Once you’ve established your business and a customer base, there is little time to rest on your laurels if you’re aiming at business success. Sales growth that is unpredictable is not likely sustainable. It’s important to focus on strategic sales growth to ensure that you’ll be hitting your business targets year after year.
Strategic sales planning is all about setting goals that are measurable, doing the necessary research, making a plan, and measuring your progress. If your goal is to increase sales by 20% this year over last year, then you’ve created a goal that is both meaningful and measurable.
Increasing the number of sales from existing customers is more efficient and cost effective than trying to acquire new customers. Identifying which of your products are most popular and generate the best margins will help you hone your inventory to best meet customer needs while increasing profit. If acquiring new customers is part of your marketing plan, consider working with a marketing list broker to fine tune your audience based on demographic and other customer profile information.
A plan to increase sales might include training of staff, buying in bulk, stocking products in multiple price points, or reallocating floor space to products with higher margins or faster turns. Offering sales and promotions, discounts for return customers, and punch cards for discounts after a number of purchases all have the potential to increase sales. Knowing your customer base and targeting your customer service approach to match their expectations is an important strategy for generating customer loyalty.
Measuring the impact of each new approach by tracking number of sales for each product over specific time periods, and whether customers are new or frequent, provides you with important information as to whether your efforts had the effect you were expecting. No positive change is too small, as its effects build over time and combine with the effects of other positive changes made.
Strategic sales planning is an ongoing process of setting goals, making changes and measuring their effects. Information gained from these measurements can then be used to further improve your sales and marketing strategies, resulting in growth and continued success for your business.
Contact us at 3rd Eagle for all your business start-up, sales, marketing, management, training and alliance development needs.