If you want to increase your sales volume, you will need to pursue one or more of these eight strategies.
- Increase activity
- Sell more to each client
- Sell to buyers with frequent needs
- Find partners
- Reduce sales cycle times
- Lower your prices
- Employ marketing
- Increase your sales effectiveness
When you sell a product of some kind, your annual sales volume is the number you sell multiplied by 12, for the number of months in a year. To raise your sales volume, you must increase the number you sell in the course of a month. This is true even for the two children selling lemonade at the corner of your street, whose primary strategy for increasing their sales volume by waving at you when you drive by. (This strategy is guaranteed to work on Mrs. Iannarino.) It's also true for the software-as-a-service (SAAS) company that sells licenses to their clients, and for Apple selling their iPhones.
To Raise Sales Volume, Increase Activity
One way you can increase your sales volume is to increase your overall activity. By increasing your activity, you are communicating your offer to more potential buyers of whatever it is that you sell. This is almost always the first strategy sales organizations use when trying to figure out how to raise their sales volume. When the total addressable market is large enough and the activity effective, this strategy tends to work pretty well. By acquiring new customers, you raise your sales volume.
Sell More to Each Client to Increase Sales Volume
A second strategy for increasing sales volume is to sell bigger deals. I learned this when I became a sales leader and was struggling to grow revenue. I eventually realized that I couldn't grow the volume with companies that had modest needs. By targeting the companies or people who need more of what you sell, you increase the sales volume by creating larger orders. To sell to larger buyers, you may have to adjust your approach and ensure you are effective enough to be able to create and win those clients.
Increase Sales Volume by Increasing Frequency
Given the choice between spending your time winning a customer that doesn't have an ongoing need for what you sell and one that has a continual need for your product or service, increasing sales volume is easier to accomplish by targeting and placing your efforts where the results are greatest. One of my clients made pies, but they didn't sell pies to individual people. They sold them to the largest grocery chains in the United States. These companies placed new orders in enormous volumes every week.
Use Partners to Raise Sales Volume
This approach is a little more complex than the strategies that precede it, but it is a common practice in many industries. Instead of growing their customer base, they acquire partnerships (channel partners) with companies that already have the customers that would buy what the company sells. You find this model employed by technology companies who partner with CDW to sell hardware and other services, as well as CPAs who funnel their customers to companies with products or services that fit their client's needs.
Sales Volume Increase by Selling Faster
In some industries, it is possible to shorten the sales cycle (the time it takes to make a sale). It can be difficult to use this strategy in sales where the buyer needs more conversation to be able to make a decision (a complex sale). But there are plenty of industries with products that are more transactional, a term that suggests the buyer isn't going to need time or a great deal of conversation. When this is true, you can increase your sales by selling faster.
Lower Your Prices
If the cost of goods sold is high, this isn't likely to be a good strategy for you. But if you are a SAAS company, where the incremental cost of selling another license to your software is essentially zero, a lower price can increase volume. If you've ever wondered how tech companies can offer a freemium software product, it's because their incremental cost is low enough that they can give away a version of their product with limited functions.
Employing Marketing and Raising Sales Volume
Marketing can bring attention and awareness to what you sell by messaging your clients and prospective clients. You can add marketing to most of the strategies in this article. Generating awareness and interest, and perhaps even generating leads, can help increase volume.
Increasing Conversions to Increase Volume
This is my domain. The more effective your sales force is, the more they sell. Like marketing, improving your effectiveness in sales can be matched with all the other strategies in this article. The salesperson with greater skills is going to have an easier time making sales.
One of the most common mistakes sales organizations continually make is believing that increasing activity is all that is necessary to increase volume. A low conversion rate means you are missing purchases that would increase your volume. While it is more difficult to increase effectiveness, it's worth the effort to increase your sales volume, eliminating waste.
Every lost opportunity is a waste. You have expended the time and energy to create an opportunity without getting any return on your effort. Most sales organizations would do better to start with sales effectiveness first, adding additional strategies once they have the competencies to convert at a greater level.