Selling beauty products is not simple. You know that.
You have a lot of everything: large number of customers, using multiple payment forms, buying from a very large selection of products, which constantly changes.
You need to find a way to put all this chaos in order.
Based on our work with beauty brands and wholesalers worldwide, we have compiled a list of common mistakes that your B2B sales reps (and you) probably make.
Here are the top 4:
1. Using your B2B sales reps for order taking only (or mainly)
Your product catalog is huge, and constantly changes.
Taking orders from such a catalog is a challenge. More so when the time with the customer is limited.
If your sales people spend most of their time with their customers sifting through paper catalogs and writing down orders, something is wrong. Customer visits should be used to foster relationships, to educate the customer about new products and to share business best practices. When applicable, time at the customer’s place of business can be used for merchandising, stock taking and gathering information about competitors.
Taking orders manually hurts your sales in other ways too: it’s an error-prone, long process that significantly extends the order-to-cash cycle, and does not allow for inventory-based order adjustments.
2. Not using promotions to increase order size during order taking
Here is something else that is not done well when your reps take orders manually: introducing promotions to push chosen products and increase order size.
You know that you can boost sales by offering your customers various cross-sell, bundles, quantity discounts and bonuses.
If your salespeople are not prompted to offer these deals to their customers during order taking, both you and the customers lose.
3. Forcing your customers to order via their rep only
Increasing order size is only one way you can help your reps be more productive.
Here is another: offer your customers the option to order products online, 24/7.
You know, they do it anyway: search for products and shop online. They’d better buy from you, right?
A self-service site or a mobile app enable your customers to order what they want when they need to: not when they are busy with customers (in their business, time equals money) but when they have time – between appointments or after work.
When small orders do not waste your reps’ time, they can do other things: build relationships with their customers, find new customers and more. You should encourage your reps to promote the self-service channels: give them commission on all orders made by their customers, no matter how.
4. Meeting a customer without knowing enough about the business you do together
Your customers sell their time, and therefore they value it.
If your sales people walk into a meeting with a customer without knowing which products he bought and when, whether her license is still valid, or if he has outstanding debt, then you have a problem. Understanding the customer requires your sales rep to know what he ordered and what he owes.
An informed rep can notice changes in her buying habits or business, and build a stronger relationship with the customer by addressing these changes when meeting the customer. He can become a true ally and consultant – something that customers greatly appreciate and will strengthen your relationship with them.
There is an easy way for you to help your sales reps avoid making these mistakes.