it okay to just go with the flow and be flexible?
Agility is definitely something that we are seeing more and more clients aspiring to, but being agile without a broader strategy risks coming across as being scatter-gun and somewhat random. Just because you can be reactive or be part of a conversation doesn’t mean you should be there.
For brands that desire to live in a broader cultural context, the ability to react and be hyper-relevant is a massive asset, but it shouldn’t be done in absence of a higher level strategy and clear understanding of why they are participating and how this ladders up to their brands positioning or purpose.
In your opinion, what are the elements of a solid small-scale marketing campaign that’s executed by a SME?
With any campaign the most important thing is clarity on the task at hand, what it is the business is looking to achieve and clear and measurable outcomes in terms of what success looks like. The other piece, which is often overlooked, is being specific about who the target audience is for whatever they are selling, and why they should be interested. The combination of knowing what it is you want to achieve and from who will then lead to the right channels, message and creative execution.
Latitude’s David Gelbak shares a macro view
Prior to his current role Gelbak was Managing Director – Commercial and Partnerships, for Latitude Financial Services, Australia & New Zealand, based in Melbourne. In that role, he had commercial responsibility for Latitude’s full product portfolio, including Sales Finance, Credit Cards and Personal Loans, as well as commercial functions including Product, Business Development and Marketing and Digital. We asked for his perspective on both sales and marketing.
They say that what gets measured gets done, but while sales and marketing are all about the numbers, there’s a very personality-based, gut-feeling aspect underpinning both fields. How can retailers find the right balance between these two poles?
I think retailers need to have a foot in both camps, namely understanding their customers quantitatively, what motivates them, how they shop, preferences, what makes them unique and you need to interrogate your data whether it be through simple off the shelf CRM tools or more complex data science. If you can take those insights and then apply that personality qualitatively to the service or product experience then you have something special.
Can you share any sales and/or marketing insights which are well-known among larger companies, such as Latitude, but tend to be ignored or missed by SMEs?
For our company it’s really been about customer data and the ability to take our partners data and/or our customer data and turn that into meaningful actions, be it marketing campaigns, inputs into product design or changes to our servicing processes.
We always start with the data but then marry that with real customer insights often sourced qualitatively through feedback, social forums, and research that we do. More recently we have developed our own proprietary customer panel where we are able to take a hypothesis or a merchant partner opportunity and research it within a matter of days and deliver back a validation or otherwise in a matter of days. That’s the way I think you need to iterate now, get things out in beta mode, listen and be prepared for your hypothesis to be disproven (and don’t take it personally!).