Five Bottom-Line Benefits for Incentive Compensation for Retailers

June 30, 2015

The Retail Industry is one of the most quickly-changing environments. With the introduction of new technology, as well as buyer behaviors constantly shifting, retail organizations are often stuck with the constant challenge of being able to balance happy employees and happy customers. When employees are unhappy, there will be a decrease in happy customers. The reason? Customers expect a consistent experience, regardless of whether it is the product or the service. With retailers making a shift to omnichannel structures, organizations must find solutions and develop strategies that help drive the desired behavior, improve customer service, and increase customer retention.

One Wall Street Journal article reports that in 2014, the average turnover for part-time sales associates was 66%, while full-time was less at 27%, with the availability of benefits as the contributing factor to why full-time employees tend to stay. This turnover can cost retail organizations upwards of $4,725 per employee. Organizations are now looking and investing in solutions to help bridge the gap between unhappy and happy customers and employees.

Evaluate Omnichannel Customer Experience with Continuous Business Services from Forrester Research breaks this down from a customer perspective – which is undoubtedly the most important perspective. Customer experience is broken down into three categories: effectiveness, ease, and emotion, where sales associates must be able to make a personal connection with the customer in order to be successful. As Terry Lundgren, CEO of Macy’s, said during a recent roundtable, the top sales reps are successful because they become friends with clients. It goes beyond just selling and meeting quotas; it is building a trusting relationship, which in turn increases the chance of repeat purchases. Retailers are able to make this shift and retain employees by transforming and driving performance across all areas, including sales, finance, and HR.

The first transformation relates to organizational culture. This encompasses staying true to your values, as well as encouraging talent development. This means enabling employees to focus on what they know they can do well and recognizing those that go above and beyond what is expected. People are drawn to and want to be associated with winners because they have something to aspire to. Leveraging knowing your own strengths, and helping others understand their own strengths, will help close that gap between unhappy and happy employees, in turn impacting the behavior of your customers.

The second transformation relates to driving performance. With the help of incentive compensation management solutions, retailers are able to increase market share and drive the desired sales behavior. Incentive Compensation helps:

  1. Improve sales performance by aligning sales behavior with business goals to improve efficiency
  2. Enable agility to changing market conditions
  3. Motivate sales teams – reduces turnover and lays the foundation for sales goals and objectives
  4. Drive operational efficiency by eliminating silos, addressing incentive oversight regulations, and shortening cycle times
  5. Enhance the customer experience with increases in cross-selling/up selling opportunities, as well as customer retention

OpenSymmetry and IBM will be discussing incentive compensation management solutions for retailers in more detail during a live webinar on Wednesday, July 23rd at 2 pm EST. Join Erin Harris, Executive Editor at Integrated Solutions for Retailers as she shares the 5 bottom-line benefits of incentive compensation in the Retail Industry. Guest Speakers Fred Sass, Sales Performance Management Business Unit Executive at IBM, and Laura Roach, SVP of Marketing and Customer Success at OpenSymmetry, will provide insight on how customers are reaping the benefits from these solutions.

Let us know what some of the challenges are that you experience when it comes to sales turnover and retaining customers in the comment section below. Success is: engaged employees and happy customers. Picture that.

Register for the Webinar Today!




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