Not Hitting Your Business Sales Targets?
More often than not, businesses will experience both highs and lows in sales. Of course, there are many explanations as to why businesses experience peaks in their sales and vice versa. However, if you are missing your sales targets month-over-month, you will need to act in order to get back on track.
There are many potential reasons why sales might begin to drop off. Here, this can make it challenging to identify the root cause of the problem. But, until you have identified the reason, you won't be able to rectify the problem. Here are ten steps to help you get your business sales back on target.
1. Analyze the Sales
Step one to getting your sales back on track is to isolate which types of sales are low. Are sales for a specific product or product type lower than expected? Are both repeat-business sales and new-business sales on target? You must find out what type of sale is not performing as expected before you can begin delving into why it is not performing.
2. Look at Pricing
Look at the pricing of your products. Compare your prices to both your competitor's pricing and with your pricing in previous periods. If you have recently increased your prices, you may have priced yourself out of the market. If your competitors have reduced their prices, you may have to match or better those prices.
3. Rethink Your Forecast
Of course, you may have been overambitious with your sales forecasts. If this is the case, you will need to make your sales targets more realistic. You will also need to adjust your spending to match the lower levels of sales revenue.
4. Analyze Your Sales Leads
If it is new-business revenue that has fallen, you will need to look at your sales process. Start at the top by analyzing where your sales leads are coming. Is there one marketing channel that is failing to provide the leads? Have you changed the focus of your advertising campaigns? Do you need to spend more money on advertising?
5. Look at Your Conversion Rates
If the leads are still coming in, but new-business sales have fallen, then you are not converting the leads. Likewise, this could be due to pricing issues. It may also be due to a change in the sales process. Look at how individual salespeople are performing. Make sure that you are qualifying your sales leads hard enough while concentrating only on the proper leads. Look at any changes that you have made to the way that you are making sales presentations.
6. Investigate the Competition
It may be that external factors that are affecting your sales. It could be that a new competitor has entered the market. It could also be that an alternative product to your own has become available. Research your market to see if you can find a reason why your sales have fallen. You may need to launch new products to compete, or you may need to reprice or repackage your existing products.
7. Focus Your Efforts on the High-Value Products
Some businesses stretch themselves too far with too many products. As a result, this can lead to the sales effort getting stretched too thin. Look at your product range and see if you need to reduce the number of products. Focus all your sales efforts on high-value, high-margin products. Apply the 80/20 rule to your products. Twenty percent of your products are likely to bring in 80 percent of the revenue. So, concentrate your efforts on selling the products that make you the most money.
8. Talk to Your Customers
Talk to your customers to find out what they think about your service and your products. They might be able to shed some light on why you are not hitting your sales targets. Are your products meeting your customer's needs? Are your customers considering using alternative products? What types of new products would your customers like to see you produce? Your customer base is an excellent source of market research. So, don't be afraid to use it.
9. Branch Out into New Markets
Investigate the possibility of selling your products to new markets. Look for any vertical markets that you could exploit. Analyze your customers by industry or market sector. Find out why your customers are using your products. See if you can find an untapped market for your products. You could then redirect some of your marketing efforts towards that market and open a new source of leads.
10. Retrain Your Salesforce
Whether you are the salesperson, or you have a team of salespeople, you can always gain something from up-to-date sales training, or retraining. Even experienced salespeople can learn new tricks from a sales training course. Sales courses also provide the opportunity to network with other salespeople. An excellent sales training course might be what you need to get your sales back on track.
If you are not hitting your sales target, you must get to the facts before you act. You must crunch the numbers to find out what types of sales are not coming in before you can remedy the problem. A decrease in sales revenues does not mean that the business is failing. It indicates that you must make some changes. But, first, you must identify what needs changing.