Guess what? Sales are a fundamental piece of the puzzle when it comes to business success. Without sales, your business isn’t viable. Ground-breaking, right? Whether you’re just starting out or you’ve been in business for a while, it can be hard to understand why you’re not generating sales online as thick and fast as you expected. You’ve worked so hard and it’s frustrating that things aren’t going to plan. We get it. Whatever stage you’re at, it’s important to figure out what’s going on and how you can improve things. But the good news is, things can be improved.
There are around 4.66 billion internet users globally. That’s a lot of potential sales. So, if it’s just not working out for you at the moment, here are 4 reasons why this could be:
1. Your website isn’t doing it’s job
Your website is the shop window for your business. If it doesn’t tell your customers what you do and how your product or service will help them to succeed, in a clear and simple way, you can forget it. We don’t have the mental capacity as humans to go and seek this information – our lives are busy and we want things to be as easy as possible. It’s just the way things are.
There are so many aspects to a website that businesses tend to get wrong. Here are a few examples:
- You’ve got unnecessary content that confuses your customers – you need to tell your customers what you do in a clear and succinct way
- You have poor navigation – the links between pages need to flow well; this makes for an effortless user experience
- You don’t have a clear call to action – your main call to action should be in the top right corner of your website on all pages. And, don’t be scared of using it in between sections as you scroll down the pages either
- You make it hard for customers to get in touch with you – having a contact form at the bottom of every page, or a live chat, will not only make it easy for people to get in touch with you, it will also build trust – you’re there at the click of a button if they need you
Reality check: your website should help with generating sales online. When you really think about it, can you say it provides a great user experience? When was the last time you navigated your site through your customer’s eyes? If you don’t take the time to test your user experience and get things right, people are going to look elsewhere. Don’t leave your customers feeling overwhelmed and frustrated!
We recommend checking out Donald Miller’s StoryBrand website guide.
The whole StoryBrand script has been our bible and we’ve seen real positive uplifts because of simple changes that we’ve made.
2. You’re targeting the wrong customers
You’ve focused your efforts on building a brilliant product and you’ve marketed the hell out of it, but the sales just aren’t coming in. It’s at this point you need to take a step back and see whether you’re targeting the right people. It may be that what you once thought was your ideal customer, actually isn’t. Or, perhaps you are trying to target too big a pool of people. As we’ve said already, the online world is massive; too big to target everyone.
You need to create a customer avatar to define exactly the type of person you want as your customer. It’s important to include information such as their demographics, psychographics, needs and challenges, but this is just surface level information. To really understand your customer, you need to delve deeper. Focus on how your product/service makes your customer’s life better; focus on how you help them achieve their goals; how you lead them to success (another Donald Miller snippet of advice!)
Once you’ve done this, it’s all well and good having it written down and stored in your files, but you actually need to get out there and start talking to your target customers. Find out where they are, what they engage in and involve yourself in the conversations they are having online. Perhaps they are in certain groups on social media, or chatting to others in forums such as Reddit. Explore their world and listen to what they’re saying.
You’ll find that you know your customer more than you ever thought you could. And deeper insight = a more targeted approach = generating more sales online.
3. You’ve not mapped out your marketing and sales funnel
Are you finding that your marketing and sales efforts are a little haphazard? Have you actually defined your sales process? Generating sales doesn’t just happen; you need to clearly define your marketing and sales activity for every stage of the funnel – from the moment your customer becomes aware of your business, right through to purchase.
Think about your online activity; where does that fit within your sales process? Say, the eBook you want people to download – is it to make people more aware of you, to get them to consider buying from you, or to serve as the final decider? And then what happens once people download the free item? You have so many opportunities online to guide people to purchase such as through personalised automated emails. Take the time to figure out your funnel and the action you want people to take at each stage.
Mapping out your marketing and sales funnel is vital for optimum efficiency. Nurture your customers through the process, build their trust and you’ll find that they’re more likely to do business with you. And besides, without one, how are you going to know the areas of your business that need the most attention?!
4. Your team don’t have the tools they need
You have a great product, you’ve defined your audience and you know your purpose. But, do your team members have the right tools to carry out their roles well? To effectively implement a sales and marketing funnel, you should look at a trusted sales pipeline management tool or CRM if you haven’t invested already. And, don’t worry, they needn’t be expensive. Progress is all about continuous business improvement, not big investments on expensive technology. We’ve found a great resource that highlights some of the most reliable, low cost tools that can be integrated with other systems.
Sales management software will not only simplify the entire sales process, it will also unlock powerful data that you can use to make better decisions and therefore improve your sales. Having key metrics that you report on regularly is vital so you know where your customers are coming from, at what point they drop off in the funnel, the content they interact with the most, and how much of a sales opportunity they are to your business. Actionable metrics that you can continuously improve upon and action will ensure that you’re at the top of your game and generating plenty of sales online.
Experiencing issues with sales is common, but that doesn’t make it any easier. Trying to figure out where to begin is often the hardest part of fixing a problem. These tips will help you with starting this process and if you begin to explore and refine these areas within your business, your business will run more efficiently and therefore generate more sales online.