How to Increase Sales in Your Small Business
For small business owners, the ability to close more and more sales is crucial to growth and success. Increased sales leads to increased revenue and supports a healthy cash flow.
Whether you sell goods or services, there are strategies you can use to increase your sales performance. Here are some pointers on what you can do to attract more buyers and boost your sales game plan.
Create Buyer Personas
A well-crafted buyer persona can result in more effective sales and marketing strategies. A buyer persona is a detailed description of who your ideal customer is, and is based on your existing customers’ shared characteristics. Examples include age, physical location, and hobbies.
Knowing who your customers are can influence many business decisions. Personas are useful in informing your product design ideas, approaches to customer service, and negotiation strategies. When you know your customers well, you can sell them better solutions. Having a set of buyer personas also comes in handy when roleplaying in the best sales training games.
Satisfy Existing Customers
Attaining a high level of customer satisfaction should be a business goal for every brand. Customer satisfaction can provide your business with major competitive advantages, directly leading to an increase in sales and profitability.
With sales negotiation training, you can equip yourself and your staff to boost customer satisfaction. Some of the benefits of improving customer satisfaction include:
- Shorter sales cycles: When customers value your offerings, they tend to negotiate less and ask for fewer concessions.
- Repeat buying: Having more repeat customers reduces your costs of doing business.
- Support: Satisfied customers can provide moral and financial support for your business, even in times of corporate crisis. For example, Tesla’s customers rallied behind the company and made over 200,000 pre-orders, even after Elon Musk broke the Cybertruck’s window.
- Word of mouth publicity: People who like your products and services can bring in new customers.
- New market opportunities: Satisfied customers are likely to buy other products and services from you.
Build Your Unique Selling Proposition
Buyers often feel overwhelmed with options. The discerning buyer wants to quickly understand what makes your product or service a better solution than others. So, knowing the right way to position your brand and what you offer can mean the difference between sales growth and stagnation.
A unique selling proposition (USP) is a statement that differentiates your brand’s products and services from those of your competitors. The USP is a specific benefit your brand, product, or service offers better compared to others in your industry.
Your USP should readily answer a prospect’s immediate questions when encountering your brand. Three examples of effective real-world USPs include:
- Avis: “We’re number two. We try harder.”
- Maybelline: “Maybe she’s born with it, maybe it’s Maybelline.”
- Starbucks: “To inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup, and one neighborhood at a time.”
Develop a Consistent Sales Process
The best way for your small business to win more sales is to create a seamless process. A sales process is a template of the steps you take once you make contact with a prospective customer. An effective process can lead to increased sales per customer, repeat business, and referrals.
You want a process that moves your customer base from lead to buyer with as few objections as possible. Define the repeatable steps people take from being a prospective buyer to becoming a paying customer.
Use sales games to train your staff to maximize on sales opportunities. For instance, say you’re selling in a retail store. Train your staff to understand the sales process from when someone enters the door to the time they buy.
Hire Qualified Salespeople
Many small businesses view salespeople as expensive. Some companies would prefer to automate the sales process. Others opt to rely on the owner and partners to handle sales negotiations. Yet, an effective sales force can be your best long-term resource for increasing sales and growing your customer base.
As a small business owner, your talents are better used in tackling activities that fall under the “big picture.” Hiring qualified salespeople means you will be delegating tasks to people that likely have more experience and training to sell. To hire an effective sales force:
- First, evaluate your sales needs. What kind of sales staff do you need? Do you need a manager in sales development or an entry-level account manager? What are your sales targets? Which buyer personas do you intend to reach?
- Hire the right people. Look at training, qualifications, and culture fit. Match your brand’s selling style to your new hires.
- Define pay and perks. Create quotas, commissions, and perks that motivate salespeople to continuously improve their performance.
- Always be looking to hire. Don’t be in a rush to fill sales roles. It takes time to build an effective and cohesive team.
There are many ways to take action and increase sales in your small business. Knowing your customer can lead to more effective sales processes with fewer objections. The right USP positions your brand within your industry and attracts the right customers. With a consistent sales process and staff with the right training, you are likely to achieve consistent sales growth and increasing profitability.