The landscape of sales has changed significantly over the last decade and, as a result, the nature of sales has evolved too. The rise of technology has altered the way we do business and it’s also changed the way we communicate with one another.
Selling The Old Way
The telephone used to be a sales person’s best-friend so to speak. Sales people needed to have the gift of the gab, and the instaneousness of the sales call required sales people to think on their feet, be articulate, eloquent and know how to get the verbal commitment before following up in writing.
Once upon a time, there were also targets for the number of cold calls made daily and all communication essentially was via the phone, so when the phone rang we all jumped to pick it up quickly, but not anymore.
No-one answers their phone, and now there’s instant text-based communication, but it is only allowed if the recipient gives permission to the sender, so this is not going to happen on the first contact.
Plus, there are spam and junk filters, adept at identifying and discarding anything they view as marketing material.
Technology has really disrupted the sales process in so many ways, and it’s going to continue so hang onto your seats, literally. Artificial intelligence is here, and very much part of the marketing process with algorithms for crunching big data so relevant information is feed to targeted audiences. AI is changing the customer experience and this is just the start of a new revolution in how we interact and collect information for selling our products and services.
How you selling stuff via your website, email, text messaging, etc. has even been legislated in some form or another, by most countries with marketing laws, costly fines, unwanted sanctions and GDPR laws to adhere to. It’s no surprise that the sales and marketing industry is almost unrecognizable from its earlier form.
Despite the new challenges facing sales personnel, marketing and sales must continue for the business to succeed, so working with new technology including AI, and understanding that you can no longer do your own thing, that collaboration with your peers in marketing and account management is more critical than ever before.
Sales and Marketing Collaboration
The marketing and sales teams that work hand-in-hand in order to garner revenue lessen the challenge of customer acquisition and retention so both the consumer and the company can benefit. Here’s how…
1. Identify Your Objectives
Set identifiable and achievable targets. Yes, some would say: ‘aim big’, and this is more for psychological reasons, to overcome inherent complacency. Therefore your targets need to stretch you, i.e. they should be challenging but also realistic.
Once you know your sales targets, you can work out a clear, step-by-step sales process.
Ultimately, you want a customer to make repeated purchases or become a business advocate so articulate a selling strategy by answering these questions:
- How will they become aware of your product or service?
- How will you engage with them?
- How will they be drawn to your site or your physical location?
- How can the user be persuaded to make an initial purchase?
Before you know it, you’ll have quantifiable marketing and sales targets to work with, as well as an overall sales and marketing strategy.
2. Create Your Team
Selling a product or service isn’t easy and there are a number of sales person attributes which can come in handy.
In a digital environment, the right attributes may be focused on social media presence, online engagement, copywriting and online customer service, whereas a face-to-face sale may require different sales person attributes, such as confidence, trustworthiness, friendliness and in-depth product knowledge.
If you trade in more than one environment, don’t ignore the difference in the sales landscapes.
By understanding the difference in types of sales, you can ensure your team members are perfectly suited to their roles and that they have the appropriate sales person attributes to hit targets.
3. Understand Your Buyer
Whether you’re involved in B2C or B2B sales, understanding your buyer’s needs is crucial to successful sales and marketing.
Whilst it might be tempting to try and secure a sale, examining whether a product or service really meets your buyer’s needs could be more beneficial in the long run.
If you use sales tips and techniques to persuade a buyer to purchase something that isn’t right for them, they’re unlikely to come back in the future.
Being honest with a potential buyer and steering them in the right direction, even when it means less profit for you, increases trust and loyalty. In turn, a buyer is more likely to engage with the business in the future and this could lead to repeated sales, positive reviews and personal recommendations.
Although the sales industry has changed in recent years, sales people can still meet the needs of their buyers and fulfil the legal obligations which govern their role.
With the right in-house support and a number of sales tips in hand, your sales team can bring in revenue and convert potential buyers into repeat customers and company advocates.
5 Reasons to Use Groupon as a Business
Groupon is all the rage at the moment, with around 50 million active customers, it is certainly doing something right. The site provides its users with thousands of coupons and daily deals, all of which save the end user money, and provides business for the company supplying the discount. Groupon will also get a cut of any of the sales made. It’s a win-win for all parties involved.
People can get deals on a huge range of products and services, from physical goods to meals, experiences, event tickets and more. Since its launch in 2008, Groupon has been extremely successful.
For a business, there are many reasons to use Groupon to sell your product or service. Let’s take a look at a few.
1. A Form of Advertising – Many companies use Groupon purely as a form of advertising. By having their business and brand on the site, it will be seen my thousands, potentially millions of people, many of which will be their target market.
To customers that are unfamiliar with what you offer, this is a great way to show them. In addition to promoting the brand as a whole, specific products can be pushed by giving a discount. Brands need to be careful that they don’t use the site too often as it will limit their ability to make a profit.
2. Attracting Customers – Groupon can help to attract customers, both old and new. Current customers may search Groupon specifically to find a company that they like to see if they have any deals. New customers can be reached by offering them a chance to save some money and grab themselves a bargain.
Once a new customer has made a purchase, if they like what they get, then it is probable that they will continue to make purchases from the brand and potentially will tell others about the great service they have received.
3. Moves Inventory – If a company has a specific service or product they are struggling to ship off the shelves, then Groupon offers a way to sell it at a discounted price to a large audience. Even if a large profit is not made from selling the goods in this way, the other benefits of using Groupon will also be obtained such as the advertising potential.
Although there may be a lower profit margin, brand might be able to make a lot of money due to the increased volume of sales.
4. Follow Up – Some businesses will take advantage of Groupon sales even further by capturing the customers’ email addresses when they have made a purchase. There is also the opportunity to obtain other customer information. They are then able to follow up the sale with newsletters and special offers which may encourage the customer to make further purchases.
5. Up-selling – Some businesses that use Groupon will use it as a way to up-sale other similar products or offer add on options. For example, offering a computer at a discounted rate on Groupon may then lead to the sale of printers, speakers and other computer accessories.
If a customer purchases a weekend away on the site, she may be enticed to upgrade the holiday and make further sales from the company.
There are a huge range of benefits that come from using Groupon for all parties involved, therefore it comes as no surprise that its success is showing no sign of slowing.
All You Need to Know About Groupon (Infographic)
Why Shopping Cart Abandonment?
Shopping cart abandonment is not decreasing. Buyers add stuff to their shopping cart, however exit without finishing the purchase. The term ‘buyer’s remorse‘ needs to coined another way to describe why online shoppers abandon their shopping carts.
Relinquishment is an electronic business term used to portray a condition wherein a visitor on a page leaves that page before completing the pined for movement. Occurrences of betraying, are the place shopping cart abandonment happens the most! The reasons change from site to site and they’re explained well in the infographic created by Fullestop. We’ve added it to this post for you.
Web business destinations attempt to decrease their cart abandonment rate; however it’s a losing battle with a high level of customers still slipping past. Honestly, shopping case surrender rates if all else fails are actually rising. Business Insider reports that $4.6 trillion worth of stock was left in spurned trucks in 2016, up from $4.2 trillion out of 2013.
Reasons behind Shopping Cart Abandonment
For the retail part, these were the most widely recognized explanations behind the surrender:
• 34% were ‘quite recently looking’ i.e. not prepared to purchase.
• 23% had an issue with transportation.
• 18% needed to look at costs.
• 15% chose to purchase in-store.
• 6% relinquished because of an absence of instalment alternatives.
• 4% encountered a specialized issue.
Distinctive edifications have been offered trying to state why buyers leave shopping bushels. Most, by far, of the reasons, take after the ones in this present reality shopping process. The basic enlightenments behind shopping wicker container betraying have been seen as:
Perplexity with astound costs: in the far-fetched event that it’s not clear how to influence a purchase and you to leave your prospects with no other individual, expecting that “they’ll appreciate it”, you’re in for an epic dissatisfaction. Correspondingly, if they are out of the blue given some extra costs that they didn’t expect, you were showing the portal yourself.
Alert or secure site: An alert about the website can without much effort change over into fear. The starting point for a business is website security and assuring customers the website is safe and secure and this includes their shopping cart and when it comes to credit card data, what information is requested from purchasers.
Most electronic business purchasers are careful about revealing their own particular information, especially with respect to MasterCard inspirations driving interest. Purchasers are already nervous and it’s not long before they end up plainly suspicious especially if an overabundance of information is requested from them.
How Do I Price My Products/Services?
Many people have incredible business ideas – perhaps even world-changing. And a lot of work goes into turning those ideas into a reality, driving buzz around the product, and storming towards a successful launch. But as soon as that launch date arrives, no one buys. You might be perplexed, confused, and unsure as to why this has happened. But then it will hit you – your pricing is all wrong.
Many first-time entrepreneurs fail to realise the critical importance of pricing. Get it right, and you could be on your way to great success. But achieving the right balance is a lot more complicated than you might think. It’s a tough job, and it is easy to get wrong – which, ultimately, can result in abject failure. With this in mind, here’s a rundown of everything you need to know about pricing your products or services.
First of all, it’s important to understand that products and services pricing has a few ground rules. First of all, you need to cover yourself regarding costs – the amount you spend to create a product or service – and you also need to make a profit. Furthermore, there’s a need to fit your business pricing into the wider market. Who else is selling similar products, and for how much? Is there a significant demand for your product, but little in the way of supply? Ultimately, however, getting the right price point is all about one thing – driving sales.
So, if you want to price your product or service correctly, you need an in-depth awareness and understanding of your audience. Market research will tell you lots about how much people will be interested in your product, and demographics could reveal the amount they are capable of paying. Ultimately, you will be pitching your product to one of three basic groups: people who don’t have much money; people who want convenience, and individuals who demand luxury or the very best service. You must understand which of these groups is your target before you even start sourcing raw materials.
The next step is to work out your costs per sale. And there are many expenses to consider. Raw materials, utility bills, rents for offices and factory space are obvious starting points. There’s the cost of manufacturing to think about, too, not to mention your employee’s wages. Shipping, inventory management, equipment and software programs – everything you use to get your idea from your head to the market needs to be accounted for and added to your cost of sale. Then it’s a case of working out how much you need to sell to break even, and how much you need to sell to turn a profit. However, we aren’t quite done yet on costs…
The bottom line
Another vital concept to grasp is that the best way to make more profit isn’t to make more sales – it’s to cut your costs. So, before you go ahead with production or introducing your service, think about if you can cut back on your expenses. Is your electricity bill too high, and could you reduce it by enforcing a more eco-friendly – and cost-efficient – policy? Is the expensive office you want as a base for operations really necessary, or could you find a cheaper place elsewhere? There are a thousand and one things you can do to stop wasting money, all of which will boost your bottom line and either a) increase your profits, too, or b) allow you to price more aggressively. Once you have a good grasp of your costs, we can move onto estimating a revenue target.
Estimating sales targets
When you have cut all the costs back to protect your bottom line, you will have a better idea of how much you could make. But, ultimately, it’s all about accurate estimation. You will need to look ahead over the next year or so and have a realistic – and informed – guess of how many products or service offerings you will sell. Once you have established this figure, you can start deciding on a price – but there is still a significant chunk of work to do.
Establishing your prices
You can decide on one of the several methods of establishing the perfect price point. Cost-plus pricing is typical in the manufacturing industry and is one of the easiest to work out. You figure out your costs as above, factor in your profit margin, and price your products accordingly. Bear in mind that this method requires pinpoint accuracy, as any missing costs could end up seeing your product losing money.
Demand price is also popular – especially among retailers and wholesalers. Demand pricing uses a primary method of buying and selling in bulk and lowering prices in accordance with sales volume. It is a tricky strategy to master, however, as it relies on a lot of liquidity in calculation and pricing.
The final two common strategies are markup and competitive pricing. Markup pricing is when you add a specific amount – usually a percentage of cost, not gross margin – to each sale. And competitive pricing involves looking at what everyone else in your market is charging and pricing your products and services accordingly.
Ultimately, pricing your products and services needs to be a fluid and flexible process. Your ideas of pricing on day one are likely to be a lot different by the time you come to launch. And the simple truth is that in the vast majority of markets, prices go up and down all the time, and you have to take those changes into consideration. The key to success is to keep on top of your pricing analytics, to ensure that you are making the correct decisions and avoiding losing money. The end goal is to do more of what works, and stop what isn’t – and always keep reevaluating those costs. Sometimes you will need to lower your price, but you may also benefit from raising it. If you are in the service industry, for example, it makes sense that as your knowledge and skills grow, so should your prices. Good luck!
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