Sales: 30 Insights & Solid Facts

sales insights
This article provides some key sales insights because sales are essential, vital part of any business, without it your business won’t survive and so every business search for new, unique, effective ways to improve sales, this article won’t provide you methods on how to improve sales but instead will give you some really solid facts, actionable insights gathered from well reputed business, research journals, organizations from world around, to manage, to plan, to coordinate your business sales related activities efficiently & effectively.


Remember these facts/insights are not like those “usual internet facts” rather these insights are backed up by solid objective verifiable researches conducted in the last 10 to 15 years, AND! you can’t imagine how many research articles, business journals I went through to collect this stuff.


You can use these insights in your day to day business activities related to sales and if you want to read or delve further then I would suggest reading articles mentioned in the references at the bottom.


30 Sales Insights & Important Facts


Sales & Sports

Studies have shown that sports marketing is often sales oriented and supporters (consumers) of sports hate to think of their favorite sports team, club being a "brand" or being tarnished due commercialism. 

Because supporters have very close and very unique relationship with their favorite sports team and thus majority of them are often appalled by the thought of their favorite sports team, club being reduced to nothing more than a “brand”. (1)(2)

To know more about why it is like this, please read the referenced article and if you want to implement the above insight then it is simple, "Don't try to commercialize sports or use them as a brand for your business! or at least be very careful if you are going for it".

Sales Promotions VS Sales

Although we often get involved in sales promotion activities to boost up sales, research shows that such activities destroys brand equity and increases price sensitivity in the long run (3).

Because the whole focus is on short term profits, when a manager focuses on such goals only; then the rest of the members of organization focuses on it too thus neglecting the long term goals of developing and improving brand equity, customer satisfaction, creation of customer added value, competitive advantage etc (4) (5).

Now to avoid that (brand equity loss & increases price sensitivity) Managers are using freebies, gifts, non monetary promotions etc (6).So if you are going for sales promotion, you should also make freebies, gifts, non monetary promotions part of your whole sales promotion campaign to avoid any side effects.

Plus Cause Related Marketing (CRM) can also come in handy, research shows that managers frequently utilize CRM to improve corporate reputation and to increase sales (7) (8).

Lastly sales promotion can kill your business if not done the right way, read this interesting and insightful case study  Warning!: Sales promotion can kill your business

Innovation vs Sales

According to a research, Innovation has been shown to increase the sales of existing products by helping to reposition the brand in the mind of consumers through the tangible and intangible attributes of the innovation (9)

Read carefully, it is talking about “Existing Products” not about products that come through the innovation!!!

Colors & Sales

85% Buyers pointed out color as the main reason why they bought a particular product (10).

That is true!!! 

So now you have one more way to convince your customers to buy your product/service.

Sales & Salesperson Age

Research has shown that salespersons prefer to sell to customers who they see as similar to themselves in terms of age (11)

That means you should send sales person to those customers to whom your salesperson relates in terms of demographics etc

Sales & IT

According to a study, having effective utilization of IT tools & IT structure (by developing efficient IT infrastructure) can greatly reduce costs associated with sales (12).

Now if you have IT infrastructure, tools in your business, you need to think of how to make it more efficient and effective. And doing that will surely reduce costs related to sales.

Marketing Professionals, Advertising & Sales

Marketing professionals are often uncertain of how their efforts in advertising can result in increase in sales (so next time you need to objectively verify claims of a marketing professional when it comes to sales and advertising) (13).


Word of Mouth & Sales

Studies suggest that WOM is behind 20 to 50% of all purchase decisions (14a)

And according to Nielsen research, 92% of consumers believe in recommendations from friends and family over all forms of advertising (14b).

(According to another research) Because friends don’t have personal interest in recommending a particular product, brand and thus their recommendations are perceived to be more credible (15).

(Again according to another research) And e-WOM or word of mouth through internet can also influence sales immensely; research shows that around 70% of internet users trust e-WOM (16).

Mention of word Sales

According to a study just the mention of word “Sales” can drive up demand by over 50% and that too without any change in actual price (17).

Hmmm...!

Bad Weather & Sales

Bad weather is a business killer except for those businesses that are selling things that help the buyer to cope with the bad weather.

(According to a research) Along with that market trends, seasonal trends, fads can also increase or decrease sales (18).

Customer profile, CSR Effectiveness & Sales

(According to a research) By developing complete customer profiles and then making it available to your Customer Service Representative can help your CSR to become more customer oriented thus making additional product/service recommendations, consequently more sales (19).


Sales & Mass advertising VS Direct Marketing

According to a research, direct marketing produces more sales on each dollar spent compared to mass advertising (20).

Sales & Early Introduction

According to a research, a company will enjoy more sales and extended sales life of its product/service if it introduces a product/service earlier compared to its competitors and vice versa (21).
Yes common sense! but now you have science on its back too! ;)

Discount & Sales

(According to a research) Although discount increases sales but remember that it also lowers your chance to earn more from the customers who were willing to pay higher amount and not only that, sales that result from such discounts are in reality advanced purchases triggered by low price and thus such discounts are not healthy for your business in longer run (22).

Which means discounts is not the right strategy (in the long run) if it is your only strategy!!!

Sales, Retailer & Comparative Price Advertising

Research shows that majority of retailers use comparative price advertising to convince customers, to increase sales (23).

So if you are a retailer/salesperson then I guess you should utilize comparative pricing approach in your dealings with your customers.

Loyalty Programs Improve Sales

According to research customer loyalty program improve customer loyalty and sales by good margin compared to lack of customer loyalty program (24).
 
Now if want to know exactly how much does loyalty program increase sales and how can you launch a loyalty program then this post is for you Why Your Small Business needs Customer Loyalty Program

Salesperson Effectiveness

(According to a research) Similarity in terms of status, lifestyle, appearance of salesperson with customer increases salesperson effectiveness (25).

So identify your target market in terms of such things like lifestyle, appearance and then hire guys that are similar and see if they are effective, I bet they will be, don’t just hire too many though, experiment with one or couple …

Defensive Marketing Strategy, Sales VS New Entrant/Competitor

According to another research, in order to protect your business market sales/share effectively from a new entrant/competitor utilize defensive marketing strategy (26).

I have written an interesting article on offensive & defensive marketing, here 


Brand Orientation & Sales

Brand Orientation "the degree to which the organization values brands and its practices are oriented towards building brand capabilities” (27).

Research has shown that one of the key barrier to “Brand Orientation” is; having focus on short term sales (28).

So if you need brand orientation then you have to focus on long term stuff and for more understanding you should read the referenced articles…

Sales & Advergames

I always thought of those advergames being useless but research shows otherwise, when it comes to sales; advergames can deliver! (29).

Again read the referenced article and try it if you can afford … definitely it will deliver!!!

Impulse Buying, Coca-Cola & Sales

According to Coca Cola’s CEO Muhtar Kent, more than 70 percent of Coke’s sales are due to impulse Purchases (30).


That's it, over to you guys, kindly share it if you liked it, I have put a lot of effort in it, thanks!

And don't forget to subscribe!

References:



1.      Chadwick, S. and Beech, J. (2007), “Introduction: The marketing of sport”, in Beech, J. and Chadwick, S. (Eds),The Marketing of Sport, Pearson Education, Harlow, pp. 3-22.

2.      Chadwick, S. and Holt, M. (2006), “Building global sports brands: key success factors in the marketing of the UEFA Champions League”, in Desbordes, M. (Ed.),Marketing and Football: An International Perspective, Butterworth-Heinemann, Oxford, pp. 22-50.

3.      Mela, C.F., Gupta, S. and Lehmann, D.R. (1997), “The long-term impact of promotion and advertising on consumer brand choice”,Journal of Marketing Research, Vol. 34 No. 5, pp. 248-61.

4.      Webster, F.E. (1988), “The rediscovery of the marketing concept”,Business Horizons, Vol. 31 No. 3, pp. 29-39.

5.      Wong, H.Y. and Merrilees, B. (2005), “A brand orientation typology for SMEs: a case research approach”,Journal of Product and Brand Management, Vol. 14 No. 3, pp. 155-162.

6.       Isabel Buil, Leslie de Chernatony, Teresa Montaner, (2013) "Factors influencing consumer evaluations of gift promotions", European Journal of Marketing, Vol. 47 Iss: 3/4, pp.574 - 595

7.      Docherty, S. and Hibbert, S. (2003), “Examining company experiences of a UK cause related marketing campaign”,International Journal of Non-Profit and Voluntary Sector Marketing, Vol. 8 No. 4, pp. 378-389.

8.      Kotler, P. and Lee, N. (2005),Corporate Social Responsibility: Doing the Most Good for Your Company and Your Cause, Wiley, Hoboken, NJ, p. 320.

9.      Kapferer, J.N. (2008),The New Strategic Brand Management, Kogan Page, London.

10.  http://www.shopify.com/blog/14254569-why-all-sale-signs-are-red-the-science-of-color-in-retail

11.  Dwyer, S., Orlando, R. and Shepherd, D.C. (1998), “An exploratory study of gender and age matching in the salesperson-prospective customer dyad: testing similarity-performance predictions”, Journal of Personal Selling and Sales Management, Vol. 18 No. 4, pp. 55-69

12.  Mosad Zineldin, (2000),"Beyond relationship marketing: technologicalship marketing", Marketing Intelligence & Planning, Vol. 18 Iss: 1 pp. 9 – 23

13.  Herbert Jack Rotfeld, (2009),"The marketing myths and consumers' fear of marketing", Journal of Consumer Marketing, Vol. 26 Iss: 5 pp. 309 - 310

14.  (14a)Nielsen, (14b) http://www.forbes.com/sites/mckinsey/2014/02/14/can-a-goldfish-show-you-how-to-excite-your-customers/

15.  Silverman, G. (1997), ‘‘How to harness the awesome power of word of mouth’’,Direct Marketing, Vol. 60 No. 7, pp. 32-7.

16.  Accenture (2010), “Global consumer survey: ‘Social media... dramatically accelerating the exchange of customer opinions’”, available at: www.accenture.com (accessed 20 November 2011)

17.  OP. cit., Kiviat.

18.  Biren Prasad, (1997),"Analysis of pricing strategies for new product introduction", Pricing Strategy and Practice, Vol. 5 Iss: 4 pp. 132 – 141

19.  Denise D. Schoenbachler, Geoffrey L. Gordon, Dawn Foley, Linda Spellman, (1997),"Understanding consumer database marketing", Journal of Consumer Marketing, Vol. 14 Iss: 1 pp. 5 - 19

20.  Yorgey, L.A. (1995), “Putting your database to work”, Target Marketing, January, pp. 20-21.

21.  Biren Prasad, (1997),"Analysis of pricing strategies for new product introduction", Pricing Strategy and Practice, Vol. 5 Iss: 4 pp. 132 - 141

22.  Klaus Hilleke, Stephan A. Butscher, (1997),"How to use a two- product strategy against low-price competition", Pricing Strategy and Practice, Vol. 5 Iss: 3 pp. 108 – 115

23.  Chandrashekaran, R. and Grewal, D. (2003), “Assimilation of advertised reference prices: the moderating role of involvement”,Journal of Retailing, Vol. 79 No. 1, pp. 53-62.

24.  http://www.foster.washington.edu/centers/salesmark/Documents/loyaltyprogram.pdf

25.  Crosby, L.A., Evans, K.R. and Cowles, D. (1990), “Relationship quality in services selling: an interpersonal influence perspective”, The Journal of Marketing, Vol. 54 No. 3, pp. 68-81

26.  Walker, O.C., Boyd, H.W., Mullins, J. and Larreche, J. (2003), Marketing Strategy.  A Decision-focused Approach, McGraw-Hill Irwin, New York, NY.
  
27.  Bridson, K., and Evans, J. (2004) ‘The secret to a fashion advantage is brand orientation’, International Journal of Retail and Distribution Management, 32(8): 403-11

28.  Wong, H.Y. and Merrilees, B. (2008), “The performance benefits of being brand-oriented”,Journal of Product & Brand Management, Vol. 17 No. 6, pp. 372-83.

29.  Brandweek (2007), “The results issue”,Brandweek, Vol. 48 No. 28, pp. 28-34.

30.  Karmali, N. (2007), “Meet Coke’s next boss? An interview with Muhtar Kent, CEO – Coca Cola”, Business India,December, p. 18.

About Publisher Arshad Amin

Certified SEO Professional, Small Business, Start-up, Marketing Expert with ton's of practical, actionable ideas, insights to share, Proud Founder and Owner of www.easymarketinga2z.com and www.topexpertsa2z.com

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