To maximise sales, every business owner needs an effective, realistic sales process. Here’s how to get one.

Examine your existing sales strategy

Are you selling in the right way? Are you selling to the right customers? If you haven’t already done so, write a sales strategy and examine its results after a six-month period. Identify your strengths and weaknesses, and build on them. This will help you to meet your objectives, decide how to best reach target customers, and track effectiveness.

“If your prices are too steep, you will turn off potential customers and if they’re too low, customers and potential customers will assume you are selling an inferior product.”

Increase business from existing customers

The oft-quoted Pareto Principle states that 20% of your customers deliver 80% of your revenue. Tap into that rich resource by offering loyalty discounts and deals, and be sure to market any other products or services you have to them. Just because they buy from you doesn’t mean they know about everything you sell. Remember, they are already on your side, so make that loyalty a two-way street.

Make sure your prices are right

If your prices are too steep, you will turn off potential customers and if they’re too low, customers and potential customers will assume you are selling an inferior product. Conduct market research to ensure you’re selling at the right prices.

“Look at what you could do differently, and make the change.”

Forecast your sales accurately

Set yourself a realistic sales goal at the start of every month, year or accounting period, depending on your business, and aim to meet targets to realise that goal. These targets don’t always have to be financial (for example, you could set yourself a target of calling a certain number of potential customers every month), but they should all add up to meet your goal. Compare your forecasted sales with actual sales using the ThinkBusiness.ie Sales Tracker Template, and revise expectations afterwards.

sales planning

Up-sell and cross-sell

If your business is customer-facing, try to entice customers to either buy another one of your products or services (cross-selling) or to buy a more expensive product or service (up-selling). You can achieve this by offering deals, discounts and loyalty rewards, sometimes even directly after the customer has bought a product. A good example of this is an airline offering hotel deals after you book your ticket.

Get an agent or another third party to help

This may not be appropriate for every business owner, but agents can act effectively on your behalf to negotiate legally binding sales of your products or services.

Sell new products or services

You need to keep your offering fresh if you’re to consistently attract customers. Business is all about evolution, and without it you will never thrive. Look at what you could do differently, and make the change.

Make customers your top priority

It may sound obvious, but the customer always comes first. Ensure your customer service is outstanding, all the time. Train your staff and offer after-sales support for customers, as well as recurring deals and offers. This will encourage word-of-mouth recommendations.

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