Your sales team is your best resource for growing your business’s customer base and increasing sales. However, other aspects of your business, such as product development, marketing, and customer service, can also help increase sales.
Remember, you can increase sales in multiple ways. In addition to gaining new customers, you can focus on increasing the frequency, loyalty, and dollar amount of sales to current customers.
If you’re considering a price increase as a way to boost your bottom line, here are some tips on how to raise prices without angering customers.
Use these 12 proven strategies to increase sales with current customers and prospects.
How to increase sales with current customers
Your current customers are your best bet to increase sales, so boosting customer retention should be the focus of your sales and marketing efforts. These people already use your products or services, so they trust you enough to purchase your solutions. If you provide them with a customer delight level of service, they will be more likely to purchase from you again, helping to increase your business’s sales.
Here are four ways to increase sales with current customers.
1. Acknowledge current customer behavior to increase sales.
Customers expect the companies they buy from to understand their tastes, desires, and behavior. In fact, Fresh Lime found that 56 percent of customers will stay loyal to a brand they feel understands them.
Here are some strategies for learning about your customers’ needs and adjusting your tactics.
- Research current customers. To better understand your customers, create a market research plan to learn how they use your products and services. Your products may have many features, but your customers might only use one or two. They might also have difficulty using or implementing other aspects of your products or services. Learning about customer behavior will help you upgrade your products and services or tailor them to your customers’ needs for a higher price.
- Customize offerings for customers. Utilize one of the best CRM software solutions to keep and use purchase and browsing data to customize deals and to retarget customers if they abandon their cart.
- Cross-sell and upsell to current customers. Upselling and cross-selling can be effective tactics. When customers use a particular product, you can cross-sell related products that complement or add to their existing products. You must show them how they’ll benefit from purchasing other products. You can also upsell a premium product or service to help customers achieve better results, boost efficiency, reduce expenses, or grow their own businesses.
- Personalize training and service. Another approach is to provide customers with personalized training or customer service. Instead of upselling the service, use this opportunity to strengthen the customer relationship and demonstrate where you can add value. The key is to show the opportunities available to the customer instead of trying to hard-sell services they might not want.
Use personalized email messages to strengthen the customer experience with your brand and provide relevant content that serves their needs.
2. Request customer feedback to increase sales.
Ask current customers for feedback on your products and services and how they feel about your service. Discover where you might be lacking or where customers have problems. Also, determine what makes customers happy about your customer service.
Customer feedback can identify opportunities you hadn’t considered, which can turn into new sales. For example, say you develop websites optimized to increase sales leads for your customers’ businesses. Your customers might want to improve how they interact with their customers by creating an email newsletter. You can set up a system to automate email collection and newsletter publication and connect it to a CRM system.
Use email marketing to ask for customer feedback and gather survey data to help you broaden your offerings, increase your sales, and strengthen the customer relationship.
3. Run promotions for current customers to increase sales.
Running sales and marketing promotions for current customers is an excellent way to reward them for their loyalty and business. Some customers are disgruntled or disappointed when they see a company run offers just for prospects and new customers.
Some tips on running promotions for current customers include:
- Schedule regular promotions. Ideally, you should run sales and marketing promotions for current customers regularly, such as monthly or quarterly. Your current customers will look forward to these promotions, increasing your interactions and growing your sales.
- Encourage customers to share promotions. Encourage customers to share this “insider information” by referring people they know – who could then become customers. Referrals are an effective way of growing your customer base.
- Run special promotions. You can also run irregular customer promotions, such as discounts or gifts on birthdays and special anniversaries, sneak peeks, free trials of new products and services, and invitations to company-sponsored events. Or you can let customers earn discounts and freebies on their own time with a loyalty program.
Loyal customers can help you build brand advocacy by spreading the word about your company through positive online reviews and word-of-mouth advertising.
4. Provide excellent customer service to increase sales.
Instead of always trying to sell to your customers, work on serving them. Consider their needs and how to make things better for them. Providing excellent customer service means going beyond the sales experience to show how much you appreciate them. This helps to grow customer loyalty, which will increase sales.
Here are some examples of excellent customer service:
- Offering free consultations, guides, and helpful information on various products and services
- Assigning someone to respond to email inquiries as quickly as possible
- Making exceptions to company rules for existing customers who want to use your products or services
- Personalizing product delivery by including handwritten thank-you notes or mailing a photo instead of sending a link to a photo
- Curating informative and educational content on your website and social media pages based on customer questions and comments
Increasing sales with prospects
Prospects are a potential source of new sales. Every customer was once a prospect, and you had to spend resources to convert those leads into paying customers. Prospects are aware of your business and its offerings, but they haven’t made the leap to customers yet.
Here are some ways to increase sales with prospects.
1. Create packages, deals, and free trials to convert prospects.
Prospects already know your existing products or services, so you might need to package your offerings differently to turn them into customers. Prospects (and current customers) like special offers because they get more for their investment and find it more convenient to purchase.
There are many ways to create special offers, including the following:
- Create packages. Combine similar products or services into one package. Optionally, combine different products or services that share a theme or address a related issue.
- Offer a price incentive. Price bundles so they’re more cost-effective than purchasing products individually.
- Create a sense of urgency. Put a time limit on a package or an offering’s availability to create a sense of urgency. State a reason for the limitations, such as stock availability or the arrival of new inventory and product lines.
- Offer free trials. Another option is to provide free trials and demonstrations of your products or services. This helps prospects see how the product or service will address their specific needs and situation without spending money.
Providing prospects with a high level of training and customer service will ensure that they use the product or service properly and get the greatest value, increasing the odds of the sale.
When setting prices for your goods and services, know what the true cost is to your business, research what your competitors charge, utilize conversions and metrics, and avoid underpricing your offerings.
2. Conduct a content audit to increase sales with prospects.
How effective is your content at promoting your products and services? You might have to conduct a content audit and make some significant changes to how you talk about your business.
Examine all your content, including your website, blog, and marketing materials. Ask yourself, “Does this content focus on features or benefits?” The answer should be benefits; if not, it’s time for a rewrite. Benefits focus on what your customers will get from your products or services, while features describe what your products and services do. The goal is to show how your products or services will improve your customers’ businesses or lives.
For example, this is a feature: “This electric shaver runs on rechargeable batteries.” This is a benefit: “In a hurry? Grab a shave while you take an Uber to your next meeting.”
3. Do something noteworthy or unique to increase sales with prospects.
Prospects and customers are constantly inundated with advertising messages, so it’s easy for your message to get lost in the noise. The key is to get noticed by doing something different or worth noting.
Don’t be louder – be more interesting. Consider the following tips:
- Find new and unique ways to advertise your products and services.
- Use video in your content marketing. Create a funny video that shows how to use your products in new and unique ways.
- Make a claim that no other company makes, and then back it up with evidence.
- Schedule a press event to launch a new product or service.
- Support a charitable cause not related to your business.
- Create a strange or funny free giveaway.
- Become the first company in your field to do something specific.
4. Optimize your social media profiles to increase sales with prospects.
Your business must be on social media because that’s where your customers and prospects hang out, so it’s essential to optimize your social accounts.
Your social media profile provides more than your name and contact information. It’s like a small website that promotes you and your business. Your profile should clearly state who you are, what you do, what you stand for, and who would use your products or services. When people visit your social media profile, they should get an immediate sense of who you are and why they should get to know you.
Every social media platform is different, so your profiles should be different. Each should maintain your branding but be suitable for its particular platform. A LinkedIn profile should be different from a Facebook for Business profile, which should be different from an Instagram profile.
Your audience hangs out on different social media platforms for different reasons, so it’s essential to improve your social media presence on each account to optimize it for a specific platform and audience.
5. Advertise on social media to increase sales with prospects.
Your prospects and customers are on social media for business and pleasure. Every social media platform offers opportunities to advertise your business, products, and services. This is a relatively cost-effective form of advertising.
Social media advertising has several benefits:
- Social media platforms have a lot of data about their users, so you can target ads to get your message in front of specific prospects.
- You can run tests to see what ads resonate the most with prospects.
- You can choose exactly how much you want to spend.
- You can measure the results of your advertising campaign.
- You can build brand loyalty, attract followers to your website, and build a brand community.
- Depending on the platform, you can support your paid social media efforts with other social media marketing content, such as articles, blog posts, videos, and links to your website.
6. Generate word of mouth to increase sales with prospects.
Your prospects and customers are already on various social media platforms. Hang out wherever they are so you can build community and generate word of mouth about your products or services.
How do you generate word of mouth?
- Join relevant groups and contribute to the discussions by answering participants’ questions.
- Write blog posts and provide links to share your knowledge in your areas of expertise.
- Engage in conversations in chat rooms on topics of interest to your audience.
- Comment on other people’s posts and queries, adding value with your experience and knowledge.
7. Put a call to action on your website to increase sales with prospects.
Every website – and every page on your website – should have a call to action (CTA). This directs the visitor to do something, such as contact you for more information, sign up for a free newsletter, download a report or set up a discovery call.
When deciding on a CTA, determine what you want your visitor to do. The goal is to convert visitors into prospects and prospects into customers, so put some thought into the CTA. It also depends on what page they’re on; make sure the instructions are clear and your CTA stands out. A compelling CTA can bring in many prospects and increase your sales.
8. Stay in touch with email marketing to increase sales with prospects.
The path from prospect to sale is rarely short and direct. It could take several touchpoints and interactions with prospects to turn them into customers and generate sales. One effective way to lead prospects along the path to purchasing your product or service is email marketing. Using one of the best email marketing services can make this process seamless and effortless.
Email marketing involves growing an email list by collecting prospects’ emails (with their permission) and staying in touch with them. Communication can involve sending automated email messages, email newsletters, and other correspondence.
You can educate prospects about your products and services, offer special deals and discounts, provide links to case studies and testimonials, and notify them of new products and other news about your company. Staying in touch will keep you top of mind when the prospect seeks a solution to their needs.
Jennifer Dublino contributed to the reporting and writing in this article.