Sales strategies to boost business growth

Sales are everything to a business. Without sales, any business will be certain to fail. There are many strategies to increase sales that can lead to proper business growth. The way to generate sales will ultimately depend on many factors, such as business, industry, and location. Here are some creative ways to increase sales.
Customer Relationship
Building customer relationship is a traditional method that has withstood the test of time. Focus on building a long term relationship with customers.
Give them opportunities to provide feedback and listen to their problems.
Conduct surveys that provide further insight into their shopping habits.
Communicate with customers regularly on new deals and offers.
Ultimately providing good customer service will lead to building a loyal relationship that increases the customer base.
Power of Web
Take advantage of the modern day technologies and use online resources.
Social media is a good way to promote products and reach customers on a large scale.
Build customer base by creating an easy-to-use website, presenting clear contact information, and providing excellent customer service.
Selling through a website is cheaper and can reach millions of customers.
Online services remove the constrain of physically going to a shop and can vastly boost sales.
Sales Resources
Sales mechanics involves heavy planning and managing. Improving the process of creating a product, marketing it and ultimately selling it will lead to better sales.
Create the effective channel for sales. Whether it is a retail chain or an online business, invest in schemes that will improve the transaction between the company and customer.
Develop a sales playbook structure that includes prospecting, cost and training for sales support.
Add value to the products in the form of customer service and product quality. Aim to provide a long lasting impression in customer’s mind regarding the product and the service.

Building Credibility
Having credibility or a good name will lead to customers finding the company’s products. This is also called ‘discovery based selling’ and is the easiest form of procuring a sale.
Make the company known to the customers through a carefully managed social media and PR strategy.
Get rid of all negative thoughts that create gossips and negative behaviour from the company.
Know your company and the products you sell. Understand the set goals and the very purpose your enterprise. Only then can you make your products become irresistible and gain attention from the target audience.

Sales are the lifeblood of every business. Knowing how to generate and track sales is vital for growing a company. Companies can grow exponentially from creating a good sales strategy and implementing it.

Is it time to do away Performance Evaluations?

Performance Evaluation – Modern Style Illustration with Doodle Elements. Performance Evaluation – Development Concept with Doodle Design Icons Around on the White Wall Background.

Performance is the employee’s worth towards an organization depending on what contributions they have made in the duration of their employment. This also includes the wage they are earning and any promotions that have been given.

Performance reviews can be awkward, biased, and nerve-wracking. A lot of companies have discontinued this practice, but that might have not been the best idea. Even though a lot of companies have gotten rid of performance evaluation, there are still undercover ratings. Employees cannot see them, however they are evaluated behind the scenes and are done subjectively. Nonetheless, some companies have continued to keep performance evaluations to be fair, transparent, and to allow people to grow.

In a perfect world, performance evaluations would be fair. However, within every workplace there are always people who are unsatisfied with their bonuses or disappointed that they were not given a promotion. Conversely, research has shown that when the evaluation is done in a fair way, the workers are more likely to accept undesirable outcomes. It is only fair when the evaluators are credible, are determined to get it right, and the employees must have a say in the decisions. Without the use of evaluations, people have no idea if their contributions within the organization are effective or not.

One method to do things methodically is to first have co-workers write up evaluations about each other. These evaluations should be shared with the managers, the evaluator, and the person being evaluated. This should be a conversation that should be taken place in a closed area, and the individuals must be open minded and reasonable. The evaluation should be thoroughly reflected and rightly justified. Second, the managers should evaluate the performance of each employee. This evaluation should omit any type of biases. Lastly, the evaluations should translate into compensation. If one excels in their work performance, their bonuses should increase as well.

People want to know where they stand within the company, and performance evaluations give that sense of transparency. The evaluations help the company and employees understand how their work is seen and how much they have contributed towards the organization. It makes it easier for the company to reward and recognize the top performers. When managers keep track of their high performers, it is more likely that their criticism and quality of feedback improves. Also, the employees tend to react more positively.

Sales Pipelining

A sales pipeline is an organized, visual way of tracking multiple potential buyers as they progress through different stages in the purchasing process.

When building a sales pipeline from scratch, there are three prerequisites to be kept in mind:

A product worth buying

This is the most important prerequisite in any sales professional’s agenda. No matter how skilled a sales person is, if they sell a product that lacks in quality, the organization’s business growth will be at best fraught with difficulty and at worst, an abysmal failure. It will be difficult to build customer loyalty, earn referrals or recommendations and garner any level of trust if the product fails to meet the customer’s standard.

  • An audience of buyers

Knowing which group of people will buy a particular product or service and having an active buyer list is the second prerequisite. Also, a sales professional needs to make sure the products they sell are viable, at least by product category, if not by brand.

  • The way people buy

The third prerequisite for a successful sales career is a basic understanding of the customer journey, how people buy today. The conventional wisdom of “grab them by the tie and choke them till they buy” no longer works in an era when customers can choose from a nearly infinite product selection on their smartphones.

Given that the three prerequisites are met, building a sales pipeline from scratch will not be too hard. If a sales process has multiple stages — “Call client,” “Meet with client,” “Send proposal,” “Final meeting,” “Deal signed” and “Deal declined” — the transition to a pipeline-centric sales management tool will be easy and logical.

A sales pipeline gives a visual overview of business at any one time, can be used to forecast revenue and reduces stress in general.

Ensure your sales process includes the following steps to build and maintain a healthy sales pipeline.

  1. Identify ideal customer avatar and target market

Characteristics of ideal target customers will render the total number of customers a business is able to sell to. This number will most likely be fluid and will change over time.

  1. Find internal contacts and do research

Build a list of internal contacts to target based on the company’s buyer personal. Using certain criteria defined by buyer personas, build a list with “x” number of contacts/leads per company who will be targeted.

  1. Reach out to internal contacts

This is the crucial step is any sales process. It has the potential to make or break deals. This should be an ongoing effort by outbound sales reps. A general rule of thumb is to reach out to a company (at least 3 contacts in a company at once) every 90 days.

  1. Book demos

Once the initial ice-breaker is complete and the contact has shown some level of interest, setting up meetings is the next step.

  1. Close the deal

After formalizing the conversation into a proposal to purchase the product, finalize the commitment.

While a healthy sales pipeline is a big boost to the morale of the organisation, systematically working to build it and converting leads is the only way an organisation can grow its customer base and ensure revenue growth.

Pushing Yourself Towards Excellence

Behavioral economists believe that individuals quickly make decisions when they feel pressured based off  intuition, biases, and psychological misjudgments. Since many people do not make correct decisions and choices, a “nudge” might help you take the right step. A nudge is something that helps guide decisions without restricting them.Behavioral economists, psychologists, and neurosciences have great belief that cleverly, thought out designed nudges can efficiently influence behaviour and encourage results in issues within a workplace.

An example where a nudge was effectively used was at Virgin Atlantic. The airline teamed up with professional economists to come up with a program that reduces fuel by influencing the behaviour of 335 of their flight captains. There were four that consisted of different exercises. The first was a control group that was alerted that the usage of their fuel would be monitored. The second group was provided monthly reports of their fuel usage. The third group were given monthly reports and precise targets that were to be achieved. They were either praised for their success,or encouraged when they failed. The last group received monthly reports, were given targets, and were told that every time they hit their target, charitable donation will be given.

The three groups that were given monthly reports saved a lot more fuel than the first control group. The two groups that had to reach monthly targets were the groups that performed the best. This experiment caused the airline to save 6,828 metric tons of fuel, which cost about more than 3.3 million pounds. Not only did the airline notice substantial savings with the experimental groups, but also noticed a higher amount of satisfaction within the pilots of their airline.Behavioral science gives a boost on cultural change, corporate transformation, and can lead to effective processes. No matter what, a workplace should strategically encourage active participation with their employees to get better results. This experimental pilot program  should be an inspiration for other organizations to transform and improve in every little thing as best as they can. A little nudge in the right direction can go a long way.

Obsessive about Business Growth?

Companies are constantly monitoring their revenue. It is firmly believed that when the revenue growth slows down the enterprise is doomed forever. This has led to many business executives to focus on merely expanding their businesses and increasing their profits. But ultimately all growth comes to a standstill.

When faced with this dilemma of a stagnant income, businessmen often open new stores in the hopes of increasing revenue. Very few businesses actually focus on making operational and internal improvements. This strategy is not followed by most companies due to three reasons.

The capitalist economy demands growth

Slow growth is often shunned upon. When faced with declining growth companies are expected to go back to the drawing board and come up with a new strategy instead of making an internal improvement.

Companies never know when to make the transition

Many retail companies keep expanding their chains until they collapse from all the added expenditure.

Every company needs a different strategy

A growth company and a matured business, that has reached its peak, require different operating strategies. Companies that excel at growth lack the capabilities to make the switch.

Since slow growth is inevitable situation it is better to be prepared for a transition from a high- growth to a low- growth business strategy. This will help retailers to stay in the maturity stage of the life cycle for a very long time, forestalling decline. The following are some ways to make this transformation easier and effective.

  1. Use the right analytics

By tracking the right metrics business executives can detect when to transition to the maturity strategy. Studying the revenue from each store, the estimated revenue added per new store and the return on capital investment businesses will be able predict any shift in growth.

  1. Stop opening new stores

As much as retailers want to believe that expanding the business is the proper solution to a declining business, it is not so. Opening more stores might offer a temporary solace but eventually the prices rack up and the entire business might crash.

  1. Increasing the sales of existing stores

Through operational improvements a company can increase its revenues from existing stores faster than the expenses. This can be done in a few ways:

  • Ramping it up

Companies can close unproductive stores, expand and remodel stores in the best locations, and carefully choose locations for the few new ones.

  • Analytics

Many analytics tools are available today that help retailers decide what assortment of products to carry in what quantities, how to price those items, and how many sales associates should work in each store, at what hours.

  • Product Development

Sales at existing stores can be improved by developing a new product or improving an old one.

  • Staffing

Hire the right people and train them accordingly. Employees should also be provided with the proper incentives that make them more responsible.

  1. Allocate Capital Wisely

The available capital of a company should be allocated to the most promising initiatives. All new ideas that are generated should be properly evaluated before making the final investment.

The destructive obsession with high growth pervades virtually in all capitalist economies. Most companies do not see the negative side of high growth. But a slow- growth maturity plan is better for enterprises in the long run and ensures that the businesses run smoothly and effectively.