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Two Strategies to Increase Sales Revenues


Businesswoman discussing with her clients
Eric Audras/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images

Success in sales comes down to one thing: selling enough to make a profit. That's going to be every salesperson's and small business owner's goal. But there are two very different strategies you can pursue to get to that point.

If you're not doing as well as you'd like in the profit area, you have two basic sales options to improve:

  1. Increase your sales
  2. Increase your margins

Strategy #1 is usually the first one that salespeople adopt. It simply means increasing the total number of sales that you make. If you normally sell 100 widgets per month, you might set a goal of selling 125 per month instead.

Strategy #2 is a bit more subtle. Instead of increasing your total number of sales, you try to increase the quality of your sales. You focus on selling those products and services that return a higher profit margin. So instead of bumping your monthly goal from 100 to 125, you would look at a breakdown of your sales and try to increase the percentage of premium sales. If you've been selling 75 regular widgets and 25 premium widgets per month, you might aim to sell 50 regular and 50 premium widgets instead.

So which one is a better strategy for you? You'll have to look at your current activities and metrics closely to decide.

First, sit down and make a list of your daily activities. Ideally, you would spend a couple of days writing down everything you do as you do it, including how long you spend on each task. This can get awfully tedious, but the results are often eye-opening. You want to determine exactly how much time you're spending on sales activities (calling prospects, attending appointments, etc.) versus other activities (writing reports, attending company meetings, etc.).

If your time is being eaten up by non-sales tasks, you can either try to delegate those tasks to someone else or work on ways to cut corners and slice off some more time for sales tasks. Sales is a numbers game. The more time you spend selling, the more sales you will make.

On the other hand, if you're spending plenty of time on sales activities and your sales metrics look good (i.e. you're converting a respectable percentage of prospects into sales) then it's time to shift your focus from quantity to quality. After all, selling 100 widgets at a $1 profit margin is considerably less effective than selling 25 premium widgets at a $10 profit margin.

If you're working on a sales team, you may want to set a meeting with your sales manager and ask him which strategy he thinks is better for you. The sales manager will probably have a better grasp of company goals as a whole, and can offer you a different point of view... which can help keep you from tearing off down the wrong path.

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