It is imperative that products based businesses keep finding new avenues to sell their products. If they are operating in an over-saturated market, it becomes even more important that they explore new sales channels to make sure their sales do not stagnate. The problem in such cases is that their competitors are also adding to their sales channels or improving brand awareness. If you are a products based business, you have your work cut out for you.
The question is – How do you compete?
But don’t worry. There are plenty of ways you can actually go one up over your competitors. The idea is to use a multi-pronged approach to take your sales northwards. Let’s take a look at some things you can do to improve the sales performance of your business:
1. Leverage Mobility
By 2018, global eCommerce sales via mobile devices can reach a mammoth figure of $638 billion. There is absolutely no doubt your business, irrespective of whether it’s selling products or services, needs to be on the mobile phones of your target audience. For that to happen, you either need a responsive products-based website that renders effectively on all devices or a mobile website/app that has been specifically built to work on the smartphones of your potential customers.
Of course, just building a mobile friendly website, mobile app or an m-commerce solution isn’t enough to increase your sales figures. You will also need to market your mobile presence. Your target audience must be well aware of your business’s presence on mobile. Otherwise, it won’t deliver the returns you are looking for.
2. Maximizing the Potential of Social Interactions
In social media, you have an absolutely fantastic sales channel that is powered by the interactions you are able to trigger with your target customers. You could have a Facebook business page that drives awareness about your products; or you can use your social media presence to deliver marketing messages to your target audience and persuade them to come to your website or physical address to check out your products or make a purchase.
Looking at their inherent potential to trigger sales, both Facebook and Twitter have started experimenting with features that can help brands sell their products and services. Facebook has begun testing the ‘buy button’, which will help your Facebook page turn into an eCommerce store. Even Twitter is testing a feature that can allow users to buy products without leaving Twitter.
It’s important your business optimizes the use of not only social media but also specific sales centric features offered by social networks for business benefit.
3. Commerce Solution
If you want to maximize your sales figures, it’s not only important that you add to your sales channels but also ensure that processes like customer support, accounts etc. are perfectly aligned with your sales channels. What this means is that your front and back office operations must be in perfect sync with your business’s sales.
Think of a scenario where you have set in motion a marketing strategy that is attracting leads, but the problem is your front office staff cannot handle these leads, which brings down the conversion ratio (leads turning into customers). You don’t want that to happen do you? This is why you need to be in absolute control of your business processes and scale them up or down as and when required.
This is easier said than done. So, why not take the help of technology, to be specific cloud technology, to power your business’s commerce efforts. Pick a SaaS based solution that can help you streamline your back and front end processes and align them with your sales channels. This ensures these processes can be scaled up to meet the growing sales of your business. What’s more, SaaS based solutions work according to a subscription based business model, which means they are not cost-intensive.
4. Building Authority to Increase Sales
Your target customers are a connected lot. They are active on the internet and also proactively engaging in social conversations with likeminded people. They love interacting and doing business with people who are authority figures in their niche. So, why not try and build a personal brand alongside your business brand. Publish posts in your name on high authority blog/websites in your niche, become a guest speaker at conferences, answer questions posted by your potential customers on forums like Quora, and do everything possible to be seen as a thought leader in your niche.
The reputation you build will rub off on your brand and target customers will trust your brand more as compared to your competitors.
This is something that can give a much needed boost to your sales figures.
There are various ways and means you can utilize to help you push the envelope as far as your sales presence is concerned. A great idea will be to mix traditional and non-traditional ways of selling your products and services. You also need to make it a point to use all available technology that can drive business growth. The great part about technology is that it’s getting cheaper and cheaper. So why not use it?
Something else you should do, is look for first mover advantage. Be fearless when it comes to experimenting with any new sales channels or marketing tactic. You need to explore it and maximize its potential much before your competitors even get a whiff of what you are doing. There will also be times when your decisions won’t deliver returns along expected lines, but that’s ok. You will need to take risks if you want to survive and prosper in this extremely competitive business environment.Tags: Sales Channels, Sales Strategy