Sales strategies and customer programs are pivotal to developing a demand plan in support of sales revenue growth goals. SIOP (Sales Inventory Operations Planning) will translate these sales forecasts into operations and supply plans for review with cross-functional teams to ensure the sales plans are fulfilled successfully and efficiently.

Top Sales Strategy for Growing Revenue

After spending time with the master of sales, it has become clear that the bottom line to successful sales is simple yet uncommon – provide value. The value based sale is far more successful than sales techniques to convince someone to buy. Isn’t it better to provide so much value that customers come to you? Absolutely so!

To focus on providing value, you must understand your customers’ needs. What do your customers value? What do they value enough to pay for? It doesn’t make sense to add value continuously for features your customers wouldn’t be willing to pay for. You are simply giving away value for something that is unappreciated and could be considered waste. On the other hand, you might or might not charge for the features they would be willing to pay for, but at least you know it is worth investing in resources to make them available.

For example, my mechanic goes the extra mile with service. There have been multiple times he has picked up my car with a flat tire or another issue, resolved the issue and then dropped it back off at the house. It is well worth extra cost as these situations always occur during important meetings, yet he doesn’t charge extra for this service as he considers us family. I know that if I was in trouble 500 miles away, I could count on him if I needed the help. That provides a sense of relief and comfort, even if I never call. Recently, I was pleasantly surprised by Verizon’s customer service as well. I had an issue in Italy, and multiple people stayed on the phone with me for hours to help resolve the problem. One even said, “Don’t worry about it. You are part of the Verizon family.” I became a fan.

Additional Sales Strategies for Growing Revenue

Certainly, simply providing value might not be enough. There are many ways to grow revenue.

  • Pricing: Raise prices. It is often more feasible than you think to raise prices. If you are providing value and serving customers, it is likely you can raise prices. At times, it is imperative to raise prices; otherwise, customers might think they “get what they pay for”, and perception follows.
  • Size of the sale: What can you do to increase the size of the sale in a way that provides additional value to your customer? Pay attention to what your customer says and what they might need that they haven’t realized yet or asked for.
  • Product testing: Clients feel better after trialing or testing a product before having to commit to the product. For example, an industrial equipment manufacturer was able to trial a robot before committing to the full purchase. That helped them prove the process out and gain the funding to purchase.
  • Cross selling: Aren’t we all annoyed yet happy when Amazon says, “If you bought this, would you also like this complimentary product?” Again, providing value by suggesting what might be overlooked can be helpful for your customer.
  • Referrals: Whether a product or service, if you are a fan, you are likely to refer to your friends and colleagues. What can you do to ramp up your referrals?
  • New markets: A common strategy to expand sales is to expand to new markets. Get to know the new market and tailor your value to fit the market.
  • New & upgraded products & services: New product development provides a look to the future with new features, functionality, and applications for products and services.
  • Promotions: Typically significant in consumer products, promotions can entice customers to try new products and services.
  • Becoming a partner: Some companies become so valuable that customers wouldn’t consider changing For example, they might manage inventory, collaborate on logistics and freight, and find other ways to provide indispensable value so that the customer considers the supplier a partner and naturally expands business with them.
  • M&A: Mergers and acquisitions can quickly expand growth. Make sure it is complimentary and 1+1 = 21.
  • And the list goes on….

There are countless strategies to grow revenue. Which is most relevant in your situation?

Creating the Demand Plan

As you undoubtedly pursue multiple strategies to grow revenue, it is critical that you stay aligned with the rest of your organization (Operations, Finance, Supply Chain, Engineering, etc.). Thus, focus efforts on creating a demand plan (sales forecast). There are several insights on best practices for creating demand plans in our article, “Upgrading Demand Planning Processes & Software to Navigate Economic Challenges“. A few of the most critical are uncommon common sense:

  • Rolling 12 month forecast: In most industries, a rolling 12 month forecast is sufficient and keeps you ahead of what’s to come.
  • Key changes: In some situations, rapid growth and growth plans by product line matter, in others, growth by key customer is where to focus, and in others, there is growth by region, new products or another factor.
  • Weekly / monthly cadence: Whether focusing on weekly exceptions or monthly trends, a consistent focus is always important.

Incorporate your demand plan into a SIOP process. To learn more, read our book, SIOP: Creating Predictable Revenue and EBITDA Growth.

The Bottom Line

Have you taken a step back to see if your sales strategies and plans make sense? Use uncommon common sense, and it will spur your company forward. If you aren’t growing, you are declining. Thus, all successful companies will be interested in growth. As you determine strategies to grow, align these plans with the rest of your organization (and your end-to-end supply chain). If you are interested in talking about implementing a demand planning and sales forecasting process to support sales success, contact us.

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Creating Predictable Revenue with Demand Planning Best Practices