Increasing the sales of your business is more important now than ever. As Australia declines into the coronacession, businesses are being forced to adapt and pivot their sales strategies to ensure they maximise revenue.
Take a look at this week’s Let’s Talk, where industry leaders share their top tips to increase sales.
Kylie Gleeson-Long, Managing Director ANZ, dunnhumby
To ensure consistent sales, retailers must ask themselves: are we collecting the right data? Are we maximising these insights and acting on them quickly? Do we know how our customer base is feeling at any given point? Data-based insights enable better business decisions in terms of range, categories, pricing, and promotions.
At dunnhumby, we believe in a customer-first approach and in using data to unlock customer preferences, identifying what they want, when they want it, and how they’d like to be communicated with. Placing these exact ‘wants’ in front of customers makes the shopping experience personalised, convenient, faster and cheaper, and in turn, this improves satisfaction, brand loyalty, value perception and of course, sales in the long run. Understanding customer data is key to offering a value proposition that responds and appeals to Australian customers as their preferences change.
Related: “Let’s Talk: Investing to Succeed”
Brianna Reed, Sales Account Executive, GoCardless
When determining how many opportunities you require at each stage of the sales cycle it’s important to be analytical with your numbers, ensure you keep adding new opportunities at the top of the funnel in order to move them through the cycle. It can be easy to get absorbed by opportunities that are in the final stages and close to closing, the main issue with this is that you can create a rollercoaster effect where coming from the high of the win, your sales can plunge again as you start to build your pipeline from the beginning.
In order to mitigate this, I recommend setting effective, achievable habits in short bursts and prospect for new leads for around 30 minutes each morning, rather than setting aside a two-hour block which will only diminish your energy and resilience in the long run. You should also be honest and build meaningful relationships with potential and existing customers, as well as ask for referrals. I find that approximately 90% of people are happy to give a referral but only about 10% of people ask for one. An introduction builds immediate credibility.
Dean Vocisano, Country Manager Australia, Shopfully
If we look at what’s happened in the world over the past 6 months, I think it’s safe to say consumers’ ability and willingness to adapt is greater than ever. The same reasoning can be applied when it comes to businesses trying to maintain consistent sales, be it in-store or online.
The marketing plans we built a year ago, or even as little as 6 months ago, are no longer the plans we need to stick to. Businesses must be agile, allowing for flexibility and failure as they learn through data how to re-inspire and engage consumers to continue shopping.
Your brand and what it stands for has not changed. This means consistency in your messaging and the people you have serving your customers is key to instilling trust. Be a brand that knows who they are, be proud of it across all channels and engage with your consumers through clear messaging and actions – from marketing through to how consumers actually interact with your business.
Sreelesh Pillai, General Manager, Freshworks Australia
The past few months have shown that successfully managing customer relationships is more important than ever before — whether that’s an old or new contact. By default, the systems and technology that businesses use to achieve this have to be aligned with their needs, helping to streamline services and remove mundane tasks which often impact productivity and efficiencies.
Recent research we commissioned with Forrester found that when it comes to sales, the top issues faced included managing data quality (46%), changing existing business processes (43%) as well as finding, attracting and retaining the right skills to support customer relationship management (42%).
While focusing on ways to drive sales remains a vital component of any business, utilising technology, such as artificial intelligence within CRM initiatives, can help to create a more consistent experience for new and existing customers and support employees with tasks such as finding the best sales leads, getting smarter with communication and managing the sales pipeline. Ultimately, this is the time for businesses to put their best foot forward for customers and prospects.
Mark Lenhard, CEO, Invoice2go
Whether you sell products or supply services, consistent sales are your business’ lifeblood – especially today when every sale and interaction matters. It’s easy to think that, in extraordinary times, consistent sales require groundbreaking techniques. However, doing the basics well and offering a memorable, personable service is just as effective. Communicate clearly, listen to your customers and ask how you can help. By telling them about your business’ mission, your customers feel closer to what you do and why, and may be more inclined to be part of it as a result. Soft skills like these are essential, but so too are your business processes. Send quotes upfront so customers have complete clarity on cost and timings from the outset, and make it easy for them to pay securely and conveniently at the completion of a project. The sale comes at the culmination of a longer process, so if you can create a seamless, memorable experience throughout, the final step becomes infinitely easier.
Nick Cloete, VP APAC, Lightspeed
Consumer behaviour and spending patterns have been drastically influenced by the pandemic: from a shift to online interactions, to a preference for takeaway meals. Prioritising an omnichannel approach to meet these changing customer expectations, gain trust, and diversify the product offering will go a long way to generating repeat business, new business and consistent sales at a time when every dollar and interaction matters more than ever.
For hospitality venues, for instance, an omnichannel approach could involve introducing online ordering and delivery offerings to compliment in-venue dining, or adding table ordering capabilities for a contactless ordering and payment experience. These innovative solutions ensure patrons can feel safe while still receiving the same outstanding service at their favourite venues, and offsetting any downturn across more traditional ordering channels. An omnichannel approach also makes it easier for businesses to collect, track and store customer interactions and details. Easy access to this information ensures businesses can create tailored promotions, generating loyalty and repeat sales. Continuing to enhance the customer experience and develop a sense of trust will ensure the sales naturally follow.
Craig Padoa, Managing Director, Wanzl Australia
The coronavirus pandemic has created profound unpredictability across business operations, and companies need to optimise processes to protect and increase revenue.
You can’t optimise what you’re not measuring, so ensure clear metrics are in place. This applies whether it’s a small team on the floor of a retail store or a senior business development manager selling million-dollar deals to large corporates.
Without clear KPIs, sales teams will work towards what they believe are strong outcomes, but may not be aligned with the company objectives.
Explicit metrics will allow a solid understanding of whether sales teams are achieving targets, and if these are not being met, will uncover training or product issues that can be amended for future success.
Clear, actionable insights will give companies the best chance for steady sales growth.
Andrew White, ANZ Country Manager, Signavio
As most companies have their sales team spread across different functions, regions, market segments and product lines, creating consistencies can seem like an insurmountable challenge. However, hidden within your sales cycles are risks, habits and process behaviours that can be consolidated to reveal how they impact your bottom line.
Business Process Management (BPM) can be invaluable here; mapping out your sales behaviours and processes using data points – such your wins, losses, volumes and time cycles – can create a clear, visual picture of how your sales process is actually being executed. This helps you to see every action and interaction over time, from the moment leads enter the top of your funnel through to deal closure. It doesn’t have to be overly technical or expensive either; BPM can be as simple as gathering data points and inputting them into a basic Excel graph.
The more advanced your BPM system is, the better insights you’ll get, as you can extrapolate data over time, offering a more holistic view of consistencies and areas for improvement. From there, you’ll know exactly how and when to refine your sales methodology, focusing entirely on excellence across the end-to-end sales cycle.