Sales is a part of any small business today. Still, it can also become a real challenge for a business owner as, due to the size of the company, you may be limited in resources. Just imagine 8 out of 10 small businesses do not have employees and are owned by a single person. How to increase sales for a small business in this case?
In this article, we will tell you easy ways to get to know your audience, discuss a strategy to increase sales for small businesses, and discuss which tools might help you with this task.
Let's dive in.
Understanding Your Customer
Understanding the people you meet is significant if you want to sell to them and transform them into your brand advocates. Moreover, 80% of customers will likely buy from a company that knows them and provides a tailored experience.
But what are the steps you, as a small business owner, need to take to understand your customers better and, thus, increase sales for the business? Here are some of them.
Strive for Intelligent Customer Engagement
Streamlining customer experience is key to getting more revenue and retention. Plus, it can become a valuable source of many insights if you do it the right way.
Engaging with customers has become effortless thanks to numerous tools. One of the most valuable ones is the CRM system. It collects and stores all the important data about your customers that you can use to create the most personalized and outstanding customer experience. If combined with a help desk, it can do all the magic you need for small business sales.
Today, you can find numerous CRMs out there. However, if you are a confident user of the Zendesk help desk, you should try CRM and Deals for Zendesk. Aimed at boosting your sales, this helpful app can better manage your sales pipelines without investing too much money into a separate CRM tool. This is highly beneficial for small business owners with a limited budget.
With a CRM system, you can better engage with your customers.
However, that is not enough. You also need to ask what they think to build better customer relationships with them and get to know them. And this is very easy with customer satisfaction surveys. Just remember these simple rules while creating them:
- Ask their opinion but do not project your own to get genuine insights.
- Be concrete and use simple language.
- Focus on one area of the customer experience.
Create More Detailed Buyer Personas
What data do marketers often use when creating buyer personas? Usually, it is customers' age, location, and job. But in reality, this data needs to give them more information to create relevant messaging to target customers on an emotional level.
In particular, Google Analytics and the Acquisition tab can be more helpful in this case. It can give you more detailed information, such as where your traffic comes from — from which social media, industry blogs, or forums people come. Using this data, you can find out where you can reach your target audience more efficiently and create your ideal customer.
You can also use Google Webmaster Tools to determine which keywords your customers use to describe your business and which drive people to your website. You can use these keywords for different buyer personas to increase customer satisfaction.
Generate Data from Analytics
Any customer action can give you valuable insights into their behavior. Google Analytics is a handy user behavior tracking tool to collect insights like bounce rate or page time.
What information can you decipher from these insights?
First, you can find out what exactly your users do not understand, what they don't like, and what are your areas for improvement on the website. For example, if you see that customers struggle when navigating certain pages on your website, you can improve them by making them more user-friendly. Likewise, if you see that some pages have more visitors than others, you can study their content to find out what grabs users' attention.
And what is more important, if some pages have a high bounce rate, you need to find out the reason behind it. All this will surely help you find better ways to increase sales for small businesses.
Focus on Both Present and Future
Focusing on creating a strategy to increase sales and customer engagement now is not enough. You need to think of the future as well. This way, your support and sales team will be able to handle some challenging situations better.
Various predictive modeling software can help you with this. They use the existing customer data to create patterns and trends that you can then use for informed decision-making and adjust your roadmap to anticipate the needs of your target audience.
Moreover, if you study historical data, you can see which aspects your customers like more and which ones they don't. You can also find your most visited pages and mind their content when creating your content marketing strategy.
Scrutinize Your Customer Journey
A great way to understand your customer experience is by putting yourself in their shoes. And such popular techniques as customer journey mapping will help you with it like nothing else. It is a practice of creating a very detailed and graphical representation of your customer journey that employs critical touch points — both major and minor ones. Touch points are customers' interaction with your brand before, during, and after purchasing.
You need to study those touchpoints and which conditions and circumstances affect each. When doing this, you can brainstorm with your Sales leads and team to shape a perspective and find problem-solving approaches. You can also find out failed touch points when your potential customers fail to connect and create a plan to prevent this. Plus, you can create a plan to re-engage with those who were unable to use your services.
How to increase sales with current customers
One of the best ways to boost sales in a small business is your current customers. That is why customer loyalty and retention should always be your focus because these people have already been using your services or products for a while, so they have enough trust in you. If you provide them with a delightful customer experience, most likely, they will come over and over again.
Here are just some of the techniques on how to increase sales in a business with your current customers.
Find Opportunities with Market Research
Don't worry if you need help knowing where to start. Your sales analytics can help you get leads and sales within the customer base. Here are some factors that you need to pay close attention to:
- Market analysis will help you find out new opportunities.
- You need to do email outreach, focus groups, and surveys to find out what your customers are searching for.
- To understand what your customers usually ask, you need to scrutinize your social media and, in particular, reviews, comments and mentions.
- Conduct competitors to find out which techniques your rivals use to attract more happy customers.
- Google Analytics will help you find out the traffic source and the sections that are most popular on your website.
- Check whether your customer journey can give you more ways to increase sales by upselling.
Engage Your Current Customers More
Don't leave your customers when they make a purchase; offer them additional services or products. Modern ways of automation can be your perfect match in this situation. For example, you can set up automated email campaigns to send your customers emails after making a purchase.
Many tools can use historical data from previous interactions to tailor the message or segment your clientele to send targeted messages. And remember, follow-ups you need to send through the whole buying process to ensure excellent customer service.
Identify Ongoing Customer Needs
You need to know your customers' needs to provide them with a perfect fit. This way, you can create a highly personalized experience and excellent customer service that will increase sales. Conduct polls and surveys, study past purchases, and analytics of your customers, such as their demographics, to understand their pain points.
Don't underestimate the simple call after a purchase to find out the additional needs of your customers that would improve their overall experience. People who already like your brand will surely come for more, and you have to remind them of the products or services you provide.
Create a Customer Loyalty Program
A loyal program is a beneficial practice based on rewards for your current customers in the form of discounts, special offers, or exclusive releases. However, creating a loyalty program that fits your customers' interests and keeps them engaged is paramount.
Regularly Update Your Products and Services
You've created a product and service and think that's it. You need to be right. We live in a fast-paced world, and if you want to become successful, you need to constantly update and refresh your services as they become outdated quickly. Look at your products. If some of them are being ignored for a while, they most likely need an update. And you can find out what needs to be adjusted by checking out what your customers think of them.
Cross-Sell and Upsell
When your customers are finally buying from you, you need to take this opportunity to offer them other products and services they may also like. And the best way to do this is by providing them a small discount. You can also cross-sell your other products if you have several business directions.
Increasing sales with prospects
Unlike loyal customers, prospects are potential sources of your sales, so they need another approach to be converted into paying customers.
Here are some tricks to increase small business sales with prospects.
Use Social Media Platforms
Social media is the best place to find potential customers and present them with your offers. It also allows you to build strong relationships with prospective customers by providing relevant content and answering them directly.
Any business needs to join social media because that's the most typical place people hang on today. Take care of your social media profile, and go beyond putting your name and contact details there. Think of it as a small website that you need to promote. Moreover, every social media platform is different, so you need to study what works for each of them.
The rule of improving sales is straightforward — make it easy for people to buy from you. Always stay genuine with your customers. Use open-ended questions when engaging, put your best foot forward, and stay confident. Ensure that your pricing is transparent, that you offer flexible payment options, and your website is easy to navigate.
Ask Better Questions
Everyone wants to feel heard, not just listened to. This applies to your customers as well. So, start asking better questions to understand your customers and get to know them more personally. This will help you gain valuable insights into their thoughts and decisions so that you can better communicate with them. When you know your customers well enough, they will most likely buy from you.
Use Direct Mailing
People don't like talking via phone anymore. So the optimal way to reach your potential customers today is through direct email. Direct mailing campaigns can help you reach a highly targeted audience and stand out from your rivals with more memorable campaigns. In your emails, you can educate customers on your products or services, offer special offers, notify them of new products, and give them links to your portfolio and customer testimonials.
Reconnect With Prospects
What to do if something goes differently from your plans and your deal fails? Email marketing is your answer, as it can help you to re-engage with your customers. This could become an additional touch point in your customer journey that you need to keep in mind.
To boost sales for your small business, you need to focus on your customers and what matters to them because they are your primary target. That is why you, as a small business owner, need to stay helpful to your customers and make their lives easier with your products or services.
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