Every business wants to increase sales as a goal but the biggest question is how?
Build it and they will come isn’t always the best motto when it comes to attracting new customers and bringing in more sales.
Whether you’re online, in-person, a start-up or an old company there needs to be a strategy in place to start seeing an increase in sales.
We’ll give you a few strategies you can use today to start achieving your goal.
Right now, you have a product or service you are offering to the world, it should provide deep value to your customers.
Does your product or service fill a need or issue? Or does it provide a better or easier task for someone? These questions bring up the value needed in a product or service for it to be successful.
With a clear value in your offerings, your customers won’t question the price (within reason of course).
Spotify, for example, provides easy music or podcast streaming on any platform and anywhere. Millions of people listen to music or podcasts. Whether that be at home, at work, in the gym, in the car. The list goes on and on…
Spotify was one of the first and the best company to offer easy streaming. Their price of $10 a month is an easy no-brainer for the amount of value it provides.
Customer experience matters
The customer experience can boost sales. Is the experience easy or difficult? Do customers get distracted along the way? The customer experience goes for both in-store and online shopping.
Customers want the easiest option. The more resistance between them shopping and checking out the less likely there will be a sale.
Let’s look at an example. For in-person, most formal dress-wear places do this well. If we take Moore’s. They focus on men’s fashion. As soon as you walk into the store you are greeted by someone that asks what you’re looking for.
You’re then shown by the sales rep a few options for your item. Next, they ask if you would like to look at anything else.
If you answer no, they directly walk with you to the sales counter. It’s an easy customer experience from start to finish.
In the online world, Amazon comes to mind as an easy experience. Amazon knows the least amount of steps a customer has to take to complete the check out the more likely they are to gain a sale.
They offer a buy now button right on the product page, or even if you are directed to the cart in less than 4 clicks you complete the purchases.
By doing this it becomes a consistent experience that sets the customer expectations in a positive light.
Monitor time with leads
Leads are important in any business. Leads are potential buyers, but there are two types of leads you need to be aware of; qualified leads and unqualified leads.
Qualified leads are potential buyers that are in a position to make a purchase or have a keen interest in the product or service.
Unqualified leads are someone less serious. They either don’t fit the target audience or just don’t seem like a serious buyer.
For anyone in sales, it’s easy to pick these types of people up. The ones that talk to you non-stop or tell you they’re not simply looking right now. If those leads don’t meet your audience or aren’t serious politely find ways to end the relationship.
They waste time from your day. Even worse they waste time on you pursuing leads with qualified leads that can turn into sales.
Use customer engagement
Customer engagement isn’t to provide excellent customer service, but of course, it helps. It’s when a customer interacts with your business. This could be online or even offline.
An online engagement could be through social media or interacting with the website. In-person, this could be interacting with a sales rep.
Customer engagement builds trust, value, and loyal customers. When a customer interacts with your business, it means they care about your brand.
They’re more likely to make a purchase with the business when they feel a connection. They are no longer just a number making a purchase, they can feel like a valued customer.
Want to learn more about customer engagement? Check out our article “How to improve customer engagement“.
Have a target audience
Oftentimes business owners create a product or service and launch it to the masses. Does this work?
Well sometimes, depending on the product or service, however, it’s not the best way to increase sales. Sometimes when your marketing to everyone, means you marketing to no one.
Let’s say that again, “marketing to everyone means marketing to no one”. Why? Because you’re not speaking to anyone.
You’re not highlighting someone’s beliefs, values, pain points, or interests. Having a target audience ensures your marketing the product or service to the best possible person.
A target audience focuses on your ideal customer. Their gender, education, hobbies, interests, pains, location, age, etc… can all make up a target audience.
Let’s look at an example. If we look at Apple computers like laptops who do they market to? It’s clear who Apple’s target market is when you look at its ads.
Most often than not they show college and university students between the ages of 19-27 (give or take).
Not everyone is going to want a MacBook computer. It could confuse window users, younger kids, and older generations.
So by marketing to those types of people they’re unlikely to get maximized sales and that’s wasted money from your marketing budget and wasted time with sales reps interacting with these customers.
We are not saying only sell to those in your target audience if you do great, but by focusing on your audience that is meant to use your product or service you’ll have a lot easier time getting sales.
Utilize promotions and discounts.
We all love promotions and discounts. They can provide happiness when our favorite product goes on sale or we have a great coupon code to use. They can become a powerful tool for business owners to increase sales. Promotions and discounts provide 2 things.
They provide the customer with a feeling like they’re getting a deal (which they are) that makes them happy to buy the products. The second thing they provide is scarcity. Scarcity is the feeling that you need to do something because you’ll miss out.
For example, any one-day sale or Black Friday sale can count as using scarcity. Scarcity works for those on the fence about a product or service or just creates that urgency for people to take action.
Check out these other examples of scarcity here.
Promotions and discounts can take away from your bottom line, but they can also drive more revenue with the increase in purchases.
It’s important to note running these promotions and discounts all the time can have the opposite effect.
For businesses that offer constant promotions and discounts customers will take note. It loses value when you offer these all the time. Create promotions and discounts at the right time.
Referrals are a powerful tool
Referrals will work for businesses. Sales reps should be using this as part of their sales strategy. A referral is a recommendation from a friend, family or even a colleague. They can be a great way to bring in new customers. Referrals work for everyone.
The business offering a referral gets a new customer. The person mentioning the business usually gets an incentive for doing so, whether it’s a free product or a discount. The person hearing the referral gets a good recommendation.
The best example of a referral strategy is with Hello Fresh. They offer a 25$ credit when someone refers someone they know. That person being referred also gets a free box in the process. It’s a great incentive to tell people about Hello Fresh.
Any type of business can offer referrals. The key to this strategy is to have a proper incentive for clients (existing customers) to speak about your product or service, without it the client may not be thinking about the benefits of telling their friends and family.
Remember referrals aren’t word of mouth. Word mouth has no incentive for clients to talk about a business.
Referrals are actively trying to get customers to talk about your business. But both hold a key message – Do a great job and tell everyone.
Upsells can have a bad name. This is most likely due to people being upsold items when they simply don’t relate to anything you purchase.
Upsells shouldn’t be seen as a negative. They should be seen as positive. They can actively assist your customer’s experience and create more sales.
Let’s look at an example. DeLonghi makes coffee supplies. It could be coffee machines, espresso machines, filters, accessories and anything else related to coffee DeLonghi has the products.
But DeLonghi doesn’t upsell every product, why? Because it doesn’t make sense. If we look at any espresso machine that comes with a milk frother, they offer an upsell to a pitcher and espresso cups.
Both of these products would be of value to the customer purchasing the espresso machine. They’ll need a pitcher for the milk frother and they may need to have espresso cups. Check out the upsell on their page here – DeLoghni upsell.
This upsell creates a better experience for the customer by offering a product they need and it will improve sales for the business.
Now, on the other hand, if Delonghi offered coffee filters along with this it would be a bad upsell. The customer wouldn’t be able to use the filters for the espresso machine.
It could cause the customer to annoyed and create a bad experience The right upsell goes a long way.
It’s a team effort.
Each team member of a business can intervene in increasing sales whether that’s online sales or in-person sales.
It’s not always up to the sales team. If you’re a small organization, of course, this looks much different, as individuals can fill multiple roles. But for companies with different departments like customer support, sales, product and marketing all connect to increasing sales.
A bad experience can hinder the business reputation affecting the sales rep’s efforts. A bad customer experience can derail a successful marketing campaign.
Everyone needs to be on the same page. For any size company, this will come down to the operators. They need to set the standards and systems in place so each department knows the level of service and operation the business wants to set.
When everyone is on the same page the whole process becomes easier. Customers can have a successful and positive experience at each stage, increasing sales overall.
Everything needs to be consistent
Everything we have listed for increased sales comes down to being consistent. It’s not engaging with a customer once, it’s not organically upselling once or it’s not offering referrals once.
All of these strategies should be done on a consistent base. Increasing sales doesn’t happen overnight with strategies. The more time spent on these strategies the better results they’ll bring in.
Be patient and continue to do good work while implementing these strategies and you’ll see success.
Optimizing sales doesn’t have to be complicated. There is software out there that can help assist in increasing sales – Breadstack’s sales module does just that.
A few key benefits of our sales modules:
Give promotions to liquidate dead stock – Make money immediately by turning dead stock into cash and liquidating slow-moving inventory.
Never have an out-of-stock item for purchase – Always be up to date on stock availability and have a full view of your inventory in real-time.
Always be ready to upsell to customers – Manage and create promotions in real-time during customer shopping to upsell or build the basket.