Sales Strategies for SMEs in Post Covid-19

BY: Andrews Ayiku, Lecturer

Many businesses across various industries have been drastically affected by the pandemic during the past year and many companies, currently are regrouping and developing strong sales strategies to come back stronger than ever. Small business owners can consider the following tips to boost their sales strategies in this post-pandemic era.

Exclusive deals and offers:
It is vital to note that, most prospects and potential customers have been forced to rethink their buying priorities, preferences, and spending plans. Their buying decision-making has been greatly affected by their current financial and economic situation. Business owners must therefore consider the purchasing power of their clients to invest in their products or services. Many businesses in Accra have started to offer special "pandemic deals" in response to attract customers during the coronavirus recession.

Prioritize customer retention:
Small business owners need to prioritize customer service to keep clients satisfied. Having a deep understanding of your audience's needs and complaints will help in developing tailor-made products and services. Businesses must adopt strategies to increase the number of repeat customers and to increase the profitability of each existing customer. This will enable them to provide and extract more value from their existing customer base. The customer retention strategy helps to build customer relationships and maximize revenue for each one of them.

Successfully integrate remote working:
Many SMEs need to retool themselves for remote work. Many business owners are worried about communication problems, employee isolation, data security issues, and diminished productivity. Working remotely has become the order of the day and the need for businesses to invest in video conferencing and collaboration applications specifically designed to help sales teams during the pandemic. Some of these software’s include screen sharing, instant messaging, and shared calendars.

Redirect your customers:
The adoption of digitization and eCommerce services was one of the key enablers for many companies to carry on doing business during the lockdown implemented to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. It is also important for business owners to strategies on how to bring customers back into their physical stores. It is very important to outline plans of getting customers back into the stores as well as boosting sales online. This will include analyzing the costs of bringing back life to the shops especially with regards to face-to-face workers and retailers.

Leveraging the power of digitalization:
Small business owners must consider investing in sales software and adopting digital solutions into their operations. These solutions will help sales representatives and marketing staff to work effectively. Having a customer relationship management system is the cornerstone of any sales strategy in this digital era especially since it will help the company to track customer analysis and manage customer data. This will allow the companies to gain a deep understanding of their clients' needs, preferences, and habits and how best to sell to them. SMEs brands will need to proactively connect and engage with audiences through their social media channels, not only because more consumers are converging online but also because many employees and organizations are conducting business online.

New fresh marketing ideas:
The pandemic provided a perfect opportunity for SMEs to rebrand their business and consider repackaging and shifting focus. Many global brands have launched different marketing strategies, employing creative approaches like gamification, neuromarketing, and influencer marketing. Many goods that were not considered essential before the health crisis became a top priority for consumers and therefore SMEs can consider exploring different types of products across different industries. I will advise small business owners to consider partnering with other brands to launch new products like hand sanitizer or to sell branded face masks.

Refocus and spend on more profitable areas:
It is interesting to note that many businesses don't benefit from simply cutting costs in uncertain times. I will therefore advise that instead of holding money, SMEs can refocus their marketing spending on a more progressive strategy such as channeling funds into new online marketing techniques and fresh sales opportunities. SMEs ought to be creative in order to repurpose their content to suit the needs of the modern buyer and add value to their customers' interactions.

Andrews Ayiku, Lecturer
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University of Professional Studies Accra