Increasing sales takes more than having a great product. In this article, we’ve asked business experts from every field to share with us their insights on how to improve your sales revenue.
Here are 25 tips on how to increase sales revenue from the pros:
1. Clearly Define and Continually Refine Your Brand
Mazdak Mohammadi, Owner, blueberrycloud
In my experience as a small business marketing consultant, I always bet on brand refinement as the best and most efficient method to increasing sales for small businesses operating for more than three years. Clearly define who you are, what you do, what you don’t do, who are your best customers, who your competition is, why people choose them, and why your customers choose you. Refining your brand helps you leverage your unique experience as a business owner to create focused messaging and communication about you, your products and your services. In reaching brand clarity, you avoid wasting time communicating relevant or irrelevant noise to people who may or may not be your customers. Instead, focused communication allows you to cut the crap and give people what they need to know in order to make a buying decision or move on. By having this focus, you acquire more customers, more frequently, without using more time or capital to do so.
2. Be Active in Sending Abandoned Cart Emails
Cory Smith, VP of Email, Metric Digital
Our company uses email marketing to dramatically grow small business and ecommerce brands that reshape their industries. We’ve seen 250% to 400% blended return on ad spend for many clients brands of all different shapes and sizes. One such approach would be to send multiple abandon cart emails. Have an online shopping cart? Send a gentle reminder that the customer’s cart is still available. Let them know you haven’t forgotten about them. This is also a good time to include a promotion. Try to find the sweet spot that drives more conversions without cutting too far into your margins.
3. Nurture Existing Client Accounts
Louis Gudema, President, revenue + associates
Many companies put too much emphasis on closing new customers and accounts, and not enough on retaining and growing existing accounts. Depending on the industry, it’s 5 to 25 times more expensive to get a new customer than to retain and grow an existing one. So businesses should stay close to their customers, have occasional listening conversations with them – rather than always trying to sell to them – and improve their service and offerings based on that feedback. Customers also want different content than prospects, so use email, blogs, and videos to create content that’s useful for them. Retaining and selling more to current customers is at the center of my “Bullseye Marketing Framework” for these reasons.
4. Start With “Low-Hanging Fruit”
Lois Raats, Founder & Principal Consultant, Ready2Grow Associates
I am a management consultant who works with professional service clients. To increase sales, I always start with clients’ “low-hanging fruit”. For example, several months ago, a group of architects came to me in a panic. Their regular markets had been drying up and they were floundering. I asked them who was already in their database. They said “What database?”. Once they got a little more organized, each partner started calling everyone they already knew and going out for coffee. Within six months, they had so much business coming in they didn’t know what to do with it all, and we had to start working on a whole different set of issues.
5. Follow Leads with a Sales Pipeline
Marc Prosser, Co-Founder, Fit Small Business
If you’re selling a product or service that requires multiple contacts with prospects, you need to track them through the sales process and follow up with them at the right time in the right way.
Pipedrive is a sales-focused CRM that lets you follow your customer from first contact to sale with a visual sales pipeline that shows you where you need to focus each step of the way. You can also send, receive, and track emails, and get reminders, mobile notifications, and alerts to help you follow up. Click here for a free trial.
6. Pair Special Promotions with Events
Julia Rohan, Owner, Rover-Time Dog Walking & Pet Sitting
My small business ran a special promotion on “Small Business Saturday”. We sold prepaid “walk packages” at a very slight discount and brought in over $10,000 in sales on that day. Our organization is built upon flexibility for the customer, but the package we advertised came with strict terms and conditions that all customers surprisingly upheld and respected in exchange for the discount we offered.
7. Use Gift Certificates and Product Giveaways
Jim Herst, CEO, Perceptive Selling Initiative, Inc.
No one marketing strategy fits all. Pinpointing unique processes and concretizing the method is the function of an experienced Guru. Issuing gift certificates is a popular sales building technique for retailers. Gift certificates can be designed to achieve ANY objective and target a specific demographic, without taking too much out of your marketing budget. Most recipients see gift certificates as cash and prefer it over ho-hum discount coupons. Some businesses can build sales just by cold-calling. But while it is simple to sense a prospect, it’s also difficult, time-wise, to research who to approach or seek an appointment with so any business that operates on cold-calling should devise and execute a cold call technique that’s easy for any user to master in a matter of days.
An effective sales technique is very specific for each industry. A baker would give away product samples to restaurants. An industrial tool wholesaler can offer a unique advantage such as providing and maintaining a cutting tool stock at a customers site, eliminating tools ever being unavailable causing a line shut-down. A cardboard box manufacturer might offer color printing without extra cost on a new user’s three months needs. Many ways exist and can be uniquely customized.
8. Make It Easy for Customers to Remember How to Reach You
Paul Faust, Vice President, RingBoost.com
One tool that can help increase such opportunities is to use a memorable local or toll free number in their marketing.Too often, we see/hear advertising messages but simply can’t recall how to reach the business. One good example is driving by most billboards or other outdoor media such as a service vehicle or yard sign. You have seconds to see and remember the message and how to reach the business, yet they use a random seven-digit number that is impossible to recall. This also rings true for most radio ads. Most business owners carefully selected their name, domain, logo, tagline and most other parts of their business, and then they went to the phone company, and just took the next seven-digit random number off the pile. Why would a business owner do that when they can choose a number that is easy to remember and ties into their brand or what they do?
A small business’ phone number is one simple, easy to use, and easy to deploy tool that doesn’t require much expertise to use and can increase the amount of calls it receives. Simply – more calls equals more swings of the bat and more opportunities to increase sales.
9. Apply Multi-Channel Marketing
Chris Barr, Director of Marketing, Taradel, LLC
Every sale starts with great marketing. And for small businesses, multi-channel marketing is the key to maximizing sales and ROI. Not all target markets are exclusively online or are equally tech-savvy, and this strategy lets you reach your target audience across multiple platforms that can be anything from website to direct mail. For example, advertisers who combine direct mail and digital ads average 30% more ROI compared to advertisers who only use direct mail.
10. Do Your Research
Nicholas Petroski, Co-Founder and Managing Director, Lumo
Effective market research can make the entire sales process easier. There are a tons of useful tools out there to help but the best free sources of information are the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. These two sites are gateways to a wealth of industry and employment data that small business owners can use to better understand their economic environment. Find the quickly growing industries and focus on them to give your sales a quick jolt.
11. Implement an Influencer Marketing Strategy
Isaac Lekach, CMO and Co-Founder, REP
Influencer marketing is a great and affordable way to create brand awareness and ultimately boost sales. It has an incredibly strong ROI — provided, of course, your plan is taut and executed well. Before you search for influencers, make sure your online/social presence is up to snuff. Can you be easily found? Do the materials in your profile/website stimulate intrigue and offer pertinent details such as what is it, why is it stellar, and where can it be bought? Once that’s all in place, you’re ready to have others replicate your message and drive traffic to your profile/website. Depending on the product, you could do a number of things: barter (trading products for posts), giveaways, take-overs, shout outs, contests, etc. Get creative. Lastly, and perhaps most importantly—remember that this strategy should be continuous. You want user generated content to constantly be streaming and reaffirming your brand/product.
12. Partner With Other Businesses and Organizations
Billy Templeton, Glass Restoration Guru, Phoenix Glass Repair
Referrals tend to carry more weight than someone who just sees a company. Seek out other businesses in the industry and work together to pass each other referrals. Here in Arizona, they have a local business group called Local First Arizona. You can get great referrals from these groups. There are other benefits to joining various local organizations like workshops, expos, etc. which are all designed to help you succeed. Another great organization to join is your local chamber of commerce.
13. Optimize Your Online Selling Opportunities
Carmine Mastropierro, Owner, Mastrodigital
Small business owners can increase their sales by taking advantage of an omni-channel approach. Selling solely on your online store restricts how many potential customers are exposed to your products. By signing up and selling on platforms like eBay and Amazon, you quickly broaden your customer base. Small business owners can also use social media sales channels including Facebook and Pinterest. Most of these platforms are free to sell on which gives omni-channel a very healthy ROI.
14. Use Bluetooth Proximity Marketing
Seth Phillips, President, Gorilla Proximity Marketing
Research shows that 60% of all smartphones are Android so the market is huge. Owners can advertise sales or special offerings. They can also carry this small battery operated transmitter around with them or even inside company vehicles and advertise everywhere they go. The business owner places a small (Oreo cookie size) Bluetooth transmitter in their bricks and mortar location. The transmitter can then send a 40 character text message along with a web link to the company’s website to every Android smartphone that comes within 200 feet of the business location. The customer doesn’t need an app; the notification shows up in the Google Nearby notifications. The cost ranges from $20 to $30 per month per range per unit. The text message and the web link can be changed as often as the owner wants.
15. Remember that Timing is Everything
Mikko Honkanen, Co-Founder, Vainu
It’s not enough to rely solely on luck – instead, it’s strategic thinking and smart usage of modern technologies and data that will increase the chances of landing you at the right place at the right time. Lead generation platforms enable easy access to myriads of data, providing insights on the latest happenings within the accounts in your sales pipeline. For example, one software can notify you in real-time, right when a tracked change occurs within a company that fits into your “Ideal Customer” profile. Knowing a trigger that will make a company more prone to need your product or service will increase your sales team’s hit rate by making use of the element of timing. As a result, you increase your chances of acquiring a greater amount of satisfied customers as you work smarter, not harder.
Where to begin to know which triggers to track? Start by examining your existing customers: what changes occurred within those accounts before you inked a deal? Once you’ve identified these signals and trigger events to look out for, use automated tools to track these events to make the process a lot more efficient. Make sure to act fast when you’re alerted of a change that may indicate an opportunity to sell.
16. Make Use of Account-Based Marketing (ABM) Funnels
Steven Benson, Founder and CEO, Badger Maps
Account-based marketing, or ABM, funnels are a hyper-effective way to market your business and increase sales. Define your most important customer groups by title, industry, or any other narrow segment. Then make content for their specific decision making process. Where are they searching for answers to their problems? What would interest this particular group about your solution? Think of their specific challenges and how you play a part in solving them. At the end of your funnel, you should incorporate some personal outreach, an email or phone call does wonders for conversions. You should also consider using a sales routing tool like Badger Maps that helps outside salespeople and sales teams boost their sales and revenue.
The app focuses specifically on the type of salesperson who is visiting customers face-to-face – the field or outside salesperson. By doing a lot of busy work for them and optimizing their schedules, sales reps save time that they can use to get more customer meetings and sales.
17. Take the “Big” Out of Big Data
Vaughn Aust, Executive Vice President, MarketStar
To do this, you must understand what data is important. Most companies have more data than they know what to do with. One tip is to utilize predictive analytics to narrow down the data variables that are relevant and predict who will purchase. And then find better ways to collect and structure those data variables so you can continually improve how you prioritize leads and identify new prospects.
18. Sell at the Right Price
Steve Wang, HR Professional and Entrepreneur, Resume Writing Advice
While it’s tempting to go with whatever price that seems to instinctively make sense, this is usually never your best bet. By spending the time to methodically split test various prices and pricing structures, I’ve found that often times, I can increase my sales figures by 20 to 30% without actually changing anything about my product. At times, the best pricing structure to go with is also the least intuitive one to consider. Don’t be afraid to test things out and employ psychological pricing strategies like the decoy effect, price anchoring, Weber’s law, and other powerful strategies that can take your sales to new heights.
19. Advertise, Advertise, Advertise!
Robert Barrows, President, R.M. Barrows, Inc. Advertising & Public Relations
For business of any size, one of the keys to increasing sales is to advertise, advertise, advertise! Set up a budget. Figure out what you want to say as well as how, when, and where you want to say it, and keep advertising for as long as you live.You might also want to contact some local advertising and PR agencies and talk about the costs and opportunities for these kinds of campaigns.
20. Have an App for Scheduling Clients
Samantha Hugo, Chief Executive Officer, Hugomatica LLC
In the beauty industry, you focus on providing high-quality service to keep clients coming back. However, there are pain points that no one in this market is addressing: clients don’t want to make a phone call, they don’t want to wait, and they want what they want when they want it. As with Uber and Lyft, potential clients need to know if you are available now. With GoSpa (a free app for Apple mobile devices and coming soon for Android), you can let potential new clients know that you are available now by toggling your status to “Available Now”. So now you can pick up some out-of-region clients who happened to have dropped their 10-year-old at a baseball practice at 4:00 pm and need a manicure, massage, etc.
This is a game changer for beautician small businesses and will expand money making opportunities by adding the “side-hustle” concept to the existing business by supplying paying clients for empty seats.
21. Leverage Facebook Live
Karina Rabin, Co-Inventor, Hang-o-Matic
My favorite tool today for increasing sales is Facebook LIVE! This is an incredibly powerful tool and every business should be taking advantage of it right now. Facebook’s algorithm changes often and if Facebook users complain that LIVE is getting out of hand and there are too many notifications then guess what, Live will go away just like the visibility of business pages unless you pay to play. Research shows that 81% of internet users stream live videos on Facebook than the year before. In my opinion, I think Facebook LIVE helps business engage with their customers, get new customers and allows them to brand their business.
I invite you to take it up a notch and go Facebook LIVE with a client. This way you can reach your audience AND your customers audience at the same time. Interviewing a client on your Facebook LIVE would allow you to grow credibility of your business, receive a LIVE five-star review, and reach a much wider audience.
22. Have Effective Sales Leadership Skills
Chris Lipper, CEO, The Alternative Board – North Central NJ
Effective sales leadership is the key to boosting sales across your small business. A few ways to motivate your team to sell more include: 1) Hosting inside competition and contests. Use a visual whiteboard so sales staff can see how they’re faring compared to their peers. 2) Implementing behavioral KPIs. Rather than monetary KPIs (i.e. reach $10,000 a month), create behavioral goals for your team (such as attend four networking events month, host two one-on-ones a week, ask for 10 referrals, etc). That way, you can determine whether they’re doing the work, even if they aren’t hitting the numbers, and where there’s room for improvement or who needs training in what areas. 3) Encouraging referrals. Always have your team ask for referrals. It’s an inexpensive way to grow so coach your team on this critical skill.
23. Match Your Skills with the Right Tools
Walter Bayliss, CEO, Universal Media Online
When it comes to sales, I always believed that our skills can always be coupled with the right tools. A sales person can only be successful in his field once their knows what, where and when to invest in. Personally, I use GoJEO. GoJEO is a tool that helps professionals with their businesses by getting more customers, and making more sales while spending less time. As a business owner myself, it is important for me to track the progress of each prospect but there are only so many hours in the day, and I can’t do all of them. The thing about GoJEO’s features is that it includes a visual on how each lead can turn into a sale. I’ve also answered questions from potential and current customers from the different platforms (Facebook, Skype, website) all through one channel under GoJEO’s modules. Using this tool, I’ve done a lot more while I’m on the go.
24. Have a Good Customer Relationship Management Program In Place
Eric Pinto, CEO/Founder, Mackenzie Consulting Firm
Implementing a good customer relationship management program has been the most effective way to boost my clients sales numbers. Across any industry, B2B or B2C, any demographic, finding a way to keep organized notes is a sure fire way to close more sales. I have seen 30% increases in gross revenue from my clients within just six months of CRM tool implementation. Simple things like remembering a dog’s name can help foster trust with a customer so having a way to take those kinds of notes is priceless. If your company doesn’t have a system in place, I guarantee you’re losing sales to someone who does. It could be me you’re bidding against.
25. Use Content Discovery Networks for Prospecting
Philippe Côté-Léger, Marketing Director, Lab Urbain
Native ad and content discovery network like Outbrain, Taboola or Yahoo Gemini can offer inexpensive clicks. We can drive cheap traffic to content pieces related to a product category. Then, if the user spends X amount of time on that page, we know for sure they are interested in the product. We can then include them in a remarketing list and retarget them on Facebook or Google. Targeting this audience will increase our interaction rate and therefore increase in potential sales.
BONUS: Run a Promotion or a Contest
Robyn Mancell, CMO, Girls Gone Forex
When we started Girls Gone Forex, we ran an online contest which we chose our first 15 students from applications of 100. It caused excitement because they had to go through a selection process. What this did was cause our name to circulate before we actually opened for paying business. Once those ladies graduated, they couldn’t help but spread the word about a virtually unknown company. Since that time, we’ve continued to build our following using this one social media site and collaborating with groups that teach financial wellness and education. It has allowed us to build a following where we started and for a lot less money. We now have a model to use in other advertising venues.
Over To You
The way to increase your sales doesn’t happen overnight so it’s important that you make consistent and carefully measured efforts in order to reap the rewards. With the help of these tips, you’ll have a better chance of getting the most revenue while building a brand that customers will always remember.
Have you tried any of these tips on how to increase sales? Let us know how it worked for you by leaving your comments!