Everyone wants to run a successful business that is profitable and boasts increasing sales quarter after quarter. The reality is that few businesses can achieve this feat. Between having the right product for your market, knowing your customers, developing and supporting your employees, and generating initial capital, there are hundreds of areas any entrepreneur needs to be focused on to even float, let alone grow.
In an effort to help business owners think outside the box (and even notice key elements they may have overlooked), we reached out to entrepreneurs to ask them for their best tips to drive sales. Not all of these tricks will apply to your trade, but hopefully, you can benefit from some creative input as you juggle your multiple to-dos.
Sales talent is predominantly innate, but a company that doesn’t develop and keep sales educated, excited and interested is making a mistake ... They need development, too, in skills like conflict resolution, analytical thinking, teamwork and customer relations. When you develop staff, you indirectly let them feel like they have been invested in and that leads to greater commitment and eventually more sales.
Our blog at Atlantic.Net is purely an informational source that addresses topics within our niche. This makes it much easier to define who our readers are. We provide tons of information about web hosting, HIPAA requirements, cybersecurity, the cloud and much more. We have a team of writers who are constantly researching and staying up to date on new trends and relevant information that will be valuable to our audience.
Our blog is our primary content marketing tool and it’s dramatically increased our site traffic since its inception. While it does take time to find great writers that we trust, it certainly pays off in the long run. In addition, we sometimes contribute guest post articles, and allow other writers to contribute on our blog. This allows for cross promotion and can really elevate traffic. Being an authoritative source in our industry has driven our online sales through the roof. People come to us to read about a topic, and then end up purchasing one of our services.
Are you missing potential sales? Making sure that the organization has a way of documenting inquiries so they don’t go by the [wayside]. I have seen head offices not be aware of how many inquiries get unanswered by the remote offices — sometimes investing in a software that can document and streamline all inquiries is a smart thing to do. Your sales results cannot be as good as your worst and moodiest sales associate. Sometimes potential customers get ignored because someone is too busy or isn’t as motivated because they [already] met that month’s quota ... These are all potential sales lost for the company.
We use influencer marketing as part of our digital marketing strategy for our e-commerce brand. This strategy has helped us increase overall sales and credit card purchases … We engage in influencer marketing in a variety of ways. Instagram is huge for us — we find popular accounts who meet our criteria for selection, and we engage in a conversation to gauge whether it’s a good fit.
We also use a platform called Tomoson, which is tool that helps pair influencers with brands. Often times, we will send one of our products to an influencer for free in exchange for an honest review that is posted to their blog or social media followers. For us, the most important element of an influencer package — aside from cultural fit — is the overall reach of their blog or social media accounts. We measure our return on investment based on the number of impressions we receive, how much referral traffic we get, and — of course — how many sales come as a result of the campaign.
Make sure that there is a solid system and effective people set up in place to take over “post-sale.” [Salespeople] are a lot more confident when they are selling to customers they know will be taken care of after they make the sale … Sales isn’t just about what happens during that deal, it's about what happens after. Will these customers be taken care of effectively after this deal is done? Or will they regret their commitment and reflect poorly on the sales initiative as a result of their experience post sale?
From my experience, the best thing you can do to quickly grow your sales is to make sure you have the right DNA on the sales floor from the beginning. Take time with the hiring process and never rush a hire. At PayJunction we use a multi-step interview process to hire for our sales team. This process consists of an initial screening call, a written assignment, an over-the-phone role play, one interview with the hiring manager and then another less-formal interview with the team they will be working with. The process takes about two weeks from start to finish and it allows us to weed out anyone who isn't passionate about working for our company.
What sales techniques have helped you grow your business? What tips would you add? Join the discussion below!