Sales are a crucial part of any business – without those crucial cogs, the business wheel would simply stop turning. But what you have to remember is those cogs will eventually begin to wear down – what worked perfectly a few years ago may have rough edges that won’t work the same today.
It’s time to keep up with the times. Here we’ll hand you the most up-to-date information on ways to improve sales performance. With Christmas right around the corner, it’s the perfect time to dish out deals and think of creative ways to improve sales performance…
Look over your current sales strategy
If you’re thinking ‘what sales strategy?’ then you better get to writing one. Look at your objectives and goals, and write a sales strategy (i.e. an action plan) that will help you reach them and be sure to forecast your business revenue and growth so that you know what you can expect and plan your cash flow accordingly.
After implementing your strategy for a few months, go over and examine the results to see areas that you can improve and if your forecast was relatively accurate. Think about if you’ve been targeting the right customers and whether or not you’re selling in the right way.
Here we’ll take you through a few more ways to improve sales performance…
1. Find the right price balance
One simple way to improve sales is to ask yourself if your products or services are indeed priced correctly.
Yes, everyone loves a good bargain, but if something is too cheap, customers may assume that you’re selling something of low quality. Too high, and potential customers could take a giant step back.
You need to find that Goldilocks zone, the one that’s ‘just right’. Do some market research and look to your competitors, especially those around your area to see how your prices compare. You can also play with your prices, increasing or decreasing by a small amount at a time to find your medium ground.
2. Use the subscription model
Still wondering how to improve sales performance? Then the subscription model is going to be your new favorite word (or two).
Customers shopping habits are changing, and we’re not just talking about the move to online. 15% of online shoppers signed up to subscriptions in 2017 and according to Credit Susie, $420 billion was spent on subscriptions in the US in 2015, up from $215B in 2000. Subscription models are becoming so common that there’s even a name for it – CEO, Tien Tzuo coined the term the “subscription economy”. Okay okay, we get it, you get it, subscription models are a thing – so it’s time to jump aboard the subscription bandwagon (if you haven’t already), and here’s how…
First off, what is a subscription business model? A subscription business model involves simply making a customer pay a recurring price on (usually) a monthly or yearly basis for access to a product or service.
If you have a toy business for example’s sake, you could get parents to pay a yearly fee that will mean each month a new toy is selected at random and sent to their home. This model could be used for just about any and every product or service.
For more information on creating a recurring revenue from subscription models, click here.
3. Cross-sell to existing customers
Up-sell, cross-sell, sell, sell, sell.
Especially with B2C businesses, try enticing your customers into purchasing another one of your products preferably of higher value – why not?
How to up/cross-sell:
You can get your customers to buy more than what they came for by offering bundle package deals, small discounts, maybe even consider a loyalty rewards program. If you have a shop, you could have some small nick-nacks on the counter and ask the customers directly at the checkout. A great example of this is when a restaurant asks if you want more drinks or as mentioned in shops when you get to the counter.
You could also consider partnering up with other companies that sell complementary products (not the same ones) just like an airline may ask if you want to hire a car, in this case, the airline company would have partnered with a car hire firm – a match made in heaven. This is also known as ‘increasing your average cheque’ in sales terminology.
Take a minute or two to think about how you could use this tactic in your line of business.
4. Keep it fresh
Another way how to improve business sales is to keep it fresh.
You need to make sure that your business is offering fresh products and services to keep your customers enticed towards your business. Even McDonalds who invented the almighty fast-food hamburger didn’t stick with their single “holy” burger, no, it continued to adapt and change with the market. After franchising the business McDonald’s has been sure to bring out new variations of its food not only depending on the season but also the location. For example, Christmas season in the UK will see mince pies introduced into McDonald’s’ menu.
Consider how you could use seasonality and location to your business’s advantage. And always be sure to develop new ideas to keep up with your change-hungry consumers.
If you’re thinking about expanding your products/services range but don’t currently have the capital, consider getting a business loan to take your business to the next level. Lending Express can help match you with the right lender for your needs.
5. Use loyalty rewards programs
We briefly touched upon loyalty reward programs earlier, but what are they and how can they increase sales?
A loyalty program is a marketing effort to provide incentives to loyal customers that repeatedly use your business. It is aimed at keeping those customers loyal and converting one-time customers into long-term customers. Customers are essentially rewarded for repeatedly coming back motivated them to return again and again.
Loyalty programs can increase:
- Purchase frequency
- Customer satisfaction (the lifeblood of the business!)
- Sales (of course)
A great example is a loyalty card in Starbucks. You may recognize the concept: you receive a card and after purchasing 9 cups of coffee, you get the 10th one free. A whole is punctured into your card to symbolize the number of coffee’s you’ve bought.
You could consider introducing a point-system of some sort and after a customer has gathered enough points they’ll be eligible for X product free of charge or 50% off X products. Just make sure that the rewards are relevant to your customers and that it’s something they truly want.
Data collected via COLLOQUY (2017) found that customers were lost in loyalty programs because they took too long to earn points according to 57% of customers. This is a lesson to make sure that the points don’t take too long to gather – otherwise, you risk losing those customers who become frustrated with the time aspect or disappointed when their reward isn’t something they wanted.
Further reading: Learn to stand out from your business competitors