Sales slumps are natural and happen to all businesses--yours and your competitors’ alike. You may have been holding on to a promising prospect that fizzled out and turned sour. Your customers may cancel orders; the same orders that you have been expecting to buttress your revenue for the month. The point is, things can always go wrong.
But you should move on and weather a sales slump as best as you can, because when you do, you make the first step to minimize its impact on your business.
Here are three things that you should do during a period of sales decline.
Protect Your Team
One, do not let your team or salespeople take the full brunt. Instead, invest your energy and resources to brainstorm with them on devising a far more effective marketing plan. Potentially hot sales leads can pan out to nothing, so be flexible enough to rebound from the situation. Begin by working with your sales team as a team.
Two, make careful adjustments on your marketing strategies. Take a look at your company’s glossy and expensively produced brochure. Does anyone still read catalogs these days? Stop spending money on things that have no quantifiable sales results. Instead, work on your company website. Does it load fast enough so that potential clients don’t lose interest? Are your service descriptions well written and compelling? Is your payment process smooth and simple?
Examine where you’re spending your marketing budget. Are you throwing your money away for banner ads that do not even lead to significant traffic on your website? Are your ads well designed and eye-catching? Do you bluntly attack your main competitor in your ads? That seems desperate, doesn’t it? It only reinforces the idea of your competitor as an industry standard, thus the inordinate amount of fussing that you do to convince people otherwise.
In a nutshell, take a long close look at your entire marketing campaign and improve it. Do not slack off with your marketing even through a recession-induced drop in sales. Because if you do, you risk having your brand lose traction with your target market by the time the economic recession has passed and people are more willing to pay and buy again.
Talk to your customers. One of the best ways to get your customers to understand what you are offering is to listen to them, and then rework your product into something they will want to spend their hard-earned money on. Adapt your marketing message to the personal circumstances of your target customers—and not the other way around. It is the age of digital social media. The information that you need from your customers is out there in the open.
Analyze Your Offerings
Finally three, evaluate what you’re offering people. Is your dip in sales a direct result of your service’s value and not your marketing? Surely you can improve it without spending a lot of money. Know your service’s areas for improvement by studying customer feedback and reviews. Even the most lucrative marketing campaigns cannot save a shoddy product that fails five out of ten of its customers’ expectations.
With a high-quality end product and a good marketing technique aimed at the right market, you can easily weather the occasional sales decline in no time.
About the Author: Bob Wolff is an accountant-turned-Channel Manager at BQE who helps to offer consulting and software solutions for BQE customers. He likes to share his business expertise here on the blog whenever he can.