There will always be an ongoing debate over which sales methodology is the most effective. Do you stick with the tried and tested old-school approach? Or do you try the latest new-school techniques and hope they bring in more customers?
In reality, the best sales come from a balance of the two.
Retaining classic strategies that have worked in the past is useful, but you also need to keep an open mind and look for fresh and innovative ways to help evolve your sales strategy.
As accountants, we are often talking to our clients about their own sales strategies – and how these impact your profits, your taxes, and your business as a whole. (To start, explore our Awesome 8 offering and find out how awesome you can be!)
Review your sales strategy
At the start of each quarter, it’s good practice to review your current sales processes and see if there’s room a new approach – or any refinements that will make these existing techniques more effective.
Trust us, your competition will be doing the same thing, so its important to keep some momentum in your strategy and to give yourself a competitive edge. Review, refine and always look for ways to keep forging ahead.
A bigger focus on customer needs
One clear trend we’ve noticed in recent years is for sales techniques to become more customer focused and more targeted on customer needs.
In previous decades, there was a big emphasis on taking about your own products – focusing on the marketable attributes of your products/services and convincing customers why they needed them in their life (even if they truly didn’t).
Modern, 21st century businesses are spending a lot more time analyzing their customers, finding out what makes them tick, what their core needs are and selling them solutions that serve their genuine needs and improve their quality of life.
Putting the customer at the start of your sales and marketing strategy – rather than at the end – means you can then use your customer information to inform your product development, target the right new products and services and deliver a targeted sales approach.
This customer-focused approach will keep your customers engaged and happy – and as we all know, it’s happy customers who come back to spend more money!
The impact of technology on consumer behaviour
There’s been a gradual shift in the way consumers engage and transact with businesses – and a large part of this shift has been due to the impact of technology on how we shop.
Online shopping, mobile internet and social media have all had their own significant impact on how the modern consumer spend their hard-earned bucks. And it’s put the customer firmly at the centre of the sales process.
To run a business in the digital age you need more than just a website. You may need eCommerce built into your site. You need a social media presence to engage with your customers. And you need all of your marketing and sales promotion to be digital-friendly and mobile responsive.
The consumer’s reliance on search engines to find their products of choice means you also need to be on top of search engine optimisation (SEO), key words, meta data and adwords, so it’s as easy as possible for your customer to find you
And the aim of all of this is simple: to get your products and services in front of the exactly the right customers.
Engaging your customer directly
Digital consumers are also less happy to be ‘sold to’ than previous generations. For the modern customer, buying your product has become far more of a two-way street.
Customers are becoming more and more comfortable with entering into online conversations with their brands of choice. They want to talk to your business, your competitors and to your existing customers to find out if you can supply what they want – and if you can make them an advocate this can have a real impact on sales.
Engaged customers may follow your Twitter feed, or give you their email address to receive regular updates on your business. And by entering into this kind of dialogue, it makes it a whole lot easier for you to build the right touch points.
- Tweet special offers to your loyal online followers
- Survey your followers to find out what they want from new products
- Email existing customers with updates and details of new products
- Invite potential customers to face-to-face events that targets their interests.
If you combine a customer focus with the latest in digital sales and marketing, you will start to build a truly loyal group of high-spending customers.
Let us help you with your sales strategy
We’ve been working with ambitious, digital-friendly businesses for a number of years. And we’ve seen how a more customer-focused approach to product development, sales, marketing and lead generation can turn around your sales figures.
If you’re in the dark about hashtags and SEO, or you don’t know content marketing from customer profiling, why not get in touch and let us help you improve your customer focus and update your sales strategy.
Because your sales affect your profits, and your numbers: and that’s what we’re here to help with.
Get in touch with your local office to arrange a sales strategy session with our team.