Top sales trends of 2012

As interest rates disappear from the Reserve Bank's agenda and consumer sentiment flatlines, a better understanding of current sales trends can help protect transaction growth.

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The top sales trends of 2012

With the Reserve Bank having just revised its inflation forecast upwards to 2.5 per cent, and further interest rate cuts off the central bank’s agenda for now, there is likely to be more pressure on business sales over the remainder of the year.

But despite flat consumer sentiment – both in a retail sense and on a business-to-business level – making some adjustments in your current sales processes now can better position you for an economic uplift and, potentially, mitigate any sales downturn. Below are the top sales trends in 2012, and some tips to protect your business sales from further erosion.

Looking for deeper discounts

Economic conditions have deteriorated across many sectors outside of mining, and both corporate customers and retail consumers continue to hunt for bargain deals. On a corporate level, customers have readily been renegotiating their contracts with suppliers to extract better margins, while on the retail level ordinary consumers are not only shopping around in physical stores but are increasingly searching for better deals on the internet.

To counter these trends, businesses basically need to play the discount game. Suppliers will need to reduce their margins if they want to fend off competitors, while retail outlets will need to match online prices if they want to win the sale...

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