Sales are the result of the synergy of three processes: customer acquisition, conversion, and retention. Question: “How to increase sales” – excites all companies. Competition and changes in consumer behavior are pushing the search for new features that will allow you to sell more and maintain (or even increase) your profitability. Some methods give quick profits, others take time, but bring money in the long run.
The process of attracting customers is at the very beginning of the sales funnel. Therefore, we will start with it.
One of the most popular acquisition tactics is an active advertising campaign . It helps to counteract competitors and influence buyers.
Factors that affect the effectiveness of advertising include:
- creativity and the use of chips that are understandable to their target audience, creating a hype;
- choosing the right placement channel depending on the characteristics of the target audience;
- the advertising message should reflect the benefits for the buyer;
- Mandatory testing of advertising, since without analytics of indicators it is impossible to determine the most converting message.
It is impossible to say unequivocally that some kind of advertising is dead and does not work. Outdoor advertising is still effective. The main thing is to be placed constantly, in large numbers and in locations in full view of the target audience. For example, drivers rarely pay attention to boards (except at long traffic lights), and female passengers look at them with curiosity. Outdoor advertising works well for promotions.
Advertising on transport to this day remains unique in its kind. It informs a huge number of drivers and pedestrians of different social strata. The misconception regarding this type of advertising is that it is designed for transport passengers.
Targeted advertising, when properly configured, works only for its audience, which is incredibly beneficial for the advertiser. Advertising in social networks, contextual advertising or remarketing – require split testing (A / B testing). Tracking indicators from different advertising messages allows you to find the most conversion material.
Promotional video ideas need to be tested with potential buyers. Focus group discussions allow you to gather an audience and find new ideas, get feedback from potential buyers, preventing the advertising budget from being drained.
2. Discounts, promotions, gifts, certificates, contests.
Carrying out these marketing activities increases sales in the short term.
You can “stimulate” buyers in different ways:
- shares with a limited duration;
- discounts that are dedicated to the event;
- discounts for a certain purchase amount;
- discounts for the third item in the check;
- discounts on related products;
- discounts for certain customer segments (“for students”, “for pensioners”), etc.
3. Work to unique service standards.
Unique standards really sell, increase customer loyalty, and stand out from competitors. Such standards are not copied from competitors and are not written on the basis of theoretical developments.
Customer Service Standards is a guide for employees. Even employees without experience perform sales with a working document.
Standards that sell and increase loyalty:
- written on the basis of a survey of real customers and take into account all their expectations;
- represent a synthesis of the experience of the best sellers of the company and working sales techniques;
- cover all possible situations when working with a client;
- do not have contradictions;
- real in execution;
- contain techniques for selling related products;
- do not conflict with other business processes of the company.
4. Level of service and quality of work of employees.
The conversion of buyers in most cases depends on the work of the sales staff. Unprocessed letters and applications, ignoring calls, failure to fulfill promises – this is a direct path to the loss of customers. Poor service and poor product quality is a guaranteed churn of customers. It is important for businesses to control and lengthen the customer life cycle in order to accurately predict profits in future periods. Working on retaining repeat customers drives repeat sales.
Reasons for poor employee performance may include:
- lack of training;
- lack of control;
- lack of motivation;
- lack of performance standards or their unsuitability.
Education. Even the best employee needs to be trained in order to expand his competence and motivate him.
The issue of control and motivation can be solved with the help of the Mystery Shopper program. Auditing the work of employees by this method keeps them in constant good shape. The degree of implementation of standards and the level of customer satisfaction underlies the motivation system of many companies. In addition, Mystery Shopper helps to identify weaknesses in existing Service Standards.
It is necessary to revise and improve the standards if you:
- low conversion of visitors into customers;
- low level of customer satisfaction;
- a large gap between the results of assessing the quality of service and the actual level of satisfaction of real customers;
- employees systematically do not comply with certain provisions of the Standards.
5. Loyalty program and work with the customer base.
The goal of implementing a loyalty program is to stimulate repeat sales to existing customers and build long-term relationships with them.
Loyalty programs are:
- own – accrual of bonuses for purchases in your network;
- affiliate – accrual of bonuses for purchases from partner companies;
- discount – a fixed or cumulative discount on goods;
- short-term – the accumulation of bonuses in a certain period of time and their exchange for prizes.
Discount programs are not the best way to gain customer loyalty. Firstly, they reduce marginality, secondly, they provoke price dumping, and thirdly, they contribute to the development of behavioral loyalty. Behavioral loyalty is based on rational calculation; such customers are easily lured away with a larger discount.
Affiliate programs are beneficial because of the pooling of marketing budgets. Banks often implement co-brand programs. The complexity of such a program lies in the peculiarities of negotiating, possible risks for the image and reputation of the company, which depends on the quality of the partner’s work. Own loyalty program allows you to conduct your own independent marketing line, without risks from partner companies.
The program built on bonuses includes the mechanism of the game and involves clients on a mental level. Bonuses are “internal currency” that can be exchanged for goods, services, valuable prizes or spent on charity. The opportunity to receive an exclusive product for bonuses makes the loyalty program more meaningful for the client, in addition, due to bonuses, the company can reduce the cost of rewards.
Short-term programs are interactive. Profit and customer loyalty can be obtained if the gift touches the customer on an emotional level (for example, bonuses or chips that are exchanged for a collectible or exclusive item). Such a prize will encourage giving more money. The task of the organizer is to provide the necessary amount of goods in order to fulfill the conditions of the promotion on their part.
Benefits of the loyalty program for the owner:
- Client registration allows you to collect a client base, track the history of the relationship between the client and the company.
- The data obtained allows you to regularly communicate with the client and receive feedback.
- This is an opportunity to reduce customer churn thanks to data on when the buyer made the last purchase.
- Increased customer loyalty through the ability to create individual offers.
- The frequency of purchases is increasing.
- New customers are attracted who want to receive the same benefits as network customers.
- This is an opportunity to track preferences, better and correctly segment the customer base, and manage sales.
- In order to be able to get data from more customers, retailers include the number of issued cards in employee KPIs.
A loyalty program is a long-term investment in future sales, not an additional markup on a product. Therefore, simply paying tribute to fashion will not work.
6. Increase in the average check.
Cross Sell and Up Sell are the most common ways to increase the average check. Often they are confused, and it is believed that they are interchangeable, but this is not so.
Up Sell involves the sale of more expensive products that are better or more functional than the original request of the buyer.
For example, the buyer came for a smartphone. He may have formed preferences regarding the brand, color, size. The seller’s task in such a situation is to find out how the client is going to use the phone, under what conditions, why he chose this or that model and, as a result, sell him a phone with a large battery, memory, diagonal size, type of matrix screens, etc.
Cross Sell – selling related products or cross-selling. To the phone, you can continue the headset, glass or film, case, memory card. To the bike: pump, helmet, water bottle, child seat.
Rules for successful cross-selling and up-selling:
- The reality is that upselling is possible provided that the offered product will not differ much in price. The client can pay 10-15% more, but not more than 25%.
- Offer products that are familiar to the buyer. When buying a blender, you should not offer a kitchen robot.
- Focus on bestsellers.
- Do not lose your sense of proportion, do not put pressure on the buyer. The offer should be non-intrusive and bring value to the buyer.
- Any employee should know how to increase the average check. The Customer Service Standards should spell out ways to increase the average check.
If we analyze it comprehensively, then the size of the average check depends on the work of the marketing, merchandising departments and company employees:
Marketing should take care of promotions, gifts for complex purchases and informing buyers.
Merchandising must organize the display of goods in such a way that it contributes to the implementation of complex sales.
The work of employees is to justify the additional sale of a product. The client must feel that this product will really be useful to him.
7. We simplify the life of the client.
In order to attract and retain customers, a company must have rational and emotional advantages. The quality of service is emotional, and the availability of services that make life easier for the client is rational.
The less effort a customer has made to satisfy his need, the higher his loyalty to the company and the likelihood of repeat purchases.
Examples of services that attract and retain customers:
- Convenient form of payment: payment by credit card (this item is not even discussed), Android Pay.
- Omnichannel. Communicate with the client and call to action. It should be easy for the client to establish contact with the company and find the information they need. The client wants to receive information on time: he applied for a loan, and an hour later he received an SMS with the result. It is unlikely that he will be pleased to go to the bank in the heat or in severe frost for an answer.
- Pre-registration for an appointment via the Internet or by phone. The client does not wait in line, he knows what time he will arrive, therefore he saves time, and the company optimizes its processes and increases productivity.
- Simplify the process of returning an item that didn’t fit.
- Cash Back is a deferred discount that the client receives after the expiration of the exchange and return period.
Almost everyone knows how to increase profitability by reducing costs, so in this article we raised the question: “How to increase sales?”.
A simplified algorithm for increasing sales looks like this:
Effective Attraction + Satisfying Expectations
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