5 Strategies for Increasing Sales

Mark Thompson
Mark Thompson  |  September 30, 2019

Many businesses are looking for a way to sell more of their products or services in order to boost their sales.

If you are one of many business owners looking for a better way to develop and implement your sales strategies, you’ve come to the right place.

Sometimes it may seem that implementing new strategies into your established business model is hard to do, and you might already be thinking that there are a few barriers, of which some may be:

  • I have to implement a lot of changes and it will require a lot of time.
  • In order to make more sales, I have to cut corners or spend money from my own pocket.
  • Or you simply may not know where to start when it comes to making more sales.

What if there were a few simple strategies that you can quickly implement by the end of your day that could significantly boost your sales? Well, there are, and we’re here to explain exactly how you can do it. 

How can you increase your sales?  

It all starts with understanding your customers. In order to get more customers to finalize their purchase, it’s important to understand how potential customers think and behave while making their decision. You will be able to position your products, services, and brand to appeal to your customers once you are aware of how a potential client thinks. In turn, this helps you increase satisfaction rates and your sales, as well as improve on other metrics of your business.

A lot has been written on the subject of customer behavior as it has been studied over the years by many. Sometimes going back to the main source helps. Back in 1910, John Dewey was the first to recognize the buyer decision process.

People who were in business at the time already knew that customers would analyze their prices and compare them to the benefit which they would have by purchasing it. John Dewey was able to pinpoint each step.

He has developed a five step process to help us better understand how decisions are made by customers. Let’s take a look at these five steps and learn how customers behave at each one. 

1. Recognize the customer's problems or needs 

To trigger the buying process a potential customer must realize that they need your product. There are two types of triggers that play a role in the buying process, they can be internal or external. 

An internal trigger would come from basic needs. For example, if you are hungry, you would quickly realize that you are in need of food. For an external trigger, a good example would be a customer who is passing by a bakery, the scent of baked pastries would trigger a response causing them to start making a decision. 

bakery


In this first step of the process, customer behavior will be subject to their wants or needs.

They will be more likely to act quickly if they are hungry and decide to purchase the nearby food. However, if they have plans for later, they may choose to research more about their purchase, opting for some other options. 

Nowadays, many businesses seek to trigger the customer’s need or focus on what a customer would want. These principles can be applied to any business. For example, online, a lot of stores and e-commerce websites use targeting strategies by using keywords specific to their customers' needs or wants. There are many examples of this. You could type that you wish to buy a car in a search engine and you would expect to see relevant links and ads for different car brands or dealerships.  

2. Evaluating options and solutions 

The customer will start looking for solutions only once they realize that they are in need of one. Most people will first ask if they can solve the problem themselves, of course, there is usually a lot more work that goes into it than they previously realized.

Many people try to develop their own shopping carts, but they quickly realize that building a well-developed checkout system that is secure and leads to conversions takes a lot of hard work. It can also be very difficult to stay on top of security issues when it comes to processing payments for customers.

Once a customer realizes that building a checkout system is difficult, they usually look for other solutions. Some may opt to pay developers to build it for them, but that is usually expensive and requires time. Some may even go for buying a premade shopping cart to use, but that does not allow for any customization on their side, which in time may become a necessity.

Customers that choose to research more will find many options available to them. While many customers opt for brands that are familiar to them or even opt for the lowest price, experienced customers tend to evaluate different platforms that they have found and try to find the one that will work with and fit their business model.

3. Different ways customers choose their alternatives 

No matter what you’re selling, whether it is physical products or software, simply placing your business in front of customers often does not produce enough results. Potential customers will usually look for alternatives and weigh their options to find out which solution is best for them and offers the most benefit, at the best price.

At this part of the process, your potential customers will focus on comparing the cost and benefits of the product they are interested in. Their behavior will largely be based on how grand the decision they are making is. Let’s say someone is buying a chocolate bar at the store checkout. They might just choose to buy the one that has the most appealing design. However, if the same person is looking to buy a piece of technical equipment, they would most likely compare the features, prices, and read reviews about the product online.

As a business, you would have to take a good look at the variety of products or all the features that you are offering to your customers and choose the ones that will be presented to the customer. It is important to remember that your customers will always evaluate the benefit against the cost of their purchase.

As a company, you should present your best features to increase sales and conversions while charging an affordable monthly or yearly rate. 

Setting the lowest prices doesn’t always work and sometimes it may hurt your business. Let’s take luxury watches as an example. If you are selling watches for a lower price, customers may get a feel that you are selling knock offs and counterfeit ones. Building on authenticity, developing your brand, making sure that shipping is well handled can all contribute to making the customer ensured that they are buying a quality product.

4. Making the decision to purchase 

This is the time when the potential customer is ready to make a purchase. Even if the customer may have completed their personal evaluation, their purchase decision could still be interrupted. An outside influence might interfere with negative feedback. Now, if the potential customer encounters negative feedback that they didn’t discover previously, they could decide not to purchase your product or service.

It may also happen that a customer comes up with second thoughts, as their evaluation process is still not complete, until the payment has been made, and it may continue even after they have made a purchase, some may even decide to return their product or request a refund.

If a customer decides to complete the purchase and is not second-guessing their decision, there are still circumstances that could interfere with their ability to complete the purchase. For example, their credit card may get declined. Or what if they can’t figure out how to use your e-commerce cart or checkout page? From our experience, they will quickly give up and abandon the page if the page is too complicated to use, or if it takes a long time to fill out all the details. 

TIP: Learn how to implement e-commerce tools into your arsenal to help ensure your customers close a purchase. 

See the Easiest-to-Use E-Commerce Tools →

The good news is that there is an easy fix for this.

To reduce the risks, a lot of online retailers do it by offering smooth and easy to use checkouts which allow customers to quickly go through with their purchase. There is no need to bother your customers with complicated multi-page carts, as a rule of thumb is that the longer it takes for a potential customer to complete the process, it is more likely that they will hesitate to complete the purchase, or they might come across a negative influence which may put a halt to your sale.

It is a good practice to offer your customers multiple easy-to-use payment methods. If the customer is having issues by using one of the methods they have the option of simply switching to another method. 

5. Customer's behavior after the purchase has been completed

You might think that once the customer has purchased your product, the whole process is done. Well, to be honest, it is rarely the case. Now that the customer has the product in their hands, or is using the service, they will still continue evaluating it and comparing it to their expectations. So, it’s not over yet, as this will influence their future behavior.

First, if they feel disappointed, they might ask for a refund, or might even refuse to do business with you down the line. There is a huge chance that they will leave a bad review, demoralize their friends from purchasing from you, and express displeasure. In contrast, if the customers are satisfied, they may leave positive reviews and keep recommending your products further which will benefit your business.

This is the reason why you need to make sure you are satisfying their needs. As an example, we could take shipping. If a seller promises fast shipping, to avoid their customers getting agitated, they would have to make sure that the products will be delivered on time.

Nowadays, markets can be very competitive. If you don’t understand how your customers think and behave, you will have a hard time making sales.

At the same time, your rival competitors will put in the effort to understand buyers and their behavior during each step of the process. Therefore, knowing your customer behavior is vital. In order for you to compete, you need to do the same and strive to be at the top to enable the customers to keep on doing business with you. 

Related: See the top 101 customer service stats to understand your customers' behavioral patterns better. Learn more: 101 Customer Service Statistics for a Better Customer Experience →

Now that we understand how customers behave, let’s go over 5 quick steps which you can implement by the end of the day and increase your sales exponentially.

Whether you own a business that sells physical products, software, courses, or services, you have to strive to earn the most out of everything you invest in. Carefully guiding your customers or clients through carefully crafted sales funnel techniques will help you sell more. You have the ability to choose one or multiple strategies to increase your sales; we can offer 5 quick and proven methods that have increased sales and overall revenue. 

Upselling 

A well-planned upselling strategy can significantly lower the cost of marketing while increasing the likeliness of customers purchasing from you. Upselling is a strategy that will help you make the most out of each customer at the point of sale. In fact, including upselling into your sales funnel can more than double your profit. 

You should use an upsell strategy if you have an additional offer that is a suitable match to the main product which will add value to it.

With upsells, you would be looking at what fulfills the customer’s need, but also build on customer loyalty and retention. With an upsell, both the seller and the buyer would be getting the value from the purchase. It is important to make the experience swift and seamless, offering a click away experience without the need to enter the credit card or payment details again. As a seller, you should strive to create a personalized upsell, either based on the product or service itself or based on previous customer purchase history.

Research has shown that the majority of online customers are more likely to make a purchase if they are referred to by their name (56%), are offered relevant recommendations (58%) and are remembered (65%).

To make an upsell irresistible, you would offer a deal that is too good to pass on, but many miss the opportunity to make it easy and quick for a customer to purchase them. Many shopping carts experience massive drop-off rates of abandonment, or forms left unfilled. By allowing them to purchase with one-click, you are lowering the amount of time needed to make a purchase, in fact - you are making it instant.

As a great example of an upselling strategy, we can look at Amazon. On their website, they always suggest more items which you can add, they even do it via emails.

amazon


The items which are offered are mostly based on your previous purchases or your current shopping cart items. They may also include factors such as which products have been purchased by other customers that is related to the product page a customer is currently on. In case that a customer decides to purchase the item, all it takes to do so is one click, making it seamless and easy. 

Using an audience builder to streamline customer targeting 

Businesses use audience builders that enable them to collect data and create groups of people based on many different factors. They would then target their well-designed marketing campaigns to groups that they would appeal to the most. There are many factors to choose from when it comes to making a group, such as previous actions, customer preferences, demographics and more.

Tools such as audience builders help businesses get to know their customers and provide an insight into the actions that they make through their websites and channels of communication. With an audience builder and the data gathered you can create impressive lists of audiences as well as utilize the data gathered to build a personalized experience for your clients and use it to increase your sales. 

paykickstart graph


For instance, you could build a list that shows which users have visited your site, but decided not to make a purchase and abandon the cart. That data can be used to re-target these customers with a campaign which is carefully made with the intention to re-engage them and allow them to come back to your shopping cart and complete the purchase.

There are a number of audience builders which can be implemented with a range of services and checkouts. 

What kind of checkout page should you use?

Having a plain, simple checkout page does not lead to conversions. Customizing checkout pages which will appeal to your customers which will in turn considerably increase your sales. If customers are presented with their exact purchase list, as well as their segmented totals and discounts, you would enable them to gauge their interest in your other products without much effort.

if the customer behavior we are looking for is more potential customers to finalize their purchase, we need to increase at least one of the following three factors: motivation, ability and trigger. A customized checkout page increases the motivation to continue through the conversion funnel, by making the flow of the checkout process easier and quicker.

Every checkout page should show clear information, it should have the items that have been added to the cart, as well as Upsells which are noticeable and which correlate to the main offer or products previously added into the cart. A great touch is adding the product photos of items added in the cart.

There should also be a Pay or Buy Now button which is unified with the checkout page. With a one-click upsell option enabled, your customers would be able to purchase more products after entering their information for buying the main offer. Other options, such as Keep Shopping, or Continue to Checkout button above and below the items listed within the cart are a nice touch to the whole customer experience.

When customers are forced to fill out registration forms, one in four will choose to abandon it and the sale will fall through. You can make it simple for customers by customizing your checkout page and enabling it to pre-fill all the required fields for them. That way you would immediately remove the barrier for them allowing them to seamlessly continue with their access or purchase. 

There is no need to pay fees for each of your sales

You already know that once a customer has purchased your product, not all of the income goes directly to you. You would usually be looking at each sale process taking off another one of their own fees. While platforms that won’t take extra fees can be hard to find, you can easily implement a strategy of lowering your costs by removing unnecessary fees.

By removing the processor fees you are ensuring that you are getting the maximum profit from each sale. 

Market your campaigns and products with instant affiliate commissions 

As great as the affiliates are for marketing your campaigns, products or services, you have to be careful. Third-party seller tools can easily hack into and infiltrate your revenue stream. A good tactic is to incorporate everything an affiliate would need in one place. Now affiliates don’t have to wait for the usual 30-60 days for their payment. The very second a conversion is made, your affiliate is rewarded. So, how does this increase your sales?

Just think about it: who works harder, an affiliate that is rewarded immediately, or the one that has to wait forever to get their reward? 

When you reward your affiliates immediately for the work they’ve put in towards promoting your product, they are motivated to work harder. Unlike before when the long waits used to hinder affiliate growth, instant affiliate payments push affiliates to work harder, faster and better at promoting your business. 

Final thoughts

Increasing your sales doesn’t have to be a long, time-consuming process. Implementing carefully thought-out strategies in your sales funnels is a great way of maximizing the potential of each sale. You should always think about the approach of converting your potential customers to your paying customers.

Building your audience lists in order to get to know your customers better and acting by creating the right campaigns will increase your sales significantly. By getting to know your customers and acting on their needs you will immediately start to see an increase in your sales and overall customer satisfaction.

To recap, you can see better sales results by implementing these 5 quick strategies: 

  1. Upselling and enabling  one-click upsells
  2. Streamline customer targeting with audience builders
  3. Use personalized checkout pages that convert
  4. Eliminate unnecessary fees
  5. Offer instant commissions to your best affiliates 

If you're ready to boost your sales and maximize your potential, check out the top-rated affiliate marketing programs software solutions on G2 to help you get started.  

See the Highest-Rated Affiliate Marketing Programs Software, Free →

Mark Thompson
Author

Mark Thompson

Mark Thompson is the co-founder of PayKickstart.com, a SaaS that is reinventing the modern-day shopping cart and affiliate management, helping thousands of businesses and entrepreneurs sell more, maximize customer lifetime value, and automate subscription commerce. Mark has spent over a decade in the world of marketing and software, selling over $20+ million of his flagship training programs and software.