When it comes to growing your bottom line, many would agree that sales is the backbone of business. Given its universal importance, how does a company that deals in both the consumer and commercial spheres develop successful sales strategies for the varying demographics and industries it serves? The answer is that they don’t, rather they develop a single strategy that encompasses both, allowing each sales channel to work in tandem with the other.
This approach has been key to the consistent business-to-business and business-to-consumer revenue growth for Batteries Plus Bulbs. It transcends to other industries, too. Here are just a few considerations and things to keep in mind when equalizing a business’s consumer and commercial bottom line:
1. Know thy neighbor (customer).
One of the most important disciplines in business is to recognize that every person who walks in the door is a potential customer. Day-to-day customer interactions are where most sales are won or lost -- whether they’re online or in-store. They’re also where new business opportunities can flourish. That being said, it’s imperative that employees at all levels are well-trained on the company’s sales strategy. This is done through consistent communication with a company’s leadership team and ensuring training processes and strategies evolve as your end customers’ needs evolve.
At the end of the day, businesses are made up of consumers who might buy products for the business or their own personal use. Your sales strategy should incorporate both of these opportunities when you speak to every consumer.
2. Get involved in your community.
Networking is vital when attempting to create a symbiotic relationship between the consumer and commercial sectors. If a consumer trusts you on a personal level, they are likely to trust you with serving their business needs as well. This can be difficult if you have a nationwide network of stores on a retail level or operate as a national enterprise. In this case, encourage those who represent your workforce and company at the regional or local levels -- in our case franchise store owners or business account sales reps -- to get involved in their communities. This could be through fundraising, local council or board involvement or participating in local events. They will be the face of your brand and the go-to person for day-to-day communications for the businesses they serve.
3. Grow your network.
It’s one thing for a business to identify their target consumer and commercial customers, but acquiring, keeping and growing them is key. We recognize that if customers are happy and satisfied with our offerings, they will refer our business to other people or businesses. For example, when servicing a single department of a university, a business may be tapped again by a separate department for the same or similar products and services.
The same goes for consumers and peer-to-peer sharing -- a customer walks into your business to purchase an item, and because of their satisfaction, they recommend your business to other friends, family members, colleagues and their social media followers as well. The best marketing tool is positive word of mouth. It’s important to embrace this, network within your community and navigate between fragmented business to reach new customers.
4. Stand out online and in-person.
Today, businesses with both an online presence and brick-and-mortar stores are a dime a dozen. Businesses are successful when they engage well on both fronts and are available to customers wherever they are, and whenever they want to engage or make a purchase. We recently deployed an omni-channel strategy focusing on “buy online, pick up in-store” capabilities to continue our growth and reach amongst both consumers and commercial customers. While there are many ways for businesses to reach people online, it’s important to know your audience and target those channels. What do your customers search for online? Where do they look and do their research?
Make sure to implement strategies that enhance the visibility of products or services across all your digital marketing platforms, but also within the store. Taking a holistic, streamlined approach to the ways you reach your customers and how you communicate to them through various channels of engagement will help grow your reach, and eventually, your bottom line.