Sales haven’t been great, revenues are declining, and you want to know what’s wrong. As leader of your organization, you must diagnose the problem and make necessary changes to ensure that your team doesn’t miss their targets. But how will you get to the root of your sales troubles?
Just like doctors analyse our symptoms before diagnosing and coming up with an effective treatment plan, sales leaders also need to look at the symptoms, reasons, and root causes before coming up with the right solutions. Unfortunately, most of the time, entrepreneurs and leaders rush to solve just the problem without a clear assessment, which doesn’t work for the long term. In addition, high competition, AI, evolving customer demands, etc., can cause businesses to lose out on sales.
We bring you the three common reasons why your sales might decline and how to resolve these stagnant sales challenges.
No business starts with a vision to blend in. However, standing out from your competition can be one of the biggest challenges for entrepreneurs and marketers like you. An effective differentiation strategy helps you stand out from the noise and gives your customers a reason to choose your products or services.
In the smartphone market, consumers expect basic features such as a good camera, fast performance, and a long battery life as standard. As a result, smartphone manufacturers need to find new ways to differentiate themselves from the competition.
One way that Samsung has differentiated itself is through its focus on innovation and product design. Samsung has introduced a number of features that are unique to its smartphones, such as the foldable screen on the Galaxy Fold, the stylus on the Galaxy Note, and the curved screen on the Galaxy Edge. These innovations have helped to create a perception that Samsung is a cutting-edge company that is constantly pushing the boundaries of what is possible in the smartphone market.
Earlier, arguments like faster, cheaper, stronger, long-lasting, etc., helped brands sell products, but these are now table stakes. Customers expect things to last long, support to be fast and service to be courteous. Plus, if you’re using superlatives, customers don’t believe you unless your extraordinary claim has extraordinary proof.
Define your differentiation strategy using leadership, heritage, first-mover advantage, or popularity. Customer experiences with your brand could be a powerful driving force in differentiation. Consider a Blue Ocean Strategy that continuously pursues differentiation and low costs to create new demand and open up new markets to make customers realize the value they get from your brand.
A lack of a strong marketing presence or complete absence can result in lower brand recognition, limited visibility, and a lack of customer trust. Without the right marketing strategies, prospective buyers won’t know your business exists or may not have enough information about your products or services. Also, when your differentiators aren’t well positioned, your customers may not be able to compare your products or services with other alternatives, evaluate the benefits of buying or make the right purchase decision. All this can contribute to a decline in sales.
When brands don’t have a strong market presence, it could be challenging to compete with established businesses and capture the attention of your potential customers. In such cases, your marketing efforts may not be as effective in reaching your target audience, leading to a lower conversion rate and a decline in your sales figures.
Micromax is one example wherein it was a leading player in the Indian smartphone market but struggled to keep up with competition from Xiaomi, Samsung, and Vivo in recent years. Facing product quality and supply chain challenges, the brand witnessed a rapid decline in market share and sales.
If you’d like to increase your brand presence and double your marketing efforts, consider developing a solid brand identity, leveraging social media and digital marketing, collaborating with other brands, focusing on customer experiences, and investing in advertising.
Companies often continue using their winning formula for years without making any concrete or tangible changes to their products or services. While market leaders continue to upgrade product features, solutions or ideas, a lack of change in your business might result in stagnant numbers. New entrants might also disrupt the market with something wholly innovative or transform the buying or service experience. In such cases, your offering might lose relevance with your customer’s needs or expectations.
Think about brick-and-mortar stores – since we could shop for anything or everything on an app, many retail stores experienced a drastic fall in sales. Only the ones that evolved with better service or excellent customer experiences or introduced promotional discounts or offers managed to stay afloat. This was especially true during the pandemic.
The same applies to products like the iPod, a navigation compass, an alarm clock, or a tape recorder. Since our smartphones did everything for us, the need for these products quickly declined.
As a business or brand, if you want to stay relevant, leverage customer feedback by actively listening to and implementing feedback. In addition, continuous innovations with new features, better design, expanding product lines, etc., can also work for your company. Also, stay up to date with market trends and technological advancements to ensure your product is always competitive and relevant.
When a business is going through a tough phase of declining sales, it’s essential to quickly identify the differentiator and invest in marketing to build awareness and positioning to generate buyer interest. But this is a short-term and tactical approach.
Leaders must have a comprehensive assessment of the situation. For instance, even when you know the solution, your company may not have sufficient funds to invest in marketing, or you might not be able to carve out a clear differentiator of their offerings or lack the marketing know-how to succeed.
Working with an expert can help you overcome these challenges in such a scenario. Expert strategic consultants support not just immediate tactical solutions but also long-term strategic ideas. For example, if your offerings are losing market relevance, they might deep dive into customer needs, competitor analysis, and internal capabilities to introduce changes or embrace innovations.
Being a strategy advisory firm, at InUnison we understand that every company is unique, and their context is different. Thus, we come up with a different approach for every organization. It’s prudent for entrepreneurs and leaders to choose between doing it independently or seeking expert advice.
Contact us to have a strategic consultant by your side to make your business fast scalable and long-term sustainable.