A whopping 99% of all businesses in the United States are small businesses, meaning they have fewer than 500 employees. If your company is part of that 99%, you know too well how demanding running a small business is. Managing all the moving parts while trying to increase sales as much as possible can be a challenge.
You can Google “how to increase sales for small business,” but with so many suggestions out there, it can be overwhelming. How do you know where to start? Fortunately, you don’t have to figure it all out alone.
Here are some tips, tricks, and resources to help increase business-to-business sales and turn potential customers into loyal, repeat clientele.
1. Establish a Consistent Customer Experience
Consistency plays a significant role in increasing sales. Why? About one-third of consumers will consider not supporting a business anymore after just one bad customer experience.
Additionally, inconsistent customer support is a problem because return customers spend more than one-time buyers, so you want to encourage customer retention to increase sales.
A great way to establish consistent customer service is to build and maintain a robust inbound customer service team, which can be costly and time-consuming. Alternatively, you can partner with an inbound contact center to tackle this for you so you can allocate more resources and brainpower to other aspects of your small business.
2. Go Back to Basics
Basic marketing practices, like telemarketing, are still relevant in today’s modern world. When in doubt, it doesn’t hurt to go back to basics and make use of sales tactics that have stood the test of time. You don’t always have to reinvent the wheel.
Research shows that 82% of buyers say they’ve accepted sales meetings after a connection that began with a cold call. Therefore, it doesn’t hurt to give it a shot.
If you find it’s too time-consuming, or you’re not able to generate enough sales to make it worth your efforts, there are expert outbound marketing teams out there that offer outbound marketing strategy services and can take this task off your plate while your business reaps the benefits.
3. Get Involved in the Community
Community networking can help you connect to potential customers and other businesses in your area that may need your product or service. If you haven’t already, join your local Chamber of Commerce, as they often host events where you can promote your business and connect with and learn from other smaller companies who may be in the same boat as you.
4. Embrace the Digital Age
Basic marketing tactics are great and have a well-earned place in any marketing strategy, but you can take things to the next level by embracing today’s technologies and strategies.
Offering comprehensive online services like web chat, video calling, SMS, and automated email management can provide convenience to you and your customers. The easier it is for customers to connect with your business, the quicker you can secure business-to-business sales.
Additionally, self-service technology can provide cost-effective, easy-to-use, mobile-based customer care solutions. Customers can input and access data without speaking to you directly through Interactive or Conversational Voice Response and even AI. The best part? Self-service technology costs significantly less than the cost of a live agent call.
5. Continuously Research
Even if you’re happy with your current marketing strategy and business model, it’s vital to research current market trends and always watch the competition. Small businesses have the power to leverage their prices to stay competitive, giving them more flexibility than larger companies.
Reducing your prices may feel counterproductive, but offering promotions and competitive pricing can entice more customers and strengthen your business in the long run. That’s how to increase sales, small business style.
6. Create a Customer Loyalty Program
Repeat customers increase sales significantly, so you should do everything within your power to keep them wanting more. An easy way to encourage repeat sales is to create a loyalty program. For example, if you own an ice cream shop, you can give customers a punch card where for every ten sundaes they purchase, they get the next one free.
Additionally, you can offer exclusive discounts and special promotions to loyalty members, giving customers an additional incentive to come back and support your small business over and over again.
7. Get Personal
A significant part of a small business’s charm is its genuineness. People want to support companies with a clear purpose. In fact, consumers are four to six times more likely to purchase from purpose-driven businesses. Be clear about who you are and what your company strives to represent.
You can share causes you believe in and contribute to them, and share the story of how you founded your local business. Tell people about the plans you have to positively contribute to the community.
People prefer to purchase from businesses they can relate to, not disingenuous corporations. Take advantage of your unique ability to sell from the heart. The sky’s the limit when it comes to how many ways you can connect with your customers personally and increase their trust and desire to support you.
8. Understand Your Customers
As a small business owner, it’s essential to understand your customers’ needs, motivations, challenges, concerns, and goals. In other words, how can your small business help improve their lives?
Consumers buy items and services, for the most part, because they need them. If you understand customer needs in-depth and offer quality solutions, you increase your chances of more sales and earning customer loyalty.
Take Your Small Business to the Next Level
Running a company isn’t easy, but there are many resources available if you need help learning how to increase sales in a small business.
By focusing on excellent customer service and retention and utilizing marketing strategies that combine the best of traditional and up-and-coming techniques, your small business can thrive for many years to come. When in doubt, focus on your purpose and persevere — consumers will see you and want to learn more.