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How To Improve Business Sales

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Improve Sales

If your business has hit a sales rut or, worse still, figures have begun to decline, you need to be prepared to take action.

Although a sudden dip is no immediate cause for concern, and a knee-jerk reaction is ill-advised, it is important to err on the side of caution. Begin monitoring declining sales activity and reporting even more closely. Take a broader and more granular perspective and be ready to escalate matters.

How? As a leading Sydney business coach, clients often come to me when sales are down, stagnating, or needing improvement. Many reasons could influence a sales decline, so I never recommend a cookie-cutter response.

As part of my bespoke business coaching services, I create plans to help you improve performance and achieve success. My involvement is a combination of proactive strategic planning and reactive advice. I’ve helped clients achieve upwards of 250% growth in revenue. So, if you want to know how to improve sales conversion for your business, I can help you find the answers!

Whilst I encourage a more tailored approach to understanding and responding to your specific situation, I want to share here some simple and effective tips on how to find increases in sales.

Customer Service Can Grow Sales

Customer Service

I won’t start with a point about your sales activity. Why? Because I can’t think of a single business that can afford to make its customers the number two priority. You must genuinely understand your customers and place them front and centre at all times. You want to know what to do when sales drop? Customer service can provide some surprising opportunities.

This area of the business manages relationships and builds trust and loyalty. But have you considered the data-collecting capabilities and sales skills potential? Customer service can conduct a deeper dive into customer insights, preferences, behaviour and more. A simple customer experience survey can provide a wealth of information – the good, the bad and the ugly.

A well-trained customer service member can also become a stellar upseller and cross-seller. By recommending complementary products or services based on customer needs and preferences, your team members can increase the average order value and maximise business sales.

Conduct Sales Reviews and Provide Support

Conduct Sales ReviewsTo know how to improve sales performance, you must look at who is doing the selling.

Do they have clear targets? What incentives do they receive to reach those targets and outperform? Does a regular pitch review take place? What ongoing professional development and training do they receive? Do they have the latest tools – online or otherwise – to remain competitive and to help them constantly fine-tune and improve? Do you receive impartial third-party feedback (e.g. customers) about the sales reps? Have you looked into collaborations, events and networking opportunities that might help them grow their contacts and skills and create growth opportunities?

These are all crucial questions to ask when initiating a sales audit to better understand a drop or stagnation.

How To Motivate When Sales Are Down

As a leader, your role is critical in setting the tone for the business sentiment and culture. If you let the numbers get the better of you, they’ll get the better of everyone. Staying positive and motivated yourself is hugely important; this is certainly where I can play an effective role.

  • Too often, the sales industry sets unachievable sales targets. These ‘stretch’ figures are more like cataclysmic leaps that only result in frustration and disappointment when unmet. So, begin by ensuring the targets are ambitious but realistic.
  • Good, clear communication is fundamental in motivating sales members. Share your challenges and concerns so they have an opportunity to present their feedback and also so they know the lay of the land.
  • Reassurance is also important. By nature, salespeople outwardly typically seem confident and bold. However, they may be struggling, and certainly, if they live and die by the sword, then lacklustre figures will get them down even if they don’t show it.
  • Provide support and development. Ask them what they believe they need to achieve their goals. Be prepared to act on the answers – don’t ask the question if you’re not willing to follow through or at least compromise.

Action Plan to Improve Sales Performance

Use a sales improvement plan to get ahead and grow your business. This is one of the best strategies to increase sales, as it is essentially a carefully researched blueprint showing you the way forward. A typical plan will include:

  • Business assessment and analysis: A thorough review of current sales performance that induces key metrics, trends, strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities.
  • Data analysis: Table the right reports (avoid analysis paralysis), review customer feedback and the sales funnel process, assess market trends and examine competition to help identify the root of performance issues.
  • Goals and objectives: Include clear, realistic, measurable goals aligning with the overall business objectives. Link key performance indicators (KPIs) to revenue, sales, conversion rates and average order value (AOV).
  • Develop strategies to improve and increase sales, lead generation, processes, efficiencies, product knowledge, and training.
  • Carefully monitor pricing strategies and incentives.
  • Review and optimise the customer relationship journey and follow-up/ value-adding processes.
  • A timeline and action plan breaks every element into independent tasks allocated to the appropriate team member. This should include deadlines.
  • Budget: As the cliche goes, you’ve got to spend money to make it. Understand how much this plan will cost and how you will budget for it.
  • Reporting: Define key benchmarks to help monitor and measure progress. Ensure you regularly review this (knowing the right questions to ask in the review stage is crucial).

You might not get this sales performance improvement plan pitch-perfect immediately, and you may need to adjust as you go. Stay focused but flexible.

Review Your Marketing Performance

Review Your Marketing Performance

Sales and marketing go hand in hand. Whilst the latter is not directly responsible for driving revenue, it is inherently involved in – if not responsible for driving – the process. Brand awareness, lead generation, relationship building, customer education, product differentiation and value proposition, customer retention and data optimisation are all essential marketing components influencing sales.

I often see a disconnect between the customer service, sales and marketing departments, so ensuring alignment can be an obvious starting point. Important questions to ask include:

Are you targeting the right audience in ways that will effectively reach them? Is your messaging clear, and does it resonate with the audience? Is your product information accurate and up-to-date? Can you realistically achieve the promises marketing makes?

Analyse Competitors

Competitor Analysis

Understanding your competition helps you better understand your own business. Highlighting competitor strengths and weaknesses can clarify your unique selling points, advantages, and areas you need to address and improve. It also can identify untapped opportunities. Your people need to constantly have their finger on the pulse of competitor pricing and value propositions.

Staying abreast of and understanding market trends is also imperative. This helps you predict consumer behaviour shifts and anticipate customer changes. I know one business that did this by essentially making each team member an expert in another competitor’s social media platform. Each week, they would meet to advise of changes and updates, so collectively, the team was always aware.

Seek External Business Coaching Advice

Business Coach

I’ve been a Business Coach in Sydney since 2007. Please visit my business coaching case studies to see how I have helped companies get out of a rut or create a path to meaningful growth. My clients often hear me say, “You don’t know what you don’t know”, and there’s nothing wrong with that. That’s what I’m here for!

So, if you want to know how to improve business sales, go outside for the answers. I’m in an impartial position to help you understand and evaluate how things are going and where the solutions lie. As a business coach, I can assist you in identifying the challenges your business faces and the ways in which you can tackle and overcome them. Although important, a stagnation or drop in sales is just part of the holistic approach we would take.

I am confident I can help your business grow. I hope these ideas have been helpful and I look forward to meeting you.

CONTACT ME

Get in touch with me for a confidential, complimentary no-obligation chat today.

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