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Improve Retail Sales Performance With These Sales Coaching Tips

Your POS system generates key statistics that tell you about your Retail sales performance. These key statistics are: Average sale, Transactions per hour, Items per sale, Conversion rate, Sales per hour.

But did you know that tracking these statistics on an individual Salesperson basis can lead you to focused clues about improving individual performance. Most POS systems don’t enable you to track individual sales performance or generate individual KPIs (key performance indicators). If they do, they do not allow you to set a Store Sales Goal for comparative purposes.

If your POS system does track these KPIs they can lead you to some very important coaching strategies:

Coaching on Low Average Sale

Salespeople need to create value in the sale by demonstrating more expensive merchandise. This usually requires more skill and more product knowledge.

Customers need to be probed to identify their needs so the Salesperson can match them with the right product. There is no point in launching into a demo unless the needs of the customer are known. This leads to unsuccessful attempts at adding on. Perhaps the sale itself is lost due to inaccurate probing.

If the Salesperson is in a hurry they may not maximise their opportunity to sell. This will usually be characterised by low items per sale and/or high transactions per hour, as well.

Salespeople need to be aware of natural product add-ons such as extended warranties, product customisation and delivery options. Lack of product knowledge again is a cause for low average sale.

Coaching on Low Transactions Per Hour

Salespeople may be guilty of spending too much time with customer and not closing sales quickly enough. This is usually due to a lack of skill or motivation.

You need to identify a specific behavior that is cause the poor performance which may be thing like too much time spent merchandising, taking breaks, smoking, or talking to customers without trying to close the sale.

Converting customer is paramount to increasing transaction per hour.

Approach more customers and try to spend less time with them

Coaching on Low Items Per Sale

Salespeople need to at least attempt to sell more than one item to a customer. Product knowledge and sales confidence are the keys to a successful add on. Lack of sales skill will inevitably result on giving up too quickly or ignoring an opportunity to add on.

Probe customers with broad questions relating to the product they are buying. You may find out something about the customers that leads naturally to the ad on.

Since the customer’s mind is most open to buying prior to making a buying decision on the primary item, a Salesperson who always waits for that commitment prior to adding on may be minimising his/her chances of successfully adding on.

Salespeople are sometimes much to careful about saving a customer’s money instead of trying to sell them more items. If the store is quiet Salespeople need to try harder to ad on. Even if the store is busy, a customer who has already decided to make a purchase is more easy to sell something to than a customer walking into the store.

Coaching on Low Conversion Rate

Lack of probing, skill in selling, product knowledge, and approaching customers is usually the cause of low conversation rate.

In most cases increasing the conversion rate of the store is the quickest and easiest way to increase the sales average. Converting one more customer per period can create a dramatic effect on the sales for the day so Salespeople need to close faster and attend to more shoppers.

Lack of clear and targeted demonstrations and a lack of product knowledge can cause wasted time with Salespeople performing the sale but not closing the deal.

Coaching on Low Sales Per Hour

Usually this statistic is low because one of the other’s is low.

Make sure you are tracking this statistic accurately. If you are measuring sales performance for an individual who is selling for less hours than being tracked this will inevitable show us a low sales per hour.


Targeting individual deficient sales statistics provides vital clues to Store Managers about the specific area of performance that should be targeted for coaching purposes.

Coaching on the most deficient statistic yields the greatest and quickest results and the potential the biggest improvement in sales performance.

The author of this article has developed a software program used by retail stores to quickly and easily calculate individual salespeople’s statistics.
About Author Steven Lipschitz :

Steven Lipschitz has a 12 year track record in Internet enabled applications and today specializes in Retail Performance Management Solutions. His company developed the world renowned Retail Performer software program for the Retail industry. You can find out about Retail Performer at FREE Trial Download available.

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Article Added on Wednesday, June 21, 2006
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