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RSAs Doing This Boost Revenue 20%

Hey FAM, it’s Ray Allegrezza.

This week, I’m going to change things up a bit and focus on a few ideas that will hopefully help the RSA community.

Plus, don’t miss FAM stories about how retailers can use video to drive store traffic, how you can support Ticket to Dream Foundation’s Cards for Grads campaign, and how to choose what mattresses to put on your sales floor. 

#WIMTY — What It Means To You

Now that market is over and retailers and their sales team are back on the selling floors, a question on everyone’s mind concerns ways to sell smarter, more effectively and more successfully as we all wait for all the pandemic-related challenges dissipate.

While I suspect none of us know how long that will take or what the retail landscape will look like once that happens, I do know one thing for certain: technology and digital assets—and the ability to understand and use them—are going to separate the winners from the losers in the days ahead.

I base that on the scores of current white papers discussing this and on that fact that they all essentially come to the same conclusion: the pandemic has drastically changed the B2B landscape.

In fact, McKinsey & Co.’s recent white paper is called, “How Covid Has Changed B2B Sales Forever.”

It concludes that, “what started as a crisis response has become the next normal.”

(continued below)


How Covid Has Changed B2B Sales Forever

Sample Findings:

  • More than 75% of buyers surveyed said they now prefer digital self-service and remote human engagement to in-person sales calls.
  • Most of the buyers surveyed said they believe the efficacy of digital platforms and assets will grow.
  • The majority of buyers polled said online and remote selling is as effective as in-person engagement.
  • Video and live chat have emerged as the predominant channels for interacting and closing sales.
  • 65% of decision makers polled said remote B2B selling is equal to or more effective than traditional in-person sales calls.

With that in mind, every RSA should be asking two questions:

  1. Am I seeing some or all these trends with my customers?
  2. Am I responding in a manner most appropriate to them?

I am the first to admit that change is hard. It sucks, in fact. But as a smart guy once told me…if you dislike change, you are going to hate extinction.

Hopefully, you are using all these digital assets to your advantage.

One other tool you need in your sales toolbox is something called social selling.

Social selling is a tactic where sales people use social media to find and engage with new prospects.

Social selling allows the RSA to use social media to engage with existing and prospective customers by answering open-ended questions, answering customer’s specific questions and by sharing content throughout the entire buying process.

Before you blow this off as just another techno-buzz-word, studies show that RSAs who use this technique boost revenue by almost 20%

Sadly, studies also show that some 75% of salespeople don’t utilize social selling because they don’t know how.

Prior to Covid, most RSAs would rely on a combination of cold-calling, sales demos and lead qualifying, but changing buying traits and habits have demanded a new way to sell, and for forward-thinking RSAs, that has meant integrating social media into the sales bag.

A study called State of B2B Procurement Study by Accenture, determined that more than 90% of B2B buyers conduct some degree of research online before making a business purchase, with 55% conducting online research for at least half of their purchases.

Another study by IDC concluded that social media is what buyers rely on when doing that research.

Specifically, the IDC study determined that:

  • 91% of B2B buyers are now active and involved in social media
  • 84% of senior executives use social media to support purchase decisions
  • 75% of B2B buyers are significantly influenced by social media

A market research group, Aberdeen Group, also released a recent study that looked at the impact of social selling on sales. It concluded that key metrics, including hitting quotas, renewal rates and accurate forecasting all spiked when reps utilized social selling.

The study also determined that RSAs who use social selling find on average 45% more opportunities. In addition, social selling helps best-in-class companies achieve a 16% gain in year-over-year revenue.

social selling benefits

Where to start?

Start with what you, as a businessperson, know: LinkedIn. Why start here? According to the platform, LinkedIn claims to be the world’s largest professional network with 810 million members in more than 200 countries and territories worldwide.

LinkedIn also has thousands of groups segmented by category or interest. Start or form a group geared towards furniture retailing. It will be a great way to establish yourself with home furnishings retailers.

Set up a profile, post often about new products, company news, etc. Also, read posts from peers and when appropriate, respond. Let the world know you are, what you do and why potential clients should get to know you and your line.

Once you get comfortable being on LinkedIn, branch out. A good way to reach your buyers is to reach them where they are, and it is likely that depending upon their age, you will find them here:

In conclusion, if you are not yet incorporating social selling into your toolbox, you really need to. It’s not that hard and once you establish yourself on social media, I believe you will not only find yourself on the fast track, but hopefully, in the passing lane of the fast track.

Time to get social!


FAM Furniture Stories

Video marketing is one of the fastest-growing trends of the digital era. Think about this: one billion hours of video are watched on YouTube every day. And more than 500 million people watch a video on Facebook every day. Here’s how to get your piece.

Ticket to Dream Foundation, a non-profit that helps foster kids across the country, just launched their 6th annual Cards for Grads campaign to celebrate and acknowledge the success of this year’s foster grads, rooting them on for their next steps into adulthood.

With more options available to dealers than ever before, figuring out which mattress to put on your sales floor can become confusing, which was recently the topic of a thread in a mattress industry Facebook group.

In Case You Missed It

Bob’s Discount Furniture’s 8th year of collaboration commences this year with Special Olympics, which, to date, has raised close to $450,000. Bob’s Café Collections for a Cause, with the assistance of generous customer support, helps provide year-round sports training and athletic competitions for thousands of athletes with intellectual disabilities, in addition to employment opportunities with Bob’s.

A staple in each Bob’s Discount Furniture store, the Bob’s Café is more than just free goodies and gourmet coffee, it’s also one of the ways in which Bob’s gives back to the community. Each Café participates in Bob’s Café Collections for a Cause, a program wherein donations from customers are collected in-store, matched by the company, and donated to a different charity each quarter. This quarter, the program is helping support the Special Olympics. All the money collected in Bob’s Cafés between April 1 and June 30 will be presented to Special Olympics. Bob’s will also provide a dollar-for-dollar match up to $75,000.

Mastercard’s SpendingPulse report shows that total retail sales increased 8.4% year-over-year and are up 18% compared with pre-pandemic spending. Online sales are up 83.7% vs. pre-pandemic levels while in-store sales are also up 9.4% compared with March 2019. Hawaii, Wyoming, Colorado, Florida, and Texas topped the list of states with the strongest growth rates in March. Hawaii experienced the strongest growth rate for the month as the state has increased in popularity among many honeymooners and tourists.

J.B. Hunt Transport Services Inc. announced the launch of CLEAN Transport, a new program that will allow customers to acquire carbon offset credits equivalent to the emissions created by their shipments. CLEAN Transport will help customers offset carbon emissions based on lane-specific activity each quarter. Working with credible third-party organizations, J.B. Hunt will provide program participants with data showing the amount of carbon offsets needed to achieve a carbon neutral shipment and obtain carbon credits supporting the project selected by the customer. Carbon offset projects include reforestation, forest management, regenerative agriculture and clean power generation.

J.B. Hunt offers multiple sustainable and efficient transportation solutions to help customers reduce carbon emissions. In addition to using energy efficient equipment and alternative fuels, J.B. Hunt avoided an estimated 4.3 million empty miles in 2020 by using its technology platform J.B. Hunt 360°® to secure backhaul freight. The company is an industry leader in converting over-the-road shipments to intermodal, which on average reduces a shipment’s carbon footprint by 60%. J.B. Hunt recently announced it plans to expand its intermodal fleet to as many as 150,000 containers in the next three to five years as part of a joint initiative with BNSF Railway Company.

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