Pivoting became the new buzzword in sales during the past two years, with swift and entrepreneurial decision-making securing new revenue opportunities.
However, for many manufacturers and distributors, accessing new markets and wider growth in an uncertain economy needs to be a planned and longer lead affair, which should be underpinned by robust data analysis to optimize success.
Using sales enablement solutions like sales-i as an integral part of the process can pay serious dividends. Here’s how.
Preparing for unchartered territory
With many raw materials remaining in short supply and goods transportation routes still compromised, businesses with robust supply chains who have been able to satisfy customer demand will have been able to grow their revenues by increasing prices.
For those operators entering new markets or considering launching new products however, the path to revenue growth is less straightforward.
Forging ahead with a new offering or entering a new market segment is rarely a risk-free endeavor, but when economic uncertainty abounds, it’s more important than ever to do the due diligence right. And, increasingly, that means adopting data-driven decision-making to target organic revenue growth opportunities within your existing customer base.
Going for growth – the customer imperative
Getting closer to customers has been important for all businesses looking to protect market share during the pandemic. But for those targeting revenue growth, gaining a deeper understanding of key customer drivers and historic purchasing trends and patterns has been essential. While some new product launches will be geared towards securing new customers, targeting your existing customer base – essentially a captive audience – is the obvious first route to consider.
Naturally, a certain amount of gut feel is required in business decision-making, but it should be underpinned with comprehensive customer intelligence. This is especially the case in competitive sectors where margins can be very tight, and customers might be buying on price alone.
The data premium
The pandemic has seen more and more manufacturers and distributors get to grips with technology – not just to operate more efficiently and deliver better customer service, but also to identify clearer routes to market and essentially, sell better. All businesses hold swathes of historic customer data – particularly when selling wide ranges of product lines – yet all too often it remains locked away in impenetrable or hard to decipher spreadsheets, making it all but impossible to interpret and inform the sales strategy.
Sales enablement technology like sales-i is such a powerful solution in this scenario as it gives businesses a clear, concise, and real time view of the historic buying patterns of existing customers. This allows users to quickly and efficiently:
- interpret what motivates customers to buy,
- when they buy most (and least – identifying down spending customer accounts can be one of the most fertile ways of driving revenue growth)
- and when precious cross and upselling opportunities may exist – something that sales teams still working with spreadsheets simply cannot match.
Repeatedly, we have seen customers who are new to sales-i hugely surprised by what the hard data reveals about their sales endeavors and how they could improve them. The beauty of technology lies in the gains that are on offer from day one, whether sales teams simply need a stronger digital repository of basic customer information or are looking to undertake more complex tasks such as detailed report creation and gap analysis.
Navigating the road ahead?
With so much uncertainty in the wider economy and many essential business variables around supply, demand and cost out of normal kilter – and set to remain so in the short term at the very least, planning for the future can seem like an uphill battle. Ultimately, making the most of perceived growth opportunities is multi-faceted and typically requires as much planning and forethought as it does entrepreneurial gut feel. This is not the time for cutting corners as it could result in costly mistakes – those that under-use customer data right now, do so at their peril.