Retail: 12 levers to automate the sales process
Published on 11 August 2021
From data collection to invoicing, including customer relationship management: retail companies need to automate and optimize different parts of their sales process. This is essential to gain efficiency and focus on strategic tasks, but it requires dedicated tools for sales and marketing teams.
Optimize data collection and target qualification
For retail specialists, as for most companies, data is essential to enrich customer relationships. However, collecting, analyzing and using it by marketing and sales teams can be tedious, especially on a large scale. Several aspects of data can be automated with dedicated solutions, such as a CRM, useful at different stages of the marketing and sales relationship:
1. Prospection: thanks to digital solutions, it is now possible to aggregate data and use it more easily for commercial purposes. The objective, especially for e-commerce players, is to receive lists of qualified leads, thus simplifying prospection.
2. Consolidation: automation tools will also clean up the database, notably by eliminating duplicates and consolidating customer and prospect records. The advantage? To have a better knowledge of your installed base to optimize exchanges.
3. Qualification: To automate sales, it is also essential to set up a scoring system, which classifies leads and customers according to their probability of conversion or purchase. This automatic prioritization allows the sales force to concentrate its efforts on targets with the highest commercial potential.
Automate customer relationship management
Automating data management should give you a better understanding of your customers and prospects. Knowledge that can be leveraged by automating several facets of the customer relationship, with a view to deploy an omnichannel strategy, where all contact and sales channels are used together.
4. Loyalty programs: with a dedicated tool, such as Generix Sales Marketing for example, you can organize customer data to drive loyalty more efficiently. How? By relying on different information (activity on social networks, recommendations, etc.) and several automated functions (scoring, points management, etc.) to reward end consumers in a more relevant way.
5. Promotional marketing: in an omnichannel logic, the interest of an automation tool is to supervise the promotions and benefits offered via all channels from a single point. With Sales Marketing Promotion for example, you can define all your commercial offers according to 5 essential dimensions (item, cart, purchase history, sales channel and time) in order to increase the relevance of the promotion program.
6. Communication: the challenge is to automate your follow-ups and exchanges with your leads and customers, while personalizing them to consider the particularities of each one (scoring, history, etc.). This is obviously true for commercial emails, but also for SMS, calls, and even conversations on social networks, using a chatbot for example.
Streamline reporting to optimize decision making
Automation solutions, such as Generix's Analytics & KPI, are also essential for optimizing strategic decision-making in retail companies. Indeed, they can offer a unified, global, and real-time vision of all facets of the business, on which it is possible to rely.
7. Creation of sales reports: based on customer profiles, sales follow-up, or transformation rates, it is possible to automatically analyze the effectiveness of your actions with an individual customer or a typical target. Not only do you feed the sales force, but you are also able to produce reliable and quantified reports on the activity of the point of sale or the network for strategic decision-makers.
8. The study of financial statements: the effectiveness of sales actions must be cross-checked with the company's financial results, particularly regarding its margin, its turnover per sales channel and the cost/benefit ratio of campaigns. As it is time-consuming, this data cross-referencing can again be automated to simplify and optimize the task of the marketing and sales teams.
9. Decision-making analysis: all this information will allow you to better identify your KPIs and to have a clear and true vision of all the dimensions of your activity (best customers, most profitable operations, sales evolution on each channel, etc.). Without having to aggregate this data, your employees can focus on higher value-added tasks, including strategic decision-making.
Make sales more reliable, thanks to automatic collection and invoicing
For retail companies, several low value-added tasks can be extremely time-consuming and impact the efficiency of the teams and, more globally, the profitability of the network. Essential, but simple, these different tasks can be automated, without losing efficiency.
10. Deploying digital sales channels: the new digital channels open you up to automation. Always with an omnichannel approach and a single shopping cart in mind, develop click and collect, e-booking, the web store or the store to web. To help you do this, a tool like Local POS allows you to position the store at the center of the customer experience and link it to your digital channels, other commercial outlets. For example, it automatically executes centrally defined promotional and loyalty operations.
11. Optimize checkout: In parallel, it is possible to make point-of-sale checkout solutions more efficient, to reduce customer waiting time and increase activity. Automatic information feedback (available stock, customer benefits, etc.) also provides better visibility on actions taken, while ensuring that sales are always available.
12. Invoice reliability: centralization of invoicing data, compliance with all regulatory obligations (B2G, Continuous Transaction Controls, etc.), sending and reminders to service providers, etc., are all aspects of the invoicing function that can be automated in order to increase productivity and reliability, using the Invoice Services solution for example.