In 2020, many companies are faced with a sales challenge. Unfortunately, the coming economic crisis, due to a number of objective reasons, led to a sharp drop in demand for many goods. Cyclical ups and downs are normal aspects of the global economy, but it is difficult for beginner salespeople to adapt to the new realities of the market.
Solutions need to be found that will respond to current changes in buying behavior and increasing competition. Using certain methods, you can maintain and even increase your profitability, start selling more. Some methods give quick results, others are designed for a long term…
So, how to improve sales in times of crisis, how to retain and build up positions, if conventional marketing techniques cease to bring results? let’s figure it out together.
How to increase sales
Sales are a complex interaction of three processes: customer acquisition, conversion and retention. At some point, sales start to slow down, and then stop, as if hitting an invisible wall. This moment requires urgent action, otherwise stagnation will inevitably lead to a fall in profits.
Today the most common methods of increasing sales are:
• improving customer focus;
• expanding the target audience;
• business scaling;
• expansion of sales markets.
Each of them has its own characteristics, application and effectiveness, can be used separately or in combination with others.
How to increase sales through customer focus
One of the most effective ways to increase sales by business is to improve customer focus. It creates a stream of loyal customers, increases sales and helps to break away from competitors. This strategy rests on three pillars: clarification, understanding and satisfaction of customer needs. The seller’s ability to correctly assess the client’s needs and satisfy them, sometimes in excess of expectations, is a guarantee that the buyer will go for the product to him.
The flexibility of the company, the ability to change in accordance with the actual wishes of consumers, speaks of its high customer focus. Create a service built on trust and respect for the customer. Go to him: sell products that meet his desires and even exceed expectations. At the same time, the seller must always be ready to communicate with the client, even in the case of negative treatment.
Improving customer focus is one of the working methods for increasing in-store sales. Companies that are able to broadcast maximum customer focus will remain on the market, reduce the churn of regular customers, grow new ones and come out of the crisis stronger and richer.
How to increase sales by finding new buyers
To increase sales, you need to expand your target audience – a group of people to which all marketing activities of the seller are directed. It includes not only existing customers, but also potential customers who can increase market share and increase in-store sales.
The following categories of buyers may be in the area of greatest attention:
• “sleeping” or potential consumers who, for some reason, still do not know anything about the product, but may well be interested in purchasing it;
• “waiting” or consumers who have not yet formed a motivation to purchase a product, although they have already received information about it;
• “potential” or consumers who currently prefer the products of your competitors.
You can attract “waiting” and “potential” customers to a product by demonstrating different ways of using it, revealing its new properties, and by improving marketing you can reach customers from the “sleeping” group.
How to scale sales
The key to the success of any company is its development. Coming up with a good business idea and starting sales is just the first step in entrepreneurship. After some time, as a rule, a businessman begins to think about expanding the company, all the more so as competitors “are not asleep” and “are stepping on their heels”. This is how the laws of the market work. New solutions are needed to significantly increase sales by scaling the business.
Business scaling can be done in the following ways:
• mastering new products and sales channels;
• cloning a successful business;
• aggressive marketing policy;
• optimization of business processes;
• improving the sales system.
Based on the current state of the business, the entrepreneur decides which of the directions is most appropriate for him at this stage.
Scale your business through improving the sales system
There are two main strategic directions for increasing sales. The first one is focused on the quality of goods and an increase in the final price. The second – on reducing the cost and increasing turnover.
In the first case, marketing plays an important role, which ensures a stable influx of new customers. Profit is generated by additional trade margins, however, the costs of marketing activities are also quite high.
It is possible to reduce the cost of goods by using cheaper raw materials, components and increasing volumes by modernizing production.
Strategic directions for scaling sales:
• increasing the value of a product by selling additional products or increasing prices;
• decrease in price and increase in turnover in order to sell more;
• expansion of the assortment due to new suppliers;
• establishing special relationships with customers using a loyalty system, special offers for regular customers;
• reducing the cost of business: reducing staff, optimizing the work of employees, reducing production costs;
• reducing the cost of goods in order to modernize production;
• opening of regional offices;
• conclusion of contracts with enterprises from related fields;
• entering the market of innovative products and services.
Before you start scaling a business, it is worth to take measures to optimize it. After that, it is necessary to seriously analyze the possibilities of reducing the cost by modernization, since it requires additional financial investments.
How to expand sales markets
The key indicator of any company success (from a large enterprise to a small store) is the increase in its profit. One of the strategies to increase profitability is to expand the markets for its products. Failure to do this inevitably leads to the loss of already achieved positions and a decrease in sales.
Currently, the sale of goods is carried out in several ways:
• in regular retail stores and wholesalers;
• in online stores and marketplaces;
• in popular social networks.
The expansion of the offline trade sales market traditionally occurs due to an increase in the distribution area of products: opening new points of sale, building dealer networks, attracting partners. Another option is to connect the capabilities of the global web.
Going online or how to increase sales in a small store
Today, e-commerce is developing by leaps and bounds. A particular rise occurred against the backdrop of the recent financial cataclysms associated with the coronavirus pandemic. The world instantly realized the added benefit of online shopping: the ability to distance itself from sellers and other buyers – potential carriers of the virus.
Selling in online stores, social networks or on marketplaces, you can significantly expand sales markets, increase the target audience, and cover a huge layer of potential buyers.
Successful online marketing provides an opportunity to increase sales, but it also has its own laws. Without a constant search and implementation of effective technologies, it is impossible to achieve high financial performance.
How to increase sales in an online store
Today the Internet commerce segment is demonstrating rapid and stable growth with inexhaustible potential. The advantages of e-commerce is to attract customers from all over the world, while there are no costs for building or renting retail space, recruiting staff.
To increase sales on the Internet, there are special tools that experienced sellers know how to use. An important point is the buyer’s trust in the seller and confidence in the quality of the product. The site should contain information about the company, its history, reviews of real buyers, contacts for feedback, as well as a high-quality photo and description of the product.
Among the promising areas that can increase in-store sales are the following:
• offer of complementary products (upsell and cross-sell);
• formation of sets;
• sale of gift certificates;
• additional services and services;
• expansion of the range;
• discounts and bonuses for large orders;
• the possibility of free delivery;
• targeting target audience.
However, regardless of the strategy for increasing income, the main thing always remains in the center – the quality of the goods. A quality product always finds its buyer.
How to increase sales on Instagram and other social networks
Trading through social networks is one of the fastest growing segments of the sales market, as it allows you to more accurately influence the target audience. The advantage of this form of e-commerce is the ability to establish individual contact between the seller and the buyer.
Today, not only small stores, but also many large companies consider their presence in such social networks as Instagram, Pinterest, TikTok, etc.
A set of tools for raising the level of sales in social networks:
• relevance of the product (eg seasonality);
• publication of useful posts;
• high quality photos and videos;
• keeping track of time and number of publications;
• use of hashtags and geotags;
• communication with users;
• attracting bloggers and popular people;
• contests and promotions.
Among the new tools that make it easier to sell through social networks, TapLink deserves attention. This is a web service that allows you to create a mini-site with a short address, which contains links to social networks, text information, photos, messenger buttons are indicated.
Merchandise business on marketplaces
One of the options for expanding sales markets is to use the capabilities of large trading platforms such as Wildberries, Ozon, Prom, Satu, Kaspi and others within the country. With their help, you can easily and quickly create your own online store on the site, where thousands of customers visit every day. The seller is freed from the need to develop a website design, set up SEO promotion, organize online payments and deliver goods – all this is taken over by the marketplace. Over the past year, sales on sites have grown from 89% to 691% and continue to grow. The number of new seller registrations on Ozon alone has grown by 60% over the past six months, compared with the average daily value for the entire 2020.
Merchandise business on Amazon
Selling on Amazon is one of the most relevant and working business ideas on how to expand sales markets. It is currently the largest marketplace representing millions of products and sellers. According to statistics, up to 70% of sales made in the United States occur on the Amazon website. The incentive to switch to this marketplace is the opportunity to present your product to millions of potential customers. American shoppers today no longer search for the desired product on Google, but go straight to Amazon. Trading on this site is convenient, thoughtful and reliable thanks to unique technologies that have no analogues in the whole world.
The main advantages of Amazon:
• the ability to start earning very quickly;
• buyers who represent the most solvent market in the world – the USA;
• equal opportunities for large and ordinary players;
• thoughtful service for all clients;
• provision of various business models;
• excellent reputation of the site;
• freedom to trade from anywhere in the world;
• Sophisticated logistics: Amazon itself finds the goods in the warehouse, packs them in a box of the right size and delivers very quickly.
All processes are performed online, automated and completely reliable.
The user is offered three large-scale business models:
• Amazon Associates – an affiliate program that allows you to earn for attraction to purchases on Amazon;
• Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) – a business model, according to which most of the seller’s responsibilities for storage, packaging, delivery of goods are transferred to Amazon;
• Private Label (PL) – a higher level, creation of goods under your own trademark.
Anyone who goes through a certain registration procedure and learns the basics of managing and promoting goods can sell on Amazon. But for an easy start and high income on this marketplace, it is worth contacting the experts. Get your business up and running quickly on Amazon with the Amazon Followise Business Education Program. Within its framework, business experts from the United States will talk about the nuances and difficulties that arise at the beginning of trading on Amazon, will advise on how to choose a product to sell, a model and marketing strategy.
Followise Experts have successful sales experiences on Amazon and ready to share them with our students!
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