Building a strategy to increase sales

If you want to increase sales as quickly as you can, you’re going to need an efficient marketing plan and a highly targeted sales strategy. Follow our seven steps to build your sales funnel fast.


Step 1. Set up key performance indicators (KPI’s)

It’s crucial to find out what sales metrics are driving your business, so you can focus on making them happen. First, monitor what drives leads, queries, sales or trade. KPIs can include:

  • Content marketing activity which could be the number of whitepaper downloads from your website, signups for a free offer, registrations for a webinar or event. Anything that drives a qualified lead that you know increases the likelihood they become a customer.
  • Conversion rates from personal selling, online interaction with your shopping cart, reminders, contracts bid etc.
  • Web traffic, social media activity such as the number of followers or connections, newsletter registrations—are all methods that tell you whether you’re reaching more leads.
  • The number of people that walk past your store compared to how many enter and buy something, or how many new customer demos, pitches or conversations you have lined up.
  • Sales closing rates and sales cycle metrics, such as how long each lead stayed in each phase of your pipeline, the time it took to complete each sale, the average value of each deal and average profit per sale.

Find out what triggers a sale, measure the activity and set up actions to get more of whatever you need to build your sales channel.

Step 2. Do more of what’s working

The way you currently find and get new customers is likely to be the best way to continue, at least for the short term.

Using your key metrics, create a priority list of the five main ways you get new business and put extra effort (time and money) into those tactics. If you’re brave, stop everything else. If a particular piece of advertising or promotion is bringing in minimal sales, or you’re not even sure, it’s often best to cut it (even if it’s something you’ve been doing for years).

Step 3. Sell more to your existing customers

If you have existing customers that would buy again from you or inactive customers waiting to be contacted again, then you may be able to increase sales by simply focusing on what is right in front of you. For example, if you’re looking for a 20% increase in sales, try selling 20% more to your existing customers as they already know and trust your business. You don’t have to convince them the reason why to buy from you as your reputation is already established.

All you need to do is ask them to buy from you again or contact them with a complementary product or service they may need.

Step 4. Find more ideal customers

Profile your ideal customer by documenting the common characteristics of your existing awesome customers. For example, age, gender, education, interests, income, the biggest problem they want you to solve, barriers to purchase, how and where they spend their time, how they search for providers and any buying cycles.

Then find them.

Use data mapping, statistics, your business intelligence or referrals to identify these new prospects and then set up your marketing and promotional tactics to wind them in.

Step 5. Improve your conversion rate

As prospects move through your sales funnel, your sales team’s job is to convert as many leads into buyers as quickly as possible, asking questions, gathering information and providing the information your customers need to get to yes.

Track where most of your customers fall out of the funnel, or where they’ve gotten stuck or lost. The more you know about your customer behaviour, the better you’ll be able to gauge the right time to close—and the best opportunities to increase sales with upselling and cross-selling. If you’re selling online there are a number of tools that let you detect how prospects navigate a page and when they click out.

For business to business, research the particular challenges a company might face in their industry to custom your pitch.

Step 6. Identify new business models or channels

There could be another way of selling to your market that could open up growth opportunities. For example, retailers are moving online, manufacturers are selling direct, professionals are offering subscription services.

There are many ways that a business can reach potential new customers, for example direct to the public, wholesale to retail, sales agents, distributor, from your website, through online trade portals, or home shows and trade fairs.

Step 7. Collaborate

Working with other businesses in your industry can create a referral network, often seen with tradies who tend to work with their trusted suppliers. A plumber is often the best person to recommend a sparky or builder, and usually they’ll come together as a package.

Other ways of collaborating include:

  • Reciprocal web links to businesses that complement yours.
  • Promotional discounts on each other’s products or services or joint packages that bundle up a number of businesses.
  • Embedding your business inside another, so your products and services are on-sold by other businesses (ideally larger than yours to get you scale).

If you’re looking to increase sales fast, implementing these seven steps should help fast-track your sales growth.

Next Steps

  • Identify what triggers sales and then create a process that helps measure what’s working, so you can replicate that success.
  • Contact existing customers to up-sell, on-sell or find new things you can sell to them.
  • Find other businesses to work with who have similar customers, where you can share the sale.
  • When you start making progress, think about the scalability of any new ways of selling so you can automate your activities.

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