Today, 90% of consumers use the internet during their customer journey. The increasingly detailed act of buying is part of a process blending several channels which complements, and even eclipses, the physical point of sale.
In that context, some people hasten to sound the death knell of the physical sales profession, which would be carried off by the advent of e-commerce and connected objects in-store. Not necessarily: Although the context has changed, it is for the benefit of redefining roles and a new relationship in which the sales assistant plays an increasingly important role.
Sales: A new kind of customer relationship
The era when the salesperson/cashier was confined in a point of sale, independent from any consistent commercial ecosystem, is over, and has been replaced by a new relationship.
In a time where customers can access as much (or even more) information than vendors, retailers must reconsider their role in preventing their point of sale from turning into a showroom. Relying on a consistent and efficient ecosystem by equipping vendors with technologies to provide value-added informational access to customers allows retailers to harness all available resources, thus turning the physical point of sale into the place where customers can truly experience the relationship with the brand.
Portrait of the omnichannel sales professional
Three qualities characterize the new type of salesperson in the digital age of omnichannel.
Sales professionals must be:
Brand ambassadors: More than ever, sales personnel will be the face of the brand and of all its offers. Whatever the channel chosen by the consumer, sales staff must serve as the link between the brand’s channels and points of sales to ensure the continuity of the relationship with the customer.
Value-minded: The salesperson must deliver added value to the buying experience, not only with knowledge of the product, but also knowledge of the customer. Technologies that grant access to the right customer information will foster a trusting relationship between the consumer and brand, therefore simplifying relevant cross-selling.
Omniscient: If the physical store is a step in the buying process, the relationship with the vendor will endure. Sales professionals are the key to offering a smooth and consistent consumption experience: Stocking knowledge, sizes, brands products on one hand, and also preferences, favorites, and previous purchases of the customer on the other. This information enables the salesperson to offer tailored buying experiences for each consumer.
Omnichannel commerce places the customer at the center of an ecosystem of services and endless possibilities. It allows this new kind of salesperson to maximize precious data in order to offer customers a personalized service.
The key figure of this evolution is the vendor, and it requires that companies establish a culture of change in their organization, and their management style.
Delight your customers at every turn with omnichannel commerce. Learn more here.