While there are several sources of generating revenue for a business, sales is one of the most significant. In fact, a business is only as profitable as the volume of sales it makes and its ability to reduce expenses. If you're concerned about growing your business profitably, you should be concerned about increasing sales.
This article explores a few strategies small business owners can implement to boost sales.
The Importance of Sales to Small Businesses
As oxygen is important to life, so are sales crucial to every business. Most small businesses get their operating revenue from sales. Without sales, there will be little or no revenue to run the business. Consequently, if there are no funds to help pay for business expenses and growth plans, the business will fail.
Sales describes every activity involved in the promotion and selling of products or services. Selling is the core of every business; it's how products or services are transformed into cash.
9 Strategies to Increase Sales for Your Small Business
If you can increase sales and keep the cost per sale significantly low, your business will experience growth in size, margin, and profitability.
There are several strategies small businesses can implement to increase sales. As a small business owner, you want to use the most effective and efficient ones.
You'll find some of these strategies highlighted below.
Define Your Sales Goals/Targets
The first step you should take when aiming to increase sales is to set realistic sales. When you set a sales target, it doesn't just motivate you — it also serves as the yardstick with which you can measure the success of your marketing efforts.
The following questions can help you set realistic sales targets:
- What is the size of the market?
- How much revenue is needed to run the business?
- How much of this revenue should/needs to come from sales?
- What is your staff strength?
Every member of your organization, including the salespeople, must be aware of the sales targets and their respective responsibilities.
Review and Improve Your Marketing Strategy
Marketing plays a vital role in increasing sales. Having set a sales target, you should seek to improve the efficiency of your marketing strategy. If you've never had a marketing plan, it's a good idea to create one.
A practical step to take to improve your marketing effectiveness is to get more clarity on your ideal customers. The information you gather will inform your decision on the type of marketing approach — both the medium and the message — to adopt.
Focus on Existing Customers
While it's necessary to get new customers, it's equally important to focus some of your resources on reaching out to your current customers. It's easier to sell to those who have bought from you before than it is to get new customers. Hence, you'll leave a lot of money on the table if you don't market to existing customers.
The rationale behind this strategy is that if your customer experience is good, your current customers will be more than willing to make repeated purchases.
Have your sales reps reach out to those on your customer list to get their feedback and possibly make them a new offer.
Make Your Offer Irresistible
An irresistible offer is when you make the value of your product or service exceed the cost. This can be achieved by adding a few bonuses or value-added services. Other ways you can make your business appealing is to offer coupons, flash sales, or discounts.
Hypothetically, customers are always on the lookout for opportunities that offer maximum value for every dollar spent. Therefore, when they find a value-packed offer, they will consider it a no-brainer to consider it.
Encourage Word-of-Mouth Marketing
Ninety-two percent of global consumers say they trust recommendations from friends and family above all other forms of advertising. Word-of-mouth (WOM) marketing is a very effective way to acquire new customers for your business.
Word-of-mouth marketing can be inspired through quality customer service; you give your customers a good reason to talk about you when you treat them well and exceed their expectations. Also, you can create a referral/loyalty program where current customers earn points or certain incentives when they refer others to your business. This can motivate existing customers to tell their friends and family about your business.
Share Testimonials and Offer Guarantees
The importance of sharing testimonials and offering guarantees is that they build credibility and trust. This helps move prospective customers through the decision-making process.
Research shows that 92% of customers read reviews before making a purchase. Furthermore, 72% of people say they have greater trust in a business that shares reviews and testimonials.
Similarly, offering a guarantee can silence certain objections your prospects might have about doing business with you. Consequently, testimonials and satisfaction guarantees can affect the perception of your customers about your credibility. If potential customers consider your business trustworthy, they will be more inclined to make a purchase decision.
Add Urgency to Your Call to Action
Looking to get more sales? Consider creating a sense of urgency in your call to action (CTA). The following are good ways to create a sense of urgency:
- Set a deadline
- Create scarcity (e.g., limited-time offers)
- Words like "Hurry," "Now," and "Don't miss out" are good trigger words to add to your CTA
The logic is that the more time people have to consider whether to buy, the more likely they are to decide not to buy. Fear of missing out (FOMO) is a great way to trigger people to make buying decisions.
Invest in Social Media Marketing
In 2020, the number of social media users was over 3.6 billion. This figure is also projected to increase to about 4.41 billion by 2025. Furthermore, 82% of the American population has a social media profile.
Social media has become a dominant force in marketing today. It's a cost-effective means of reaching more customers. Furthermore, it's a good way to engage with customers and show the human side of your business.
Other benefits of investing in social media marketing include:
- Increasing brand awareness and boosting brand equity
- Reaching people beyond your location
- Getting access to vital customer data
- A high return on investment (ROI)
The possibilities available to small businesses on social media are limitless. Adding this approach to your marketing strategy can yield a huge payoff.
Follow Up on Prospects
Following up on leads from a marketing campaign is another way to increase sales. As a sales strategy, the primary goal of following up is to build a relationship with potential customers.
Often, a marketing campaign attracts a bucket load of prospects who may not do business with you immediately but, ultimately, will. During the sales process, you should be able to qualify your leads — to distinguish between would-be customers and those who may never buy. This process is known as prospecting.
Follow-up calls or emails can serve as an opportunity to provide value to prospects — educate them about the benefits of your products or services and answer their questions. If social media advertising is part of your outreach, you could also run retargeting ads. Showing your adverts to those who might have seen them but didn't patronize your business reinforces your products or services in their minds.
Manage Your Invoicing With Skynova
Increased sales comes with its own accounting challenges; you will have more invoicing and bookkeeping to do. The more you have in sales, the more revenue and expenses you have, as well. This is why you need Skynova's accounting software.
At Skynova, our mission is to help small businesses get paid faster. We help simplify and speed up the billing process. With an industry-tailored invoicing module, you can issue invoices and keep track of unpaid invoices quickly.
Create your first invoice in minutes and see how easy it is to manage your invoicing more efficiently. With invoicing out of your worries, you can pay more attention to increasing sales in your business.
Notice to the Reader
The content within this article is meant to be used as general guidelines and may not apply to your specific situation. Always consult with a professional sales consultant and your accountant to ensure that you are meeting acceptable sales and accounting standards.