Sales and customer service are important aspects of running a company that sells wholesale. Wholesalers have customers that are other businesses, but people make the buying decisions. Here are five sales and customer service ideas that wholesalers and all (B2B) companies can implement today to improve their sales and customer satisfaction.
Keep Account Information Instantly Available
Don’t keep your customer waiting. Give your inside and outside sales representatives and customer service people instant access to the information that customers are asking for. Outside reps should walk into a sales appointment with full knowledge of a customer’s past order history, and they should be able to look up account details with their mobile device right on the spot. Customer service people should also be able to instantly answer the most common questions without having to ask someone else in your company for the info.
Make Fewer Sales Appointments
In today’s hectic work environment, many sales reps could stand to slow down a little. Going slower may be old-fashioned, but it has benefits. Making fewer calls should give reps more time to prepare for each call. Hopefully, your reps will have more time to talk with customers. They won’t be worried about the next call or checking the time on their phone when they really should be giving that other person their full attention. Making fewer appointments should allow your reps to make better notes after their call so they will be better prepared when it comes time to follow up. If your reps are properly encouraged, your sales call quality (and results) will go up when quantity goes down.
An FAQ Page
Every business should have a “Frequently Asked Questions” page that answers their customers’ most-asked questions. FAQ pages are an easy place for customers to get quick help, and they free up employees who would otherwise field these questions.
If you do not know what questions such a page should address, ask your employees to start keeping a list of questions customers ask. In just a few weeks you will know which questions need answering.
Your Reps Need to Use Your Online Ordering Software
Most wholesalers already have an online ordering system in place. If you do not already have online ordering software that integrates with your accounting software it might be time to check out marketplace.intuit.com. Many companies still have a few holdout reps who place orders outside of the online order software. These are typically longstanding reps that have always submitted their orders by, phone, email, or even fax. Your sales reps should be coached to enter all orders into the system and to answer their own questions. This will greatly lighten the load on your inside team. Even your most old-school reps will pick it up if your system is easy to use.
Engage Customers on Social Media
Few B2B companies, including wholesalers, take full advantage of all that social media has to offer. While it receives much attention in business-to-consumer industries, B2B companies often are unsure how to reach other businesses on it. Even of those that do use it effectively, few treat social media as a sales, customer service, or brand building tool. Social media platforms are a great way to engage customers, because they provide prompt communication that others can read. Ask the millennials in your company for ideas on how to use social as a sales and service tool. For example, ask if they have ever seen or messaged on Facebook any of the people that work for your customers. The younger generation may prefer to message each other on social media rather than use old fashioned email.