There are many things that you need to think about when managing a business, but how well your sales are doing is one of the most important things to worry about. If you’re underperforming in this area, without intervention and improvement your business will have to cut back, or could eventually close its doors for good. To make sure you’re getting the best out of your sales team and attracting customers, here are a few tips you can try if you notice your sales starting to dip.
1. Assess Marketing
The first place to look is at your marketing campaigns for your products/services. It takes more than sending out a few tweets about your latest product or handing out flyers to passers-by on the street. There are numerous ways you can reach your target demographic and beyond, but it will take time and research to get this right. If you’re running a small start-up, you might not have the budget to hire a marketing agency to help you, but if you can, you should. If you have to do your marketing alone, look online to find useful resources that can help you improve your marketing strategies, and increase your sales.
Every business needs to have a professional website, and most companies sell their products via this platform, too. A lot of website builders come with eCommerce tools included, but it’s important to make sure you have the best possible eCommerce functions for a better customer experience. They must be able to make a secure transaction quickly and easily on your website and getting refunds or additional support needs to be just as smooth. Shop around for the best eCommerce platforms and see how you can implement them into your website or other online sales channels.
3. Live Chat on Website
Another thing you should consider having for your company website is a live chat function. This will help to improve your customer experience when they visit your online store and is much quicker than having your customers call a phone line for queries or complaints, as well as being cheaper for your business. If you want to improve your sales, add a chat button to your website so customers feel supported, which will encourage them to come back and spend more at your store.
4. Staff Training
Another area you should look at if you’ve noticed a dip in sales is how well your team is doing. It’s your responsibility to give them sufficient training about how to do their job and what you expect from their performance. While sometimes everyone can do everything right and still not hit targets, a lot of the time it can be because they have failed to engage with the customer or promote the products properly. It’s not just about how to up-sell your products, but how they connect with customers and the quality of service they provide. Review your current training materials and think about whether or not they need updating, or if your staff need further training to improve at their job.
Working in sales is hard, whether you’re on the shop floor or working on the phones. It’s easy for employees to reach the burn-out stage and lose their motivation, which could be a contributing factor to a lack of sales. To remedy this, think about giving your staff incentives to hit and exceed their targets every month. The individual or team that first reaches their target all get gift vouchers, a gift set, or something else they can enjoy. This will help to motivate your staff and will boost morale as they will feel as though they are being rewarded for their efforts.
6. Offer Deals
A useful tactic to boost your sales is by offering introductory deals or limited time special offers. These kinds of deals are great for attracting new customers who might be hesitant to spend money on an unfamiliar product or use a particular service from a company they haven’t had any experience with before. Money-back guarantees are also worth thinking about to help people feel more confident in your products and making a purchase. Limited-time deals like 2-4-1 on products, or 50% off when people shop online or instore on a certain day are all good examples. You might not be selling things at full price, but consumers like to take advantage of these opportunities, and if they like what you’re selling, they’ll come back for more.
7. Reward Customers
If you’re concerned that you’re not retaining customers, a good way to remedy this is by introducing a customer rewards scheme. Things like points cards where customers can build up points that lead to cash discounts once they hit a certain amount, or signing up to a VIP newsletter that sends them exclusive discount codes and vouchers or gives them first access to new products, is also a good idea. While attracting new customers with sample sales and other deals is a good idea, if you do not keep your current customer base happy, they will move elsewhere. Reward their loyalty to show how much you appreciate their patronage.
8. Listen to Feedback
Finally, listen to feedback from both your staff and customers to try and identify where you’re going wrong when it comes to sales. Are the products your selling simply not in demand? Can you improve your customer service? Does your sales team understand the product/service your selling properly? All of these questions and more should be asked, and the information you get from the answers will help you develop a better sales strategy as well as helping you improve business operations elsewhere in your company. Send out customer surveys or look through reviews of your products to try and find out where you can improve to boost your sales.
It’s not easy managing a business, but you must make enough sales to break-even at the very least. If you’re concerned about your sales and profit margins, think about these eight tips and how they might help you make a positive difference and keep your business going.