This entry is a guest post by Cameron Francis, a Digital Marketer and co-Founder of ETRAFFIC, a Web Marketing Company in Australia. You can follow him on Twitter: @Cameron_Francis.
The question on how to boost revenue through increased sales is what keeps marketing executives awake at night.
If your job is in sales, any increase in units sold and revenue increases are vital.
Problem is, this may increase sales, but not significantly. Plus, you can’t get into it half-arsed, or rely on a single strategy.
Yet many marketers make this mistake and end up failing to slay the dragon year after year.
However, the following strategies would get you a ticket aboard the success train.
Let’s have a look.
Conduct marketplace research and act upon the results
Fact: when you think like everyone else, your chances of gaining a competitive edge above them are slim.
You must innovate, and to do that, you’ll need information – detailed and accurate information.
Market research is a great way to tweak your marketing strategy so that it conforms to what the market needs. How you go about it may differ from business to business.
For one, you may run ads and promotions in a few sample locations then monitor how effective they are, before you put in your whole marketing budget. To do this, you can look at website traffic data, coupons and incorporated electronic codes to monitor your marketing communications.
Review your pricing strategies
If your offerings are price sensitive then be sure to pay special attention to your pricing policies.
Being different is good, but being different in the wrong direction will hamper your success.
Consider what your competitors are charging, then raise or lower your prices based on your goals.
This must be clearly aligned with your overall sales strategy and the margin of difference in your pricing must directly contribute to strengthening your strategy. You’ll get this information during your market research.
Practice cross-selling and upselling
You can induce your customers to purchase more items or other add-ons and upgrades to increase revenue directly.
A basic example of an upsell scenario is: when you visit food restaurants, the attendant usually suggests a side dish that you could order too to go with the initial dish.
The idea is to sell more eventually.
Suppose you are selling electronic devices, you may consider including a list of related products on a customer’s receipt. They may get interested and settle for the subtly suggested products too.
Switch to inbound marketing
Inbound marketing is a powerful way to attract sales, considering today’s consumers prefer to search online for the products and services they need.
Thus, it will be better to improve the company’s internet content. Why not make an online shopping site that sell about office packaging supplies as an example? You can put pictures of your products and a payment facility. These may prompt interested customers to make the purchase right away, given it’s convenient to pay. Turn up the ante by offering free delivery and money back guarantee.
This is a much more effective and natural way of directing leads to your products and services rather than you vying for their attention. With this, you not only make your products readily available, but also show the customers that you are customer-centric.
Customers feel good when someone attends to them at all times. They are likely to be impressed if they are given control in their purchase.
If you are operating a restaurant, for instance, having a dedicated team of waiters would be great.
But suppose you put a tablet on each table, customers would be able to skim through the menu, order food and pay the bill – all on the device, without the need for another person’s intervention.
Plus, while they wait for their food, they can go online using the tablet.
Today’s customers love this kind of industry solutions that automates using wireless network because they are in control. This would be different in a good way, therefore would surely attract a following.
This move will also cut manpower requirement and cost. Not to mention that you improve customer service and effectively plug virtually every hole through which you could lose your leads.
However, it is a must to have a stable WI-Fi connection before you implement this strategy. So you must deal with reputable companies that can guide you in setting up a secured wireless environment.
- Expand your channels of distribution
Another tactic to increase sales and boost revenue is by changing where you sell the products or services. Utilise all the channels including a Web portal, direct mail, retailers, wholesalers, distributors and freestanding sales agents.
You can use at least two channels that are most suitable to the nature of your business. With this approach, you may not even need to change your pricing or other marketing strategies.
- Leverage the power of relationships
Relationship building is not limited to social media pages. This being the age of the internet, you now have various social media programs to help create a loyal following of satisfied customers.
In addition, form relationships with opinion shapers and local leaders so they are aware and possibly endorse and promote your products.
If you are selling a line of clothes, getting a popular music artiste to wear your brand while performing will give you a powerful shot in the arm. You’ll be sure to see more sales as their fans will want to have the same look.
You can also develop relationships with businesses that don’t directly compete with you but share the same target customers as you. Do cross-promotions through them to get a more diverse exposure. A great example is how a florist can help a wedding gown designer and vice versa. They can refer to each other existing customers to increase brand awareness and sales.
You may also consider partnerships with various charities that relate with your target customers. These will make great conduits for promoting your offerings to their supporters.
- Create and maintain open lines of communication
Communication is vital in all aspects of business. And when it comes to marketing, this significance doubles:
- Keep the existing market constantly appraised of any change in your offerings so they know that the company appreciates them. You’ll also need to persuade the target market that you have the best product and service.
- Coordinate and facilitate the activities of your sales teams. For this, you need to schedule regular meetings, be it like weekly or monthly, depending on the structure and number of team members.
Communication is also crucial in keeping customers, who love to feel they are being served. To make this happen, it’s best to have your customer service available 24/7.
RELATED: Essential Sales Communication Skills
In a 24 hour economy, you have to be easily contacted in case the customer has concerns, complaints or even compliments.
Though social media you can answer questions and initiate conversations. For instance you can start by talking about how to properly use a product and how to get the best value from it.
- Diversify your products/services
Your business may lose current customers to the competition not because you offer substandard products or services but simply because the customer wants to try something different, especially if there’s a new entrant in the market.
To remedy this, you have to constantly innovate and offer variety.
Following this philosophy could be advantageous. Remember that people inherently prefer to shop for all of their needs under one roof.
Plus, introducing new products and services will boost sales and revenues, as these will complement existing product lines.
- Follow your leads
Once you’ve brought a few leads into the sales funnel, understand that you have a 50 percent chance to convert them into buyers. They are qualified buyers but are just not ready to make a purchase.
Hence, you need to nurture these leads so they become customers. You do this by regularly following
Follow these steps above and you will be able to develop a strategic overall marketing strategy that will increase sales and profitability.