Maintaining sustainable sales is a core requirement for business organisations specialised in the retail sector. No matter what the kind of industry is, achieving higher sales is the key to earn higher return on investment (ROI) and taking care of working capital requirements. Few of the strategies that help to improve sales can be discussed below.
1. Make use of email marketing
Each time you call a customer you are most likely to hear in an unconvincing tone:
“Are you trying to sell me something?”
“Is this a sales call?”
A better alternative of cold calls made to customers to sell a product is â€˜e-mail marketing’. Busy customers prefer to read the product & service offerings over e-mail at a convenient time when they are free. Include some infographics, discount offers, promotions etc and customers will be more likely to revert.
2. Make use of content marketing
The key is not to call the decision maker. The key is to let the decision maker call you- Jeffery Gitomer
Television advertisements, print media ads, banner ads, cold calls, display hoardings, neon signs and press releases are things of the past. These involve a large marketing budget and do not have a significant impact improving sales.
Does consumer really pay attention to the never ending marketing messages that they come across each and every day? The answer is â€˜NO’ because modern consumers search for necessary information that they need, such as product features, price comparisons, ratings and reviews on the internet. Hence, traditional marketing techniques have low impact on fostering sales.
Currently, sales are driven extensively through relationship marketing (RM), and a key ingredient of RM is content marketing. Content marketing helps to get found by potential consumers instead of striving to push the products & services to audiences not interested. Content marketing also involves the experiences shared by other consumers and recommendations for a brand.
3. Make use of Up-selling/X-selling
It is easier to sell a product or service to a customer who is in a mood of making a purchase. Imagine a consumer having an obsession for branded jeans or a car can be motivated to buy a high priced premium brand while being educated about the basic ones in the initial stages. This is up-selling which works wonders because the obsessed customer will be inclined towards better quality.
Cross selling will help the salesman to educate the customer about a related product/service whose benefits are associated with the main product/service being purchased. For instance, creating a need to buy a breakdown cover while selling an motor car insurance policy to a consumer will have greater chances of selling both products, instead of pitching for them on separate occasions.
4. Propagate the â€˜We Are listening’ techniques
Customers love to be heard and listened to! By listening to the customers you not only engage them but also make them feel valued. Consumers may have several queries, doubts and problems before making a final purchase. Follow a solution based approach to resolve such customers’ dilemmas so that they feel comfortable to buy a product or service. â€˜We are listening’ must also involve attending to the customer problems before, during and after the sales transactions.
Don’t forget you customer once he/she has made the payment. Interacting with the customer even after the sales will stimulate the person to make repeat purchase and bring few other customers as well.
5. Clever pricing
Having a competitive pricing for a product is a main ingredient to attract customers, particularly those who are price sensitive. Customers often â€˜shop around’ in search for better price that matches their budget.
If the price is high, the consumers will expect high quality as there is a notion that higher the price, better the quality. Alternatively, if the price is low, consumers may feel the product/service is of inferior quality.
Hence, price must be determined as per the product quality, after closely identifying competitors’ pricing, customer needs and purchasing power, demand through careful market research. Appropriate pricing that appeal to all consumer groups will surely lead to higher sales.
6. Making use of live chat options
There are many companies out there who help business enterprises to maximize their sales capabilities through Live Videos, Voice Chat and/or Text Chat software. One of them is Acquire-live chat software that is integrated with co-browsing and screen sharing features with the company’s website. This reduces the bounce rate on the company’s website and provides the customers with direct support.
Connect video chat with the website in minutes
You can directly chat with the customer without through your website without the use of any external platform. Here you can also view the customer reactions.
It also helps you to track which pages on the company website the clients are visiting. In this way it helps to track the visitors and view the traffic. Tagove is supported by a cloud based platform and can be accessed from anywhere. It is simple to use, flexible and cost effective.
7. Customer Relationship marketing (CRM)
Acquiring a new customer and convincing for a sale is five times more difficult than retaining an existing customer. Customers can be retained and motivated to make repeat purchases if there is a strong CRM team in place to keep customers engaged.
Innovative CRM Software usually helps to attend to customers queries and complaints right from the point of sale (POS). Well trained customer services representatives running the CRM tend satisfy the customers, stimulate them to make regular purchases and recommend the brand to others.
The key to higher sales is CRM, which is necessary for any kind of business, any product or service, whether online or offline.
8. Provide excellent â€˜After sale service’
If you are not taking care of your customer, your competitor will – Bob Hooey
It is essential to maintain a support team that takes care of customers’ problems with the product/service after the final sale is made. If you forget the customer, the customer is more likely to forget you and switch over to a different company.
Even if the customer does not respond after the final purchase, make sure to ask the customer either through emails, chat, or a courtesy call as to his/her experience with the same.
9. Ethical marketing
Modern consumers choose companies that are honest, are accountable and have concern not only for an individual customer but the community, society and the nation at large.
Ensure that if there is a â€˜money back guarantee’, follow it religiously. Make sure to offer what is promised to the customers through advertisements and other forms of communications. Make your best efforts to ensure that obligations towards all stakeholders such as employees, customers, investors, suppliers, government, auditors, community are met.
10. Keep your own sales& marketing staff motivated
Do not forget to incentivise your own team whose hard work, commitment, and diligence helps to achieve sales. It is necessary to keep the employees motivated through monetary or non-monetary awards or a combination of both. Rewards and pay for performance are the basic techniques to keep the sales staff motivated. However it is equally important to engage the staff through open communication and decision making. Motivated and satisfied employees are more likely to keep customers satisfied and increase the sales numbers.
The use of the above strategies will not only help to enhance sales but also make the sales team stronger in terms of their behavioural aspects and selling abilities. Providing regular training, rewarding and grooming the sales personnel will motivate them and encourage them to deliver better performance.