Whether you're an accountant using practice management software to grow your client base or an e-commerce company trying to increase sales, you need a robust strategy to help you reach your goals. Here are a few sales strategies you can use to maximize sales year-round.
Focus on Customer Experience
Customers are the lifeblood of your business. In the past, companies could get away with focusing on themselves and the benefit of their products to drive sales. However, now more than ever, customers want businesses to focus on them and their experiences.
The customer experience determines how customers feel about your brand or business. Those with bad experiences are unlikely to return. Additionally, customer experience and customer service are two separate concepts. While customer service can improve a customer's experience, customers want a good experience from the first to last touchpoints. How you provide a good customer experience depends on your business type. For example, an e-commerce company that relies on its website for sales will focus most of its attention on the website's user experience. Meanwhile, a retail store might train sales associates to provide customers with a better experience.
Everything your business does can affect its sales and revenue. Luckily, this fact can be beneficial if you invest in thought leadership and prove your expertise to the public. Thought leadership can help you build a trusted brand while adding more credibility to your company and its products and services. But what exactly is it? Thought leaders inform the public and their customers about their products and services without necessarily selling to them. Instead, they demonstrate their expertise and product or service's value to convince prospects to complete a sales transaction.
Thought leadership can be time-consuming because it requires making tons of educational content. Additionally, many individuals create poor-quality content or content that doesn't speak to the consumer. Therefore, before you try to generate leads with thought leadership, you must consider your audience, the information they want, and why your organization is the best to help. Additionally, you should consult the marketing and PR team to ensure your messaging fits the branding.
Generating leads on your website is crucial for any sales team because it can help you attract more prospective customers without cold calls. Warm leads are much easier to sell to than cold leads from calls or emails because they've already shown an interest in your business. However, after you get those leads, you must qualify prospects to determine how your business can help them and if they're a serious buyer.
Ensure your team sells to the right customers by researching and qualifying prospects before reaching out to them. Learning as much as they can about a customer will tell them if the customer is more likely to make a purchase and what their specific needs are. You can learn about prospects with detailed analytics on your website or by creating forms with more fields to collect as much information about them as possible.
If you can't become a thought leader yourself, you can leverage the followers of a thought leader in your field to attract more customers and help you close deals. Influencers are thought leaders who are truly respected for their expertise and opinions. You can also find influencers on social media platforms for just about any niche, including B2B.
Influencers can become part of your overarching digital marketing strategy to attract more customers, convert website visitors into leads, or generate sales immediately. However, to begin influencer marketing, you'll need a completely separate strategy, which consists of goals, types of influencers, a budget, and specific campaigns. This process can take a lot of time, and the best influencers don't come cheap, so we recommend working with an agency that can take care of everything for you if you don't have experience.
Car salespeople use reciprocity to close sales by lowering the price to make you feel like they're doing you a favor so you have no choice but to purchase the vehicle. Any industry can use this strategy to provide customers with more value and encourage them to take action. To use the principle of reciprocity, you can:
Offer discounts: Lowering prices is a great way to attract and convert new customers with one-time or rewards-based savings opportunities. While this means purchases will be worth less to your company, they'll be worth more to your customers, which can improve the experience and keep them returning for more.
Send content: Sending relevant content on products and services can help them decide to take action by providing them with more information. For example, if a customer has recently viewed a product page, you can email them about the product and follow it up with additional content to educate and inform them.
Free samples: If you sell products, free samples can help existing customers learn about products they haven't purchased yet. While free samples cost your business money, they can attract new and existing customers, ultimately increasing each customer's lifetime value (LTV).
Offer More Shipping Options
If customers order products online, consider offering various shipping options to drive conversions. Most customers prefer fast and free shipping, but that's not always necessary to increase conversions on your website. Instead, you can apply these concepts strategically. That said, customers expect fast and free delivery options, which could be costly for a small business. Instead, you can create thresholds for free shipping, such as reaching a purchase amount before it applies.
Make Checking Out Easy
If you have a lengthy checkout process, you can quickly lose customers who were interested in your products just a few minutes ago. While smartphones and other devices can save a user's credit card information to make checking out easier, many people prefer fast checkout options. For example, many e-commerce companies offer customers the option to check out with PayPal, which stores their information and is already connected to a bank account, to reduce the time it takes to check out.
Consider using a 1-click checkout process instead of multiple steps since a shorter process usually provides higher conversion rates.
How you capture leads and generate sales depends on your type of business. However, many of the strategies listed here can work for B2B and B2C companies that want to increase conversions without hiring more staff. One of the best ways to increase sales is to align your marketing and sales teams to ensure consistent messaging and a good experience throughout the customer journey.
Megan Isola holds a Bachelor of Science in Hospitality and a minor in Business Marketing from Cal State University Chico. She enjoys going to concerts, trying new restaurants, and hanging out with friends.