Based on the S&P 500, the current bull market is now nine years old.
The 10-year yield has crept up from 2.2% to 2.8% in the last year (see chart), making loans costlier for businesses and families. Oil prices have also doubled since bottoming out in January 2016.
Marketing activities during boom times are often focused on increasing sales from current customers and expanding the client base while people are buying. During the inevitable downturns, companies often retrench and focus on current customer retention and cost effective initiatives such as email marketing while reducing costlier activities such as trade shows and print ads.
Here are four tips to help drive sales during good times and bad.
Ask your marketing person if they know what the sales team is pushing right now and the common obstacles to a prospect saying “yes”. If they’re not sure, consider how your sales and marketing teams can work closer together. The purpose of marketing is to help sales – neither can reach their potential if they are working in separate silos. A sales and marketing team is a powerful combination.
Does your company send educational newsletters to customers and prospects? I find this to be the most cost effective way to drive long-term business. Why do you think every company is so eager to collect your email address? Because it allows for a direct connection with potential customers.
PUT IN YOUR CONTACTS
A contact list is one of your business’s greatest assets. Businesses where contacts are kept in spreadsheets or Outlook are leaking sales. There are plenty of lightweight, cloud-based Customer Relationship Management Systems (CRM) that don’t cost an arm and a leg. CRM software is exceedingly useful and allows for more advanced sales tactics such as automated marketing.
Want to know how to improve your business? Just ask your customers. Not only does a formal survey demonstrate to your customers that you care about their opinions, it’s an excellent way to learn about other offerings that they wish you provided. Some of the most successful business moves I’ve seen came from simple, one-sentence suggestions from a customer survey.
Following these four suggestions will go a long way toward an increase in sales.