How to create a resilient sales strategy for small businesses?

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If there is one sector that needs to be resilient, it is retail. And more than ever, after two years full of challenges – from Brexit to the pandemic, from the cost of living crisis in the UK to the devastating war in Ukraine.

Small businesses need to spend time focusing on strategy and planning and a good sales strategy really helps build resilience within a business.

Don’t put your eggs in one basket

A well-thought-out sales strategy allows you to be diverse with planning. Small businesses can often make the mistake of focusing on one tactic when they have to consider many different ways to grow their business.

A common pitfall is spending valuable time on the latest social media trend for example – which can take a lot of time and effort but yield poor results. Yes, social media is a great way to market your business, but it’s just one tool in your toolbox.

There are only four ways to increase sales

Small businesses should look at the four ways they can increase their sales:

1. Bring in more people

2. Get more people to buy when they come

3. Get more people to spend more when they come

4. Get people to come back more often

All of these will help increase sales, and if used together, they will help increase sales more consistently. So, if a business owner wants to spend time on TikTok activities, he must first decide which of the 4 goals that will reach – probably number 1 – will attract more people to come.

When retailers consider all four points, they are able to consider the full range of what they can do to drive sales, instead of focusing on just one tactic. There are so many different ways to increase brand awareness and sales. For example, working with a public relations specialist or learning to do your own public relations to help get products into publications or to share the story of its founder.

SEO or search engine optimization is another important point to focus on. Fifty percent of all sales start with someone searching Google or putting a search term into a search engine, so don’t miss it.

Collaborations are another great tactic – increasing sales and audiences by working with a complementary, non-competitive company. Retailers can reach and tap into the most engaged part of the business partner’s audience – an audience that is highly likely to like the type of offer.

Maximizing online shopping potential is also essential – for example, having an abandoned cart sequence in your email setting. Email marketing in general is a great tool for attracting customers and retaining them, as retailers can create personalized offers for their email database.

These four ways to generate sales are inextricably linked – if retailers can get repeat customers, average spend is very likely to increase – people tend to spend more the second, third, fourth or fifth time they buy with the company rather than the first time.

Building their own community of customers is essential for retailers who want to produce a well-rounded selling strategy. Part of that is thinking about the whole customer journey – what does it actually look like for the most loyal customer? What attractive opportunities and incentives are there for them to make a purchase?

The product is king

Retailers absolutely must focus on their product – a product company is driven by its product. The marketing strategy might be top notch, but if the product isn’t there, there won’t be any sales. Part of the sales strategy should be the product strategy – small business owners need to think about their best-selling products, which ones customers love and which they will tell their friends about.

Retailers must know their products, understand them and know how to develop them to maximize their potential. Retail product companies are in a game of percentages and odds – what is their customer most likely to want to buy at this exact moment? Do their products reflect this?

Monthly registration

For an effective strategy, there must be a method of tracking effectiveness. Ideally a monthly tracker – what are the goals for each month? Scheduling a monthly strategy “check-in” means business owners can make any necessary adjustments.

The key to remember for small business owners is to include multiple ways to reach each point and this constitutes the sales strategy, as well as having clear goals and plans for each activity while planning a timeline so that know what to focus on and when.

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