Commission Retail Sales: Six Ways to Foster Healthy Competition
Commission retail sales is a competitive sport. Like any sport, rules and regulations are required to ensure everyone plays fairly.
Most often, conflicts arise when a lack of clarity surrounds how customers are assigned and who gets credit for a sale. You can help keep the peace and encourage healthy competition when you have clear and enforceable policies, which, in turn, cultivate higher sales.
Have Rules for the Game
Hiring a stellar staff is a good first step, but unless you have policies and training surrounding how your store handles customer engagement and sales commission conflicts, you may find it hard to retain high-quality people. Here are six ways you can create a win-win culture:
Greed is good. Salespeople are a unique breed. The best of the best are driven by a desire to make money, and that’s very good for business. When looking for and hiring staff, it’s in your best interest to look for people who exhibit winning sales attributes. In addition to a desire to make money, look for honest, outgoing personalities, customer-centric attitudes, good listening skills and resiliency when sales don’t go their way.
Create a policy. Determine how customers are assigned. Is everyone who walks in the door fair game? Do you have a rotation where salespeople cycle through a lineup as customers enter the store? Without clarity, your strongest salespeople will pounce on every opportunity they can, potentially creating a negative reputation with customers and other staff members. Create a policy that clearly states how your staff should approach prospects so the field is fair for everyone.
Put it in writing. Whatever approach you choose, make sure it’s documented in your employee manual and given to every new hire. Have each new employee read the document and sign it so they have an understanding that you take this seriously.
Train, learn, repeat. Have staff role-play scenarios for engagement, product knowledge, closing a sale and what to do when a customer requests another salesperson. This allows interaction between current and new staff in your presence so you can witness what is expected on the floor. It also presents an opportunity for sales staff to train each other on how they approach sales – which is a huge win. When salespeople demonstrate how they are successful, it creates learning opportunities for everyone.
Resolve conflicts quickly. Your policy should clearly state how to address conflicts. It’s best to encourage resolution among staff before any issues are escalated to you. First and foremost, staff should never discuss issues or display negative emotions in front of clients. When issues are brought to your attention, listen to both sides, then fairly and consistently decide the outcomes. Know that stronger salespeople have been down this road before and have learned how to maneuver through disputes so they end in their favor.
Encourage learning. Sometimes, disputes arise merely because one person is more effective than another at engaging and closing. In those situations, encourage the lesser-experienced salesperson to view a dispute as a learning opportunity. If you encourage your staff to learn from each other, you will have a more productive and cohesive team.
Improve Retail Performance Metrics
In addition to fostering a positive sales floor environment, it’s important to identify and measure the desired activities you want from your staff. Do you know how many customers walk through your door and how many convert to sales? Do you know the average sale per transaction? Do you monitor these key indicators for each employee?
Knowing these retail metrics for each employee can help you identify top performers. At the same time, you can determine weak performers and develop a plan of action to help them improve or counsel them.
Another area to monitor is store sales by time of day and day of the week. When you know the times and days that sales are strongest, you can schedule your staff accordingly. Though the tendency may be to schedule your strongest performers on the busiest days and at the busiest times, it’s wise to have strong performers work during slower periods, too. This gives everyone a chance to earn during busy times, and it gives those still growing and learning an opportunity to become stronger salespeople. Having your strongest salespeople on the floor during slower cycles presents an opportunity for them to use their stellar sales skills to drive more sales vs. having less experienced performers on the floor. Win-win.
TrackSmart Scheduling is an ideal resource for scheduling and monitoring employee hours. You can run and analyze labor cost and payroll reports to determine the most effective way to deploy staff. With these metrics at your fingertips, you’ll be better prepared to manage your sales team and drive higher profits.