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Often we talk with companies that sell high-value items direct to consumer.  This could be anything from high-end home furnishings to custom fishing poles.  Average order values could go into the thousands, and lifetime customer value is high.  Our first question is always, “What are you doing for CRM?”  More often than not the answer is, “We have never had a proper CRM” or “We use Google Docs and spreadsheets.”  There is a huge opportunity for these companies to organize sales efforts and engage individually with their prospects, because the size of the sale is worth it!  The B2B sales world has been effectively doing this for years.  Here are four lessons, every eCommerce business can learn from B2B Sales.

Create a Lead Follow Up Process

If your primary channel is your eCommerce website, you are a perfect candidate to create a simplified lead follow-up process based on website activity.  Create a lead for a Sales Rep when someone abandons a shopping cart with a high-value item, or even when they have spent time looking at a specific product.  These leads can show right up in the queue of a sales person for immediate follow up.  These follow ups are likely much more valuable for sales people than people reaching out from the general Contact Us page.  Putting these high-potential leads in the hands of your sales people will immediately increase conversion and customer satisfaction.

Develop a Territory Plan

For many eCommerce companies developing a territory sales plan is a new concept, but simple to do.  With the help of the right CRM technology, it is easy to divide sales people into geographies or product focus areas that match the needs of your business.  From there you can use this product to track everything from number of leads or abandoned carts per territory down to revenue closed per Sales Rep.  This is a powerful tool to understand the ROI on leads and adjust as needed for optimization.  The right CRM system will allow you to track and measure sales performance by sales rep, product line or geography.

Incentivize Sales Performance

Ultimately, the success of your business will depend on your ability to execute on increasing revenue performance.  A huge part of this is motivating a sales force to deliver their best results.  Whether it’s a commission-based sales approach, or meaningful contests and rewards, finding the right approach for getting results from your sales team is critical.  A great place to start after you have some initial ideas on how to inspire performance is to solicit feedback on what your team feels would be most motivational to drive them to achieve more.  Companies that invest in incentivizing their sales teams find much higher levels of performance.

Develop Personal Relationships

One of the unique competitive advantages you will likely have in selling high-value items is the ability to invest in personal relationships with your customers.  Using a CRM system to periodically send personalized follow-ups to customers is a great way to uncover additional sales.  For example, let’s assume you have a company that sells high-end home improvement goods.  You have a bathroom cabinet that is going on sale.  A sales person can easily create a sales list, or segment, for all the customers in their territory who have purchased bathroom tile that matches the on-sale cabinet. Then they can reach out to them with a personalized offer. Customers will love your company for the personalized approach and sales will quantifiably increase.

These techniques are proven to deliver additional revenue and can easily turn your customer service staff into a sales-focused organization that brings real profitability to the company.  B2B companies have been doing this for decades, and in today’s competitive Commerce landscape, now is the time for eCommerce companies to use these proven techniques to deliver revenue.