26 June 2020
Author: Mark Fraser
In England and Northern Ireland, we are beginning to see non-essential retail stores open, and it seems Scotland and Wales won’t be too far behind. As brands start to think about their approach in the new normal, it goes without saying that agile resourcing is going to be one of the keys to success.
Most brands were affected by the lockdown, but as a return to some form of normality looms ever closer, there has never been a better time to think about the different ways you can get your products front of mind for more consumers. With three months of high street silence now beginning to move behind us, having an agile strategy in place that optimises your resources to provide the best value is going to be vital going forward. Here’s why:
Mixing and matching resources creates optimal value for brands because it allows them to be in the right places at the right time to maximise value, whilst ensuring it’s efficient. Many brands have seen success by using a variety of resources at the same time in retail. Here’s one example of how that might work in any sector.
A great way to deliver value and make the best use of agile resources is by deploying two teams with two distinct aims that ultimately work towards the same goal. You can have a team that sell direct to consumer in store whilst also running a training team that educate retail professionals on the latest product developments so that they too feel confident and comfortable selling your products. Both resources create value that compliments one another: on the shop floor. The sales team are responsible for actively selling product, whereas the training team are responsible for creating content and delivering training that enables colleagues that are employed directly by stores to be more knowledgeable and recommend consumers buy these products, which also facilitates sales growth.
This has particularly useful application is sectors where sales teams need specialised knowledge of a brand’s products because on the one hand, your brand has highly skilled sales people that have detailed product knowledge that they can use to influence the consumer’s purchasing decisions, and on the other it has a team of trainers that help those who don’t represent your brand to become advocates, by understanding the benefits of recommending your brand over others in store. Due to the level of knowledge employees in tech stores must have in order to establish consumer need, answer questions from consumers and sell the product, mixing and matching these two resources helps to cover as many bases as possible, ensuring everyone responsible for selling your product is equipped with the knowledge and passion to do it.
Having a flexible, agile model that responds to the needs and the demands of the industry is a great way to create the best value for your brand. In the example above, you can further augment these services by employing seasonal staff to help increase sales during peak sales periods. Or you can host brand experience events in store, helping consumers get hands on with the products before they buy, attracting attention and increasing sales.
This is just the tip the iceberg – there are a multitude of ways you can enhance your in-store presence and sales by using different resources.
You can increase your field flexibility by using different teams in different locations to drive sales for your products. Telesales teams can be very useful for teeing up calls for field teams, breaking down any of the potential barriers by prepping customers for visits. Telesales teams can also standalone and upsell newly onboarded customers or enhance existing product sales with further add-ons and more.
It’s also possible to further enhance this by using different employment models: for example, when one of our clients asked us to target takeaway restaurants, we created a brand new employment model that asked for people who were happy to work outside of the standard working hours and that were comfortable dealing direct with wholesalers, placing orders, building out online stores, and more. We looked for people with several different skillsets, offered them a challenging role with greater responsibility and the results spoke for themselves. Sometimes thinking outside the box with regards what resource you need and how you can best deploy it can lead to excellent returns.
Or perhaps you need on-demand support to get to stores that a permanent sales force don’t reach, and unlock opportunities fast; this can even be led by data analytics. With the wonders of auto deployment via technology, you can work with a provider to issue such tasks to thousands of potential employees and have them complete calls within 48 hour, delivering value that would otherwise have been lost.
There’s a plethora of different service combinations brands can use to achieve their objectives in a post Covid-19 world, and having the agile mindset required to do this will be what separates the winners from the losers in this new world.
The future of work can be found in creating a workforce built to be agile when it comes to how they are deployed and contains individuals with a multiple skill sets. No one truly knows how the environment we operate in will change, but if you are ready to take advantage of agile resourcing, and if you optimise your business for this, you will surely reap the rewards.
Helen Sheridan, our Customer Development Director, comments: "The value that can be added by utilising agile resourcing is huge. It allows brands to be flexible in their response to the demands of the industry by utilising different kinds of teams & skillsets to achieve their goals. 2020 has shown that the retail environment can shift rapidly and without warning, by having teams that can adapt to these changes, you can ensure your brand will continue to win, even as the world changes around them."
We offer a range of services that take full advantage of agile resourcing, and we’re more than comfortable meeting the needs of clients, whatever they may be. Contact us for more information on how we can help your brand.
ABOUT THE EXPERT:
For more information on Helen Sheridan, Customer Development Director, visit her LinkedIn page.