Image: Harvard Business Review
At AllWork, we believed that top talent on the sales floor is the key to a successful brand. They are the face of your brand at retail and the ones who will provide customer service and get your product into customers’ hands. It’s crucial to support this talent with proper training and resources. However, with today’s retail transformation, some stores are ignoring this simple fact that salespeople drive sales. By understaffing and undertraining workers, retailers are losing their biggest advantage over e-commerce – their one-on-one customer interactions.
This week, Harvard Business Review posted an important article urging retailers to stop thinking of salespeople as expendable – and we couldn’t agree more. The article points out a critical fact to retailers. “For every dollar a retailer saves on staffing costs, it may be losing several dollars in revenues and gross margin if customers leave a store empty-handed because they can’t find a knowledgeable employee to help them.” So cutting staffing ultimately leads to poor customer service and a decline in revenue. The opposite result retailers are pushing for.
So, what should retailers focus on instead of simply chopping staffing budgets at-will? It’s all about managing the right numbers and focusing on the value that well-trained employees produce. Approach store employees as an asset to be maximized, not a cost to be minimized.
The article recommends focusing on these key areas:
-Use historical data on absenteeism to estimate the effect of staffing and validate the results while looking for patterns.
-Optimize staffing chainwide and measure the results.
-Track sales by associate and incentivize people to want training that will help them sell more.
-Collect data on training activity and compare it with data on individual employees’ sales.
Read more on Harvard Business Review
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