Increasing sales means growing your customer base while keeping the customers you have. Doing so may seem like a daunting task in a turbulent market. Success comes from having the right strategies ready to be implemented at the right time. Here are six steps to generating increased sales in any industry.
Step 1: Automate Tasks
Efficiency is the goal of every business process, and generating sales is no different. Dedicated sales software comes in many forms. One of the most popular is customer relationship management (CRM) software. These software suites can collect and manage lead contact information and perform outreach actions like sending triggered emails to leads. Marketing automation tech is often utilized in concert with CRM. These tools can both automate workflow and perform analysis tasks. Shop around and see what automated systems might augment your human salesforce.
Step 2: Identify Your Market
Every “lead” and “prospect” is an individual with their own wants and needs. Collectively, they make up your target audience. Keeping abreast of their shifting demands is the key to connecting with prospects. In other words, learn what your niche wants and give it to them. Good research can be objective, focusing on collecting and making sense of demographic data sets. Research might also be subjective, using surveys and focus groups to get an impression of how people feel about your offerings. Make the most of both modalities to get a comprehensive view of what your customers are looking for.
Step 3: Build a Sales (or Conversion) Funnel
The “sales funnel” model has been around since E. St. Elmo Lewis coined the phrase in 1898. A sales funnel models the customer’s changing relationship with your brand. It starts with awareness and ends with a loyal customer. In the age of e-commerce, this model has evolved into the “conversion funnel.” The concept is similar, but the conversion funnel adds a stage before awareness. This critical level takes into account the myriad sources of web traffic. Referrals, search engine optimization (SEO), and pay-per-click advertisement are a few examples of digital lead generation methods. All can create an effective lead pipeline.
Step 4: Use High-ROI Promotional Methods
Ad campaigns can be costly. Pinpointing the strategies with the highest return on investment (ROI) is necessary. The pay-per-click and search-based methods mentioned previously are both known for generating high ROI. Add email and text-based (SMS) marketing to the list. SMS is arguably more effective than email since research shows a message opening rate of 42% for commercial text messages versus only 32% for email. However, this doesn’t tell the entire truth since long-form email content can engage consumers on a deeper level. Tailor the outreach method to your sales goals.
Step 5: Build Relationships Through Social Media
It’s impossible to overstate the power of social media to build relationships with your prospects. Traditional marketing methods are a monologue. Social media creates a dialogue. That’s the future of marketing: treating customers like something more than numbers. Social media allows both passive and active engagement. Comments can give you insight into customer satisfaction and concerns. It also provides multiple channels by which to showcase your offerings. Statistics show the global penetration rate for social media to be 58.4% in 2022. That means the prospects you want are already there.
Step 6: Nurture Repeat Business
According to small businesses surveyed by BIA/Kelsey, over half of their yearly revenue came from repeat buyers. Those same customers spent 67% more on average than new customers. Loyalty and referral programs are both excellent ideas for keeping current customers engaged. Another powerful way to generate repeat business is by offering high-class customer service. Phone, email, and live chat consistently top the list for preferred customer service channels. Automation has its place in sales, but in customer service, the human element is irreplaceable.
The perfect sales strategy doesn’t exist. All any owner can do is implement the tactics that fit their company’s unique needs. Use these tips as a guide to creating your plan for growth this year.