Businesses are used to change, but change usually happens slowly and incrementally. Technology improves by steps year-over-year. Consumer behavior shifts gradually.
2020 has not been that kind of change. The pandemic has brought sudden, unforeseen, and significant changes in a single year. Companies around the world are struggling to keep up and adapt to this new normal.
The good news is that the fundamentals of business have not changed. People still need goods and services, and they are looking for companies to sell to them. The question is, how do you keep your sales growing during these dramatic changes?
Here are some tips you can use right away.
Evaluate What’s Working and What’s Not
Yes, we’ve had a pandemic this year. However, that doesn’t mean scrapping every business strategy you’ve used so far. Instead, it’s time to take a hard look at your processes and determine what’s driving sales now and what’s not.
Consider doing a SWOT analysis, where you look at your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. This can help you understand the new environment and determine what changes you need to make to stay competitive.
Review what your competitors are doing and whether they are growing or struggling. You can learn a lot from the successes and failures of others in your industry. Also, pay attention to your current sales and how consumer behavior has changed. Many of your usual strategies may still be effective.
Finally, look at your current operational model. Ensure your marketing methods are agile and that you’re connecting with your customers’ new needs during difficult times.
Once you know where you stand during a crisis, you can take steps to improve your sales and growth.
Utilize Technology to Grow Sales
The pandemic has driven home that any company that doesn’t utilize technology in their marketing and sales processes is quite far behind. Digital marketing and remote communication were — and are — essential in 2020.
If your business hasn’t fully embraced tech, now is the time. There are so many opportunities available that will streamline your operations, focus your sales team’s time on the best leads, and nurture long-term relationships.
Take advantage of social media and email marketing to connect with your customers and leads. You can segment and target your audience in incredibly effective ways and deliver a personalized message that won’t miss.
Update your website and improve your search engine optimization so it’s easier for consumers to find you on Google searches. This is especially important if you’re a local business — taking advantage of local SEO can make a big difference for your sales.
If you find that your website doesn’t get enough traffic to drive sales, you might want to sell on a more well-known site instead. For example, you can sell products on Amazon and make use of the 2.4 billion visitors they have each month.
Being creative with your marketing plan and making sure technology takes center stage will help your sales continue to grow, no matter what crisis is occurring.
Keep Your Business Strong
Managing sales only matters if your underlying business is strong enough to weather the current storm. Besides having a strong small business marketing plan, you’ll need to take other steps as a manager and leader.
Ensure you review your production, marketing, and sales processes and see where they can be simplified and made more efficient. The leaner and more agile your company is, the better it will respond to challenges in the market.
You also want to make sure your management skills are strong. You might want to pursue an advanced degree, such as an MBA, to learn current best practices regarding sales growth. An MBA can also help you be a more effective manager and leader.
Finally, don’t assume that economic uncertainty means a slowdown in hiring. Instead, focus on how you can evaluate and hire the right people at the right time, no matter what is going on.
These steps will help your company be strong enough to weather any storm that comes along, which is essential if you plan to grow in rapidly changing environments.
Provide Excellent Customer Service
It’s been said that “Sales without service is like putting money in a pocket with a hole in it.” Having excellent customer service is vital if you want to grow your bottom line. This isn’t just true because you don’t want returns or cancellations. In fact, happy customers are a huge benefit to your company.
Delighted customers can become brand superfans. These advocates can make a huge difference by promoting and standing by your business, even in difficult situations. Best of all, they leverage their own networks without any expense or outlay from the company. It’s the most effective and cheapest marketing you’ll ever receive.
It’s also more cost-effective to grow sales through repeat business than it is through gaining new customers. Your revenue growth strategy needs to take into account not just sales volume but the cost of customer acquisition. Repeat customers cost far less than a brand-new consumer who hasn’t worked with you before.
For those who want to grow sales and improve net profit over time, customer service is essential. There’s no better way to promote your company and get repeat business than through existing customers!
Rapid Change is the New Normal
While we won’t always be dealing with a pandemic, today’s hyper-connected society has ensured that rapid change is now normal. News about everything from what the president wore to political strife in Italy finds its way around the planet in record time. Travel means pandemics and other challenges move just as quickly.
Are you ready? With these tips, your company will be prepared to weather any challenge and land on its feet profitably in any environment.