Unconventionality in sales strategies might seem like an alien concept to some—after all, the techniques that have been used thus far have worked well for most companies.
But if you look at the world as it is now, you will see how old strategies might be failing your business.
The world has changed too much to continue doing the same things you used to do last year, or even a few months ago.
Now is the time to start brainstorming new sales strategies for the short- and long-term—you can use mind maps to collect the ideas shared below and to begin updating your sales techniques.
In this article, we look at seven ways of approaching sales targets that may not have seemed wise a little while ago but could make a massive difference to your bottom line today.
1. Broaden Your Target Audience
The current global situation has changed how local businesses connect with their customers—but far from being a setback, this could be a new opportunity for companies.
With more people spending time online, businesses should start to look at broadening their target audience. And there are a number of ways to reach out to new groups.
What might have to be changed in this case is customer support—if your business is used to handling customers within your timezone, a global audience may get left behind.
But there are ways to stay connected with customers despite the distance by using a multitude of tools.
For businesses with physical stores or localized products, it can be trickier to reach new sales audiences—but it is still possible, considering how much people will pay to get their goods.
Shipping and delivery services have improved massively over the past few months, making it possible to reach customers, no matter which part of the world they live in.
Though it can often seem prudent to stick with what you know, those aren’t the kind of sales strategies that work when the world is changing so rapidly.
It is far more important to find new avenues to make sales, even if it goes completely against conventional thinking.
2. Move Away From Exclusivity
Exclusivity has been a powerful tool for generating revenue—the harder it is for customers to get a product, the more lucrative it becomes.
Scarcity marketing works to drum up interest in a number of industries—from hospitality to entertainment, the more exclusive your content or products, the bigger the draw.
But these are not the times to hide content behind a paywall or to keep stocks limited.
Instead, a number of corporations are opening up formerly exclusive sectors of their business to customers—with reason.
A few subscription services have offered premium tiers at a discount or for free, bringing in more customers, as the chart below demonstrates.
Educational institutions stepped in to provide online courses for global audiences—often at a discounted price.
National theatres and Broadway shows have been streaming plays online on a weekly basis—making extremely exclusive events available to millions worldwide.
Similarly, museums have created virtual tours, giving people who would normally have had to buy tickets to the museum, and even to the destination, unprecedented access.
These services are earning plenty of views—and praise—from numerous customer segments, helping to keep these industries alive and able to bring in revenue.
3. Attract Multiple Audience Groups
Not all products and services can be converted for online selling—nor are all businesses easily marketable to all customers.
For luxury brands, stepping back from exclusivity might seem like the end of the business, but in fact, it is an opportunity to reach out to new customers.
Whether within the local sphere or globally, high-end brands can broaden their customer base by changing their mindset about how they engage customers.
Tiered pricing doesn’t just work for subscription services—it can be adopted by major brands to bring in a whole new clientele.
Define your subscription models by using a timeline maker that visually shares the prices and benefits for each tier, as in the example below.
And aside from creating tiers for your products and services, one of the other popular sales strategies is to offer accessories.
This works particularly well when your products or services can be paired with that of other businesses’—which could eventually generate a new partnership opportunity for your brand.
Attracting audiences from a variety of levels not only increases the longevity of your brand but improves your reach during this crisis.
4. Adapt to New Situations
Sales strategies are developed with a great deal of thought and study—but that doesn’t mean that they are set in stone.
It is imperative that businesses adapt to changing circumstances—and their audience’s developing interests.
A number of food and beverage brands have moved away from using plastic, investing instead in sustainable packaging—in an attempt to be more environmentally conscious.
After years of activism from communities with disabilities, there has been a steady move towards adding more accessible features to brick-and-mortar outlets and online services.
During the pandemic, businesses and industries pivoted to creating essential goods for health workers when shortages began to become a reality.
Changing the products one sells can be a challenge—but if your model no longer works for your audience or your environment, changes must be made for the survival of the company.
5. Embrace Changing Technologies
New technologies are emerging on a near-constant basis—brands must adopt them to create more effective sales strategies.
Live chat is fast becoming an effective way to keep customers engaged—it delivers immediate responses to customer queries, ensuring that communication stays open, as we can see below.
With more advanced AI being used to power chatbots, this technology can also be personalized to simulate one-to-one interactions with customers and to complete sales. All without a sales rep being present.
Automating services also boosts sales—emails generated the moment a cart is abandoned can lead to sales being completed that would otherwise have been left to languish.
Despite most sales processes having been set up to make sales easier, they can often stand in the way of progress.
Seriously consider updating your sales processes to reflect the new technology available to you—it could revolutionize your sales strategies and make it more effective.
6. Attempt to Win Back Customers
The fear of losing out on gaining new customers is very real for companies—especially when they’re in crisis mode.
But focusing on new prospects isn’t the only way to get through this period—you need to work on winning back your existing customers.
Repeat customers are always going to be the bulk of the business—they spend more per transaction and bring in larger profits.
But the changing circumstances brought on by the pandemic have made it difficult for customers to access the businesses they support.
There are ways to win back these customers—many of whom might have become resigned to not being able to go to their favorite stores.
The best way to keep loyal customers engaged—and boost retention rates—is to be active on social media.
With vast numbers of people spending more time online, social media is the perfect arena to remind your established customer base that you’re still around.
Share with them your working methods for the new normal—explain the safety procedures you are using and how you plan to serve the people who buy from your store or order online.
You should also look at updating your existing web content—particularly the pieces that have done well on SERP—to reflect the new environment.
Offer discounts, promotions, or bundle packages to tiered customers—not only to convince them to return but also as an incentive for new clients to join your loyalty programs.
These methods will ensure that customers who are already connected to you will remain informed about your new way of working, thus bringing in continued business opportunities.
7. Quality Prospecting (Over Quantity)
Prospecting for new clients and customers can be a full-time job for many in the sales field—to the point where many feel like they have to pitch everyone they meet at all times.
Those sales strategies won’t bring success—not only will it burn you out, but constant pitching could also destroy your existing relationships and jeopardize future ones.
Instead, pick your prospects and the time to pitch—aim for better quality prospects, not just large quantities.
Don’t go to every networking event in your area—and conversely, avoid holding several networking sessions.
Again, you want to avoid burnout and spending money on huge events that bring you only a small percentage of sales.
Focus again on quality—fewer networking sessions but ones where you share content that is unique to your company and adds value to your interactions.
Businesses are seeing success by holding webinars where they share their own experiences in the field.
This places the company as thought leaders interested in advancing the industry through shared knowledge.
And here’s another unconventional sales technique to employ when prospecting—don’t talk about your company.
How do you sell without making it all about yourself? You talk about what the buyer wants, what their needs are, and how they can address them.
You share your product or service as a solution to their problem—that’s how you can work towards building quality sales prospects.
Being unconventional with sales strategies can help businesses achieve customer success—and their bottom line.
We are living in a time when traditional strategies can’t work—stepping out of the norm is the best way to get ahead.
The above seven strategies might take some rejigging to implement, but the results will be worth the effort.
About the Author: Ronita Mohan is a content marketer at Venngage, the online infographic maker and design platform. Ronita regularly writes about marketing, sales, and small businesses. Twitter: @Venngage