Whether you’re a start-up or an established business, there’s nothing like a global pandemic to put you under more pressure to build your pipeline, talk to more leads, and improve sales.
At its highest level, how to increase sales comes down to two things; the number of customers you have, and how much your customers spend. So, you can try getting more leads into your sales funnel or, in other cases, you can increase revenue without bringing on a single new customer.
Of course, there are countless ways to increase sales, whether that’s the number of customers or the amount they spend, but not all of them are as effective. Rather than chasing every growth hacking tip and trick out there, we’ve found the best ideas to increase sales come from focusing on a few select fundamental principles.
Know who you’re talking to
One of the first things any business should consider is their target market. If you think that your product or service is for ‘everyone,’ you’re in trouble. That goes double for salespeople.
If you don’t know who your customer is, every aspect of your outreach and messaging will be vague and weak. Successful salespeople know that when they talk to their prospects, they need to directly address their specific pain points and requirements.
This starts with having a clear understanding of your ideal customer profile (ICP) so that you’re talking to the right companies. After that, you need buyer personas that give you a better understanding of the individuals you’re speaking with.
To be of any use though, it’s important these profiles and personas are based on reality, rather than your imagination. This will take some effort; talking to your existing customers, carrying out market research, and analyzing your results all takes time. In most cases, you’ll need to get input from multiple departments.
However, it's worth the time and effort to get accurate and reliable profiles and personas. When you know exactly who you’re talking to, your sales message will be exponentially more compelling and effective.
Understanding features and benefits
Part of knowing who you’re talking to is knowing what interests them. Unfortunately, it’s easy to confuse this with what interests us. In most cases, if we’re interested in how to increase business, it’s because we’re proud of our product. We’re excited by our service.
The sad truth is, your customers do not care one bit about your product or service. They only care about what that product or service can do for them.
This means you have to understand the difference between features and benefits. It’s the difference between silk bedding (feature) and a more comfortable night’s sleep (benefit), or offering VoIP calls (feature) and enabling customers to make free calls from wherever they are in the world (benefit).
Sure, features are important, but remember your prospects’ main question will always be ‘What’s in it for me?’ Make sure you answer that question by tying those features to tangible benefits.
Bonus: Go a step further by referencing your customers’ desired outcomes. Storing all your photos is a benefit, being able to capture and record every special moment is an outcome. Traveling 500km on a single charge is a benefit, but never having to worry about running out of charge in the middle of nowhere is an outcome.
Onboarding for long-term success
The sales process doesn’t end when a prospect signs up. Remember, how to increase sales involves more than just converting more customers; you can also increase the value of each sale you make.
Your first interactions with new customers are essential for SaaS and other subscription services, but they can make a big difference to your long-term customer relationships in any business. Be sure to welcome your new customers properly, and make sure they have everything they need to get the most out of your product/service.
Airborne, a sales engagement platform for agencies, recommends creating an onboarding sequence over multiple touch-points. This should include scheduling a kickoff call, sending out relevant resources, and follow-ups to check up on how the customer is progressing.
“Onboarding your customer is a great opportunity to start building a long term relationship with them. Understand their world and see how your product or service can truly help them.” Lee Gladish, Founder & CEO Airborne
Reduce any friction for prospective customers
If you’re looking for how to drive sales, anything that slows or complicates the sales process has to be minimized. If you make it too hard to make a purchase, your prospects won’t hesitate to go somewhere else.
Of course, no-one sets out to make the customer journey intentionally difficult. However, if you’re not careful, friction will creep in.Your fancy new website may look spectacular but, if it takes too long to load, you’ll miss out on sales. Some companies force prospects to register an account before they can even see the price. On the other hand, Amazon’s 1-click checkout makes it easy for existing customers to buy a product.
It’s impossible to completely eliminate all friction from the sales process; when a prospect hands over their payment information, there will always be some friction. Your goal is to eliminate any unnecessary obstacles and reduce any other friction to a minimum.
For example, to reduce friction around cost, you could offer a money-back guarantee, show reviews from happy customers, and make it easy for prospects to get in touch and ask any questions they have.
One of the best ways of achieving this is to use a click-to-call solution, either on your website or from your online chat channels. By making it easy for your most important prospects to jump on a call with one of your team—without having to install anything, give out personal details, or pay anything—you can directly answer their questions and provide any reassurances necessary to make the sale.
Bonus: When Premium Plus wanted to enable its customers to reach out without any hassle, they relied on SnapCall to deliver the best results. “SnapCall solution really enhances the customer experience… To give an opportunity for a customer to get real-time information about a specific product, it really is a game-changer.” Read the full case study to learn more.
Iterate and Optimize
Unfortunately, there is no such thing as a perfect one-size-fits-all sales strategy. Every business is different. Your team, your product, and your customers are all unique. Rather than copying anyone else’s strategies or tactics, you have to find out work best for you. While there’s nothing wrong with drawing inspiration from other companies, you’ll ultimately want to craft your own strategy.
The first step is tracking the right data. Rather than getting caught up in vanity metrics, identify the key information that will enable you to measure the success of your sales campaigns. You’ll also need a way of recording that data; check that any sales tools you’re using are capable of tracking and analyzing your chosen metrics.
Once the data starts coming in, you can start identifying areas for improvement. For example, you might see that some channels bring in customers with a higher lifetime value. Different email campaigns may have higher positive reply rates and convert more prospects. By seeing what works for you, you can concentrate your efforts and boost sales.
While all businesses would like more ways to increase sales, it can seem overwhelming knowing where to even start. Rather than chasing every new tactic out there though, the solution is to focus on the most important part of the process: your customers.
By having a thorough knowledge of your prospects, by engaging with your prospects, and by creating and optimizing your unique sales process, you can grow sales and increase their value.
Want to have more conversations with your best customers and increase sales? SnapCall makes it easy for your customers to call you, directly from your website, wherever they are in the world. Get started with a free 14-day trial today.