No matter how well and how much you market your products or services and gain so much attention for your brand, you won’t reap any benefits if, for your efforts, you are not generating any sales.
You might have been able to entice and persuade consumers to check out your products or services through your lead-generation efforts, but how are you locking in and closing the deal? Are they moving forward with the transactions, or are your items just there sitting in your customer’s cart for weeks on end?
Situations cited above are not all that uncommon, however, the good news is, there are many ways for your business to increase sales, depending on your industry, the market, or niche you are in, and your goals for your business.
The vital step you can do is to develop a solid sales strategy.
What is a Sales Strategy?
Simply telling your sales team to put in more effort to close more sales is not going to do any good and produce results. There is no truth in the phrase that says ‘The product will sell itself.’ No matter how great your product is, or if you provide the best service possible, no one will even know your product or business exists without developing a great sales strategy.
A sales strategy is a documented plan a business undertakes to position itself in selling its products and/or services to qualified buyers in a way that makes it unique from that of its competitors. The aim of a sales strategy is to provide clear objectives and guidance to the sales team to turn interested parties into paying customers.
A sales strategy is a long-term plan to increase sales. Strategic goals of which include selling to new clients, increasing repeat business and/or upselling customers into making larger purchases. In essence, a sales strategy serves as your company’s road map for securing a long-term and dependable revenue stream.
Why is a Sales Strategy Important?
Picture this. Your marketing team was successful in capturing and defining your marketing goals. They were also able to boost awareness of your brand and promote your products/services to the right leads. These leads want to know more. What would be your next move?
Without a sales strategy, your sales team won’t have a clear and effective path to turn leads into customers. They also wouldn’t have clear guidelines to entice one-time buyers into repeat customers or entice them into buying more.
A sales strategy also helps your company to plan for the future. It helps you identify and assess problems and/or manage novel approaches across your organisation.
It is also important for businesses selling across multiple platforms or when there are opportunities that involve forging strategic partnerships with other businesses.
A well-managed and focused sales strategy increases your chances of boosting your brand which may ultimately lead to an increase in revenue. Furthermore, it instils accountability and defines a path toward achieving results.
A great sales strategy should have the following:
- Clear guidelines that anyone can follow.
- Set goals everyone in the organisation can work towards.
- Identified priorities that everyone understands.
- Outcomes that are measurable to keep track of your key performance indicators (KPI).
It sure is possible to make sales or close deals without a sales strategy. However, with one in place, the work will be much easier, organised, and more successful. It would be a shame to waste opportunities when you can design structures and tactics, and employ tools to build success.
3 Steps to Making More Sales Today!
Most successful business sales strategies are the result of thoughtful planning. Note that the benefits don’t just happen overnight, and there is a fair amount of trial and error involved plus continual reporting and analysis on the success of the strategy.
Regardless of the industry, your business is in, sales success is of the utmost importance for the long-term operation and survival of your business. Here are 3 steps you can implement today to make more sales for your business:
1. Create a Consumer Sales Journey.
Instead of just focusing on closing the sale, you must address, guide, and nurture your consumer in their “journey” from the moment they find you up to after they conclude the sale.
This journey should evoke all cognitive, affective, sensory and behavioural consumer responses that your customers experience throughout all the stages of the consumption process.
These stages are:
- Awareness – Pertains to when the user first discovers your brand when looking for solutions for their pain points.
- Consideration – The user already knows the solution to their problem, and is weighing available options for which product/service to purchase/engage in solving their problem.
- Purchase – This is the stage when the user turns into a customer and seals the deal. Note that you must not leave a void between this stage from their first contact. They have to be acknowledged from the moment you welcome them, onwards.
- Retention – Retaining customers is a feat in itself. Many marketing and salespeople fail in this process if they don’t sufficiently support and nurture customers. Nurturing should not stop the moment a customer makes a sale. The key to harnessing customer loyalty and retention is constant communication.
- Advocacy – At this stage, if all previous stages are handled and nurtured well, your customer turns into your fans. Fans can provide the best marketing you can get for your brand. They can potentially drive the purchasing decisions of others, giving you more sales without incurring additional expenses on your end.
2. Create a Value-Focused Lead Magnet.
Before you can reach out and communicate to people about your business and its product or service offerings, you need leads. To reach these leads, you need a proven marketing channel.
Email provides sufficient flexibility in how you can communicate with leads and customers. Of course, before you could email anyone, you’d need an email list. And to build an email list, you would need something of value to offer.
Lead magnets are powerful tools for any big or small business. They establish your credibility and help in educating your customers. And most significant of all, you get to collect valuable leads.
After the creation of one, by promoting it and keeping it optimised, you’ll reap the rewards continuously as long as the content remains relevant. Let’s walk through how you can do that, as we hope this guide will help you be inspired to build your own lead magnet and nurture workflow.
- Know and understand your customer’s pain points – It is your responsibility as a digital marketer to have a pulse on what problems your customers are experiencing.
- Create valuable content to help solve those pain points – Once you know their problems, help them find the solution by creating in-depth and authoritative content to support your target audience. The content you produce will depend on where you want to guide your customer on their consumer journey.
- Create an enticing opt-in – Getting people to your website is just the first step, but once they’re there, you’d need to get them to give you their email addresses. That means giving them something more valuable than what they got from doing a Google search: your lead magnet. They could be in the form of:
- Gated content
- Webinar or event
- Product samples
Whatever it is that you give out needs to be catered specifically to your audience and valuable enough for them to exchange their email or contact information for.
- Personalise your leads by segmenting them – Now that you have built up a list of email addresses, the most important thing is to personalise their experience through email segmentation. By segmenting your list into smaller groups based on shared characteristics, you can be sure you’re emailing each person with something that’s actually relevant to them.
PRO TIP: If you created content for your lead magnet, don’t stop there and keep using it just as a lead magnet, especially if it is a high-performing one. It can be repurposed and become the basis of all sorts of your other marketing campaigns.
3. Create a Follow-Up Sequence.
The first point of contact with a qualified lead is crucial, and there are no second chances in making an excellent first impression. Your follow-up sequence should be the result of your well-defined plan for achieving your business goals.
An automated follow-up is one of the most powerful tools in your marketing arsenal that brings contacts back to your site, establishes relationships, and creates and nurtures qualified leads. Furthermore, it drives conversions, boosts customer satisfaction, and saves you a great deal of time.
For you to reap the benefits of what is stated above, you must create a follow-up sequence first.
Step 1: Consider what kind of follow-up you are going to send out, such as:
- Cold Sales Follow-Up
- Warm Sales Follow-Up
- Free Trial Follow-Up
- Lead Magnet Opt-In Follow Up
- Product Sale Follow-Up
- Contributor Outreach Follow-Up
- Promotional Outreach Follow-Up
Step 2: Identify and clarify the objective of your sequence before proceeding any further. Doing so will help you create a strong Call to Action, making it easy for your recipient to accomplish.
Step 3: After determining the type of follow-up to use and its purpose, now you need to determine the frequency you’re going to do your follow-up. We need not stress the importance of follow-ups, but spamming your prospect is a big turn-off.
PRO TIP: On average, it will take 8 to 10 touchpoints before they decide to make a purchase. So, establish your follow-up frequency, at most, three days in between is the sweet spot before sending out your next follow-up. Avoid looking desperate by sending follow-ups on the same day.
Step 4: Prepare for any eventualities. Uncertainties do happen, so you need to plan accordingly with contingencies for what-ifs that could happen.
Step 5: Your follow-up context. Apply this to keep the conversation going by determining what you are following up on and why you are following up.
Step 6: Create the template for each email in the series. Note that every email should have the same CTA, but each serves a different purpose.
Step 7: Create your Subject Lines. Your subject line should be preceded by an opening line, body, closing, and signature.
Sales revenue is essential to the survival of every business. Sales are crucial to a business’s growth, development, and success. They also enhance your business’s bottom line and enhance your customer relationships.
If you are looking for assistance with creating an excellent sales strategy, The Growth Manager offers our Sales Mastery Mentoring Pack. You will be able to meet your business goals and target the right customers using this powerful guide.