Sell your product, or sell your business. It may sound brutal but it is the most motivating thing you can come across.
No matter what you produce, no matter how you produce it, you have to make that sale happen.
Earlier, a competitor would have his shop right in front of yours and sit there with an invisible hat with the word ‘Competitor’ written on it which only you could see. The things have changed because now neither the competitor nor the hats are visible.
The markets have come down to a point where everyone is trying to sell something to everyone. Everyone is your competitor-
A far sitting colleague, an ex-employee, some random freelancer, some wannabe entrepreneur, some young college graduate, and some big multinational company- anyone can come for your pie of the market.
People are thriving to get a share in the growing markets and this makes the world a marketplace and everyone a competitor.
So, with the growing competition, jumping investors, disruptive technology-
- How do you keep the thing moving?
- How do you continue with the process of selling?
Seems amongst all this, there are certain strategies one may implement to survive or even outgrow the competition:
1. KISS: Keep It Simple Silly!
Know what exactly you have to offer. Don't be like the 'sheep in the herd'. Making things complicated for the sake of it would make your job harder
Don't be a copycat. Make your original plans, the ones that are understood by one and all.
Well, people have numerous problems. What you need to do is provide simple solutions according to the demand. If you don't then you can vanish in the thin air.
There have been numerous examples in the recent history when businesses became obsolete when they cease to forget their customers.
Let's take an example: As simple as it may sound, Facebook. It started as a ‘Social Networking’ and has now become a powerhouse of sharing global news, knowing about trending topics, promoting businesses and obviously, Social Networking. It has become simpler for the end user to get so much out of a normal Facebook account. That is the kind of ‘simplicity’ your business as a solution provider should have!
2. Build a team with high spirit
"The best teamwork comes from men who are working independently toward one goal in unison." --James Cash Penney
We don't have to explain the importance of a good team. There are millions of definitions. Yes, it takes right kind of people to do the right kind of job in the right way.
Every individual comes with some kind of weakness but a team is a replacement for those.
A motivated team that shares the same goal has the right attitude and puts the personal interests after the company's interest is the one you need.
The team that instead of lingering over the failure gets together and ask 'what's next'
is what an ideal team is all about.
Smooth communication, high adaptability & flexibility, and a sense of pride are some of the attributes of a great team and maintaining this to the core is the job of the team leader.
3. Use Integrated CRM
If providing top-notch consumer experience and service are the primary goals of your business which ideally should be then CRM is a must-have for your business.
CRM automates a lot of responsibilities of your client servicing team. Apart from that, integrated CRM software
is a goldmine for your business.
CRM can regulate the overall sales process. It keeps a check on issues you face very often and eradicate them in prior, respond instantaneously to your customer queries, keep a track on complaints, generate consumer insights which might be worth hundreds of thousands of dollars and you may keep on counting the benefits!
All in all, it makes your business more responsive to all your prospective customers.
Let’s take an example: Your sales team is the point of the contact for your potential as well as established customers. Giving your team an access to the sales materials, information and the detail about the customers is a way to increase the sales. Also, a customer always feels delightful when he receives a call or an email after the sales have been done. And, even better when a genuine follow up is done during the sales period.
4. Start with your product.
Before aiming for the top, strengthen your foundation (products/services).
How does it simplify things for your target consumer? How does it make his/her life simpler?
The useful it is in the daily routine, the longer it would stand the test of time. You don't always need a big product to win over a market.
Let's take an example: 'Post-It'. The simple colorful sticky notes are sold in over 100 countries and generated $1 billion in 2012.
The Velcro invented by George De Mestral is sold all over the world and generates $100 million a year.
5. Go Digital
It is said that a business which revolves around its consumers also revolves around making a lot of money!
So, simply said- Follow the consumer.
Earlier, it was all about mass production. Then, things changed to retail stores then to bigger malls.
And finally, the entire plane became a big mall with the help of e-commerce. The fact that matters is that consumers have adopted the digital revolution and have centered around it. So, you as a business, irrespective of your scale, need to align with the consumer.
Let's take an example: Amazon has more visits than Wikipedia, Google India, Twitter, Live.com, LinkedIn, MSN, Instagram and many others. In fact, Amazon is one of the top 10 most visited sites on the planet. This just shows the acceptability of online stores and digital sales from the consumer's perspective.
Bonus: An Identify your Niche.
Not every business can do everything. But every business can do something. This also implies to your business.
There are things which your business simply isn’t capable of. But then, there is something your business is really good with and there exists a certain group of consumers who love what you do.
That simply is your niche- a pie of the market which is small enough for you to dominate but big enough to earn profits.
Let’s take an example: For years, Apple tried getting into the Office computing segment in the 80s. It reached a point where it was months away from bankruptcy. But soon, it realized that its true potential lied in Personal Computing. And rest they say is history.
Before aiming for the top, strengthen your foundation.
Work on the basics, take care of the things said above & the business would take care of you!