Not all sales channels are created equal. There are those that have the capacity to bring you hundreds of thousands of sales (even millions), while there are also those that may only bring you a handful.
Of course, any business owner would prefer the former over the latter.
And so the question becomes, which sales channels are you the most effective in gathering the most sales when considering quality and volume? Should you go for catalogs, VARs (Value-Add Resellers), or foreign distributors (among other channels)?
Sadly, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution to this question since businesses are unique and have their own dynamics. However, even having said that, allow me to share with you three of the most important sales channels that would fit almost any kind of business.
While there are certainly some exceptions to the rule, for the most part, these sales channels would be a perfect fit for a lot of businesses.
Let’s jump right in.
There are several types of online ads that you can use to grow your business:
Search Engine Marketing
With the growing number of internet users -- there are over 3.5 billion internet users in the year 2016 -- there is a lot of benefit for business owners to use the online ads as one of their primary sales channels.
The key here is finding out which type of online ad to use. While there are several strategies that a business owner can use to figure this out, I’d like to share with you these very simple steps.
Here’s a tip. Instead of simply typing in your keyword in the search engines, I urge you to use Google’s advanced search queries instead.
These are some of the search queries that you can use.
(*Note - The search queries below are geared towards helping you find sites that fishing enthusiast frequent on.)
(Your keyword or keyword phrase) inurl:forum
Example: Fishing tips inurl:Forum
intitle:(Your keyword or keyword phrase)
Example: intitle:Fishing tips
(Your keyword or keyword phrase) inurl:about
Example: Fishing tips inurl:about
You can check out this post for more information about the advanced search queries.
I use Similarweb.com to do this.
When I typed in, “Fishing tips inurl:Forum” in Google, the number 1 organic result is Bassresource.com.
I then entered the website on Similarweb’s search box and here’s what I found.
Not only that. But when you look at which countries the site’s traffic is coming from, you’ll find that 85.06% of them comes from the United States.
This tells me that the site is a place that fishing enthusiasts go to -- and a good number of them, at that!
I then reach out to the site to ask what their advertising methods and fees are. Some will tell you that they can share your business through their email newsletters, others will tell you that they have banner ad slots available, or they accept sponsored posts.
Once you have the options available, you can then ask the website owner about the nitty-gritty of each option to figure out which one would work best for your business.
Word-of-Mouth (WOM) marketing is a powerful tool that business owners can use to bring droves of warm leads to their businesses.
In the past, most consumers do not have the capacity to “blast” their opinions or endorsements of a product to their community -- they merely go about doing so on a one-to-one/personal level when meeting their connections.
At this day and age of the social media inclined generation, however, things have changed.
Most people can broadcast their endorsements or positive reviews of a company in just a matter of seconds through their social media accounts.
In short, WOM marketing has become even more accessible for the business owners nowadays through the power of social media.
That’s why the social media sales channel is hands down one of the best channels you can capitalize on.
When you think about how there are roughly 2.3 billion social network users worldwide, you can’t help but drool over the prospect of your business or products going viral on the platform.
And so the question becomes: How can I use the social media channel to drum up more business?
Here’s my suggestion:
If you have a budget prepared for social media ads, then I urge you to give it a shot.
When doing this, however, be sure to use your paid ads on the right social media network. If your target audience is on Linkedin, then I hope you aren’t using paid ads on Facebook and only publishing organic posts on Linkedin because that just doesn’t make any sense.
That said, you need to uncover which social media platforms your target audience frequents on, then spend your paid social media ads there.
When using influencer marketing, you need to reach out to influencers (people that have a decent huge number of followers) then ask them to tell their followers about you or your products.
I’ll tell you right now, only asking often do not work. You need to add value to the influencer if you want your outreach to succeed.
You can either give them a freebie, pay them, or promote them in your community (among other things). You’d be better off if you did your homework by doing a bit of research about the influencer to determine what he/she wants. That way, you can offer them something that they will find valuable as you ask/request them to promote you or your products.
According to statista.com, the B2C ecommerce sales worldwide is now at $1,471 billion.
Friends, the figure is a telltale sign of how selling online and using ecommerce stores should be one of your top priorities as a business -- using this sales channel hands down works if you want to grow your sales.
Whether you decide to use popular ecommerce stores like Amazon or Ebay, or you decide to put up your own ecommerce store, you need to take action now. Otherwise, your competitors can very easily siphon your would-be online customers to their own site.
Should you decide to put up your own ecommerce store, allow me to share with you three crucial points that you need to consider, that would help increase the effectivity of your website.
Adding an element of scarcity on your site is crucial because it compels your audience to take action immediately.
Considering how much of a distraction the internet is for everyone (your would-be customers included), it pays for you to get them to buy your products now; otherwise, they might be distracted and decide to click away without making the purchase.
Showing the number of available inventory is a simple yet effective way to add an element of scarcity in your pages.
When you have high-quality product images on your product pages, it becomes easier for your prospective customers to imagine using your product or imagine themselves enjoying the benefit of having your product.
The clearer the pictures are in their minds, the easier it becomes for them to make the decision to click your “Buy Now” buttons.
Such is the reason why seasoned copywriters endeavor to use words that paint mental pictures when writing powerful copies. They know how crucial it is for their prospective customers to imagine enjoying the benefit of the product.
Product ratings and customer reviews can influence your prospective customers to buy from you on a psychological level.
While there are several angles to look at this, one that comes to mind is Robert Cialdini’s, “6 Principles of Persuasion.”
According to Robert’s theory, one of the key principles of persuasion is Social Proof. The gist of the principle is simple; the people will do things that they see other people doing.
Of course, if the people can see that other people are buying your products (through your product reviews or ratings), then the chances of them buying also increases.
As you may have noticed by now, the screenshots I’ve been sharing comes from Amazon.com.
Just a thought: If Amazon.com is adding these conversion optimization elements on their product pages (since they found it to be effective after spending thousands of dollars testing the elements), then shouldn’t you be doing the same thing?
Have you been using several sales channels to grow your business? Which channels are bringing you amazing returns? And which ones aren’t? Please share your ideas in the comments section below.
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