This Advanced Guide is going to answer your sales and revenue questions. Whether you work for a household brand name or a start-up, we all need to increase sales, revenue and profitability if we are going to keep our jobs and grow our businesses.
I am super excited to share this Advanced Guide with you guys. I know due to the explosion of content marketing, there are tonnes of ‘guides’ on the market that are flimsy and thin and that do not help at all when it comes to solving your problem. This guide is different. Let’s get it!
Before We Begin
How can I grow my monthly business revenue if I don’t have a plan?
Before you can start increasing revenue and sales, you need to create a business plan or strategy that is dedicated solely to generating cash for your business. Incoming cashflow is critical to building a pipeline of revenue for your business. If you work in the B2B market, you know that getting clients to pay you and pay on time is hard work. If you work in the B2C end, just finding a customer who will purchase in-store is hard work.
You need a plan that makes sense for your business. Here are some excellent tips and ideas that you should incorporate into your business plan to increase revenue:
- Write down monthly sales targets
- Do not change sales targets even if things are not going well
- Share your sales strategy with your team (if you have one)
- If you are selling alone, ensure that you sell your products or services every day
- If you are marketing e-commerce products, create a daily sales plan and a weekly sales plan so you can see if your e-commerce business is working
Your plan has to suit your business however all businesses have a core sales and marketing group that are responsible for generating leads and finding new business. You need to include this into your plan so you can stay on track.
If your goal is to sell 1,000 lawn mowers this month from your e-commerce website, don’t get distracted by other things happening in your life or your business. Stick to your plan and stay laser-focused on executing your sales plan to reach your revenue goals. If your e-commerce website is going to sell these 1,000 lawn mowers, make sure that you give it the best chance of success with a good hosting platform and excellent web design. Use our checklist below to create a plan that will work.
Sales and Revenue Strategy Checklist
- Redesign your website so that it looks and functions like a website optimized for revenue growth
- Choose a better hosting company for faster page loading speeds – this affects sales believe it or not
- Have a sales notebook to write down your daily sales ideas and thoughts
- Create a sales target spreadsheet
- Save daily targets to Dropbox
- Create a follow up spreadsheet for leads that are interested
- Log sales that have been booked (i.e the client has committed to buy)
- Manage sales tasks in Asana
Step 1 – Do more legwork than your competitors
The boring, nuts and bolts of generating sales is not as interesting as actually getting a client or customer to purchase from you. Whether you are building an e-commerce store or you have a B2B consulting company, you need to start doing more sales legwork and have a ‘boots on the ground’ mentality.
How do you do this? Follow these ideas to do sales legwork that increases revenue
- Do research that matters: Don’t look blindly for clients. Research the ideal clients for your business.
- Know what you want to charge: This will avoid you wasting time with prospective clients who don’t have the budget to pay for your services. If you want to charge $5K per month for consulting services, don’t waste time talking to smaller businesses that you know cannot afford you.
- Do online research: Using search engines and reading trade journals will help you craft your sales strategy. Try and pencil out one day a week to devote to sales research so you can find the right leads to contact.
- Stick to a few markets: If you are building a B2B business, don’t try and be everything to everyone. Spend more time building your sales plan around a few markets or verticals and go deep in these markets. By doing this, you won’t be looking everywhere for clients like your customers,
Step 2 – Spend every day doing sales for at least 4+ hours a day
I know what you are thinking – you’ve just dropped a tonne of cash to pay for sales staff so why should you sell? You should sell for a few reasons:
- It lets you know if people truly want your product
- It alerts your sales staff that you won’t accept low sales excuses if you can sell
- It will minimise the possibility of employee theft or stealing of clients
You should plug out at least 4 hours per day doing sales. If you are an early bird, try and spend 4 hours from 6am to 10am in the morning. You can focus on sending cold emails or sending follow ups to pitches for your B2B brand.
If you are doing B2C sales, you can still wake up early and create sales and marketing content for your e-commerce website to encourage sales later on in the day.
4 hours is important because one hour is not enough to get into the groove of actually sending cold emails, sending follow ups and keeping track of clients who want to purchase your products. Cold calling can also work if you are good on the phone but you need to do calls from after 10am in the morning depending on where you live.
Don’t miss any days during the week doing sales because this will affect your monthly revenue. If you spend 4 hours per day looking for new clients, you will create a domino effect of new follow ups and eventually clients who purchase your products and services on your website.
Step 3 – Be aggressive when you follow up with clients
The majority of my clients have come from follow ups with clients. A follow up is simple – it is just you contacting a potential client again after the first time you contacted them, and you did not hear back.
In the B2B world, you cannot grow a business without sending follow ups. Here is my preferred strategy for follow ups that works and it will get you the clients that you want:
- Send your first email follow up 3 days after your cold call asking if they received the pitch
- Send your second email follow up one week after your original first follow up
- Send a final third follow up 2 weeks after if you don’t hear back.
It doesn’t make you look desperate if you are following up. It’s business, and clients are busy. They might be interested or they might not be but the key thing is to be persistent.
Without follow ups, you simply cannot grow your sales so you have to suck it up and get good at following up with clients. Don’t assume people care about your first cold call pitch – trust me, no one cares about your incredible idea, they only care if it makes or saves them money. Follow up if you want to boost your monthly revenues.
Step 4 – Add social proof
Social proof is just a glamorous word for pressure – trust me.
One of the best examples of a company that generates revenue through this model is Booking.com, a huge name in the hotel business.
Booking,com shows how that other people have already booked the hotel you are looking at. You are also showing flashing messages that say that few rooms are left. This is social proof built on a foundation of creating (soft) pressure for you to book rooms with them.
Take a look at the screenshot above from Booking.com. You can see the social proof from the average review rating to how many times it has been booked in the past 6 hours.
If you can create this kind of social proof for your business, you will be able to generate sales daily because people are driven by emotion. The key emotion activated here is not wanting to be left behind. If you see other people booking the hotel, that means that you might be onto someone. People aren’t as individual as they think they are – human beings congregate in tribes and this ‘tribe’ like thinking is seen in Booking.com’s marketing strategy. This is an incredible idea to increase sales.
Step 5 – Only sell profitable products and services; cut off your unprofitable products
Don’t even think of wasting precious sales time selling products that are not profitable. Remember, the market doesn’t care how amazing you think your product is. You and your sales force need to focus on products that are profitable.
Here is how you know if a product or service is profitable for your business:
- If it isn’t difficult to sell
- Customers have agreed to the price point
- It has decent margins
- It doesn’t take a long time to get the sale (B2C)
- It has repeat business value (B2B)
- There isn’t a lot of competition
If you have to force a sale and beg for it, that could be a sign that there isn’t a strong market for the product or service. Focus on creating profitable products that will generate positive cashflow for your business, and then market them correctly.
Step 6 – Create high-end services and products that exclusive clients can buy
It’s a dream to work with a client who has a good budget to work with. It’s also a dream to charge the money that you think you are worth.
You can boost revenues by creating high-end services that target clients who can afford your services. You might lose a few clients who can’t afford your new prices, but this will price you into a new world of clients.
Consider this if you don’t like an aggressive sales cycle.
Step 7 – Ask current clients to buy more of your services
Increase monthly revenue by leveraging your current clients who spend with you. It’s easier to convince a client who already likes you to buy more than to woo a brand new client.
Create new services just for them and upsell them on services that they actually need.
Only do this if your clients like you and are satisfied with your work. Ask for more projects and more work to boost your business’ sales growth.
Step 8 – Create a solid financial foundation for revenue growth
We always think about personal finances but what about the financial foundation of your business? It’s not enough to have an accountant. You need to also know the basics of your business’ finances so you can understand how to grow revenue correctly. Here are some basic tips that you must follow so that your monthly revenue can increase:
- Maintain your own books even if you have a book-keeper and accountant. This avoids discrepancies and keeps them in check
- Minimize the use of debt – this will block you from your dreams
- Have a rainy day fund for your business
- Create several savings accounts for your business after paying taxes
- Ensure that you pay suppliers when they ask you to
- Meet payroll expenses on time
- Choose affordable tech suppliers for website design, hosting, and social media to keep costs down
- Decrease big employee salaries by working with contractors and consultants
- Pay taxes on time!
By creating a revenue foundation for your business, you can focus solely on increasing sales instead of worrying about debt, credit cards or being behind on paying your suppliers. Having your finances ironed out can be the difference between creating a profitable business or a failed business.
Step 9 – Offer social media discounts and exclusives
To encourage social media sales, you can offer discounts to your followers of your business. You can also do Instagram-only sales exclusives or Facebook-only exclusives for different products. This can help to create a sense of excitement for the products that you are offering.
Social media is a sales channel that can be tricky to execute however find the channel that works for you and focus there. Twitter can work for B2B brands who are trying to encourage referral traffic to their websites. Facebook converts customers in the consumer goods space.
Step 10 – Networking and PR
I prefer more aggressive sales strategies as opposed to other people however I know that networking is important especially for B2B businesses. PR can also help generate leads in the B2B market because it helps to elevate your brand.
If you prefer a less invasive way to increase revenue, consider improving your networking skills and work on increasing publicity for your business.
Did you enjoy this Advanced Guide?
I’d love to know what you think of it and which parts of it you will start using immediately. The sales will not come to you if you don’t go out there and get them. Life is for the living, and so is sales and revenue. Create a strategy and deliver on it as soon as possible. Don’t forget to create the perfect canvas for business revenue growth by creating a website that converts and hosting it on a platform that will make you money.