14Use sales performance data to refine your tactics
Knowing how to increase online sales is a superpower in most industries. It’ll help you hit targets in slow quarters, impress higher-ups, fulfill your earning potential and grow company revenue.
While there’s no magic formula to boost sales volumes instantly, there are plenty of tactics for improving your team’s performance.
In this article, you’ll learn 14 simple ways to grow conversion rates (the percentage of website visitors who complete a purchase) and generate more sales revenue.
1. Map your online sales pipeline
Mapping your pipeline involves creating a roadmap for your online sales process. A pipeline map breaks down your customers’ buying journeys into stages, from the initial contact to the final purchase.
Everyone’s sales process is different, but many pipelines include these stages:
Following up with cold leads / providing after-sales services
Here’s what the customizable stages of Pipedrive’s Pipeline view look like.
Once you understand the steps, you can identify areas where leads often stall or drop off. Knowing this allows you to refine your sales and marketing strategies and increase online sales volumes.
Say you discover that leads tend to stall after the initial product demo. Knowing this, you can improve post-demo follow-up tactics to keep leads moving smoothly through the pipeline. You might create new follow-up email templates or start contacting leads sooner.
There are a couple of ways to map your sales pipeline. The cheapest and most basic are an Excel spreadsheet or Google Sheets, with help from a free sales pipeline template.
Sales teams often spend a lot of time on repetitive administrative tasks, like data entry, sending routine follow-up emails and responding to frequently asked questions.
Which of the following tasks do you spend most of your day working on?
By automating this work, your reps can reclaim valuable time to concentrate on what they do best: selling.
For instance, implementing chatbots on your website (that can instantly respond to common queries) and sales email templates will save time when reaching out to leads. Automation like this boosts productivity and enhances customer experiences by ensuring leads get timely responses.
Look to CRM software, marketing tools and dedicated automation apps to remove the most time-consuming tasks.
Since a lot of the work we do here is repetitive, we needed a way to make our work processes more automated and coherent across the company. When we made the switch to Pipedrive, the time saving was immediately there, for sure and revenue is up as well due to increased productivity.
The software allows you to trigger custom actions, like sending personalized emails to new leads or notifying colleagues when a deal updates.
Templates streamline processes further by allowing you to set up useful automations in seconds.
3. Hire top performers
Recruiting proven salespeople can have a transformative impact on your entire team’s performance.
Our latest State of Sales and Marketing report revealed that companies that grew their revenue in 2022 were 12 percentage points more likely to employ a workforce that regularly meets its sales quota (compared to companies whose revenue grew less).
My company's revenue growth in 2022 compared to 2021
Meanwhile, respondents who worked in companies that had to stop hiring people were 14 percentage points less likely to reach their personal annual sales targets than those at companies still recruiting.
It works because top performers can set a high standard for new and less confident reps to follow, passing on their expertise in understanding customer needs, handling objections and closing deals.
Bolster your hiring efforts by asking current employees to refer new recruits. They may have valuable contacts from previous roles that they can recommend for your business.
A CRM system is a tool for managing customer interactions and sales processes. It centralizes customer data, allowing sales, marketing and support teams to access helpful information on leads and paying customers.
Before contacting a lead, a salesperson can quickly retrieve that person’s entire history, including previous interactions, purchase records and preferences. Then, they can tailor their approach to make sales more likely.
We know that CRMs increase online sales. We recently reported that companies using them are 15 percentage points more likely to have grown their revenue than companies that don’t.
Compared to last year my company...
Companies that use a CRM software to track sales
Companies that do not use a CRM software to track sales.
The CRM market can be daunting so here are some sales-boosting features to prioritize:
A motivated and satisfied sales team is more likely to perform at its best. As a sales manager, you can monitor staff morale by conducting regular surveys, one-on-one discussions and team meetings.
Act on feedback promptly to create a positive and productive working environment.
For example, recognizing and rewarding top-performing salespeople boosts their drive and inspires others to work hard.
It’s also important to help staff who are finding the job challenging. We found that sales reps who received the most support in their professional life from their manager were 18 percentage points more likely to be very optimistic about their company’s performance.
Meanwhile, respondents supported by their manager or colleagues were between 9 and 11 percentage points more likely to hit their regular sales quota.
6. Diversify your marketing efforts
Relying solely on one digital marketing channel can limit your reach. Instead, explore various marketing tactics to target different audience segments. It should help you generate more leads, which means a busier pipeline and more deals to close.
For example, if your business primarily uses email and content marketing campaigns, incorporate social media and search engine advertising to reach a broader audience quickly.
Depending on your business model and target market, you could also try:
Influencer marketing (collaborating with high-profile individuals to promote products online)
Affiliate marketing (paying commission to publishers that promote your products)
Traditional marketing (e.g., direct mail, television and radio)
Conduct market research to understand what resonates best with your ideal customers and current customers. Use surveys, interviews, focus groups and sales conversations to understand preferences better.
7. Optimize your website for search engines
Becoming more visible on search engines is one of the most cost-effective and sustainable ways to build brand awareness and increase e-commerce sales. It’s a process called search engine optimization (SEO).
Buyers use search engines 20% more year-on-year. They are also 68.7% more likely to click on the top three results on Google (the largest search engine). If you “rank” in the top positions for relevant searches, you’ll likely also increase traffic to your site.
If you have a well-planned strategy targeting keywords your most interested customers might be looking for, you can also increase sales.
For example, someone searching “Orlando Floria” might simply be interested in learning about the place. Someone searching “best hotels near Disney World in Orlando Florida” is more likely to be looking to purchase a hotel room.
Understanding your audience, where they are in the buying journey and the keywords they may be searching for are all critical components of an SEO strategy.
SEO is complex but you can follow some basic guidelines to make your site or online store more visible to search engines:
Include audience-relevant keywords in your product copy and blog content
Optimize meta tags (text snippets that describe a page’s content) and page titles
Structure your website in a clear, logical way
Ensure your site loads quickly and appears correctly on mobile devices
Use website analytics software to understand how users move around your site. Then, you can identify which pages people visit most, where visitors drop off and which call-to-action (CTA) types are most effective.
These insights will help you create a better user journey for potential customers, making them more likely to reach and complete the checkout process.
For instance, if you notice your pricing content has a high bounce rate (the percentage of people who navigate away after visiting one page), you might investigate whether the pricing is competitive or if you need to provide more detailed information.
Pipedrive’s Web Visitors add-on reveals which organizations look at your site, how they find you and what they engage with – perfect for B2B companies. For an in-depth analysis of visitor behavior, check out Google Analytics.
9. Encourage referrals
Get satisfied customers to refer others to your business by offering incentives or rewards. Positive word of mouth increases sales because, according to Nielsen research, 88% of consumers trust personal recommendations more than any other channel.
For example, a B2B software company could discount existing clients' subscription fees for every successful referral. This strategy increases sales volume and fosters customer loyalty by rewarding those who advocate for your brand.
The best way to gain referrals is to consistently deliver thoughtful, personalized customer experiences. Qualtrics reports that buyers who get “five-star” experiences are 3.1x more likely to recommend a brand to friends and colleagues than those who receive one- or two-star experiences.
In other words, keep helping your loyal customers and they’ll soon start marketing your business for you, which reduces your marketing spend, increases sales and improves your bottom line.
Publicize your referral scheme in marketing content and sales conversations so that potential customers know they can save money or receive other benefits.
10. Use online ads to expand your reach
Online advertising is a fast, measurable way to expand your company’s reach and generate high-value leads.
The key to increasing online sales with ads is to build targeted campaigns that resonate with your target audience.
If you provide mobile accounting software for e-commerce businesses in Europe, you might use LinkedIn to show ads to small business owners using mobile devices in the UK, France and Germany. It’s much more precise than advertising on a billboard that any passer-by could see.
As for resonating with your target audience, ensure your ad copy is direct, has a clear value proposition and closes with a CTA.
The most cost-efficient advertising model is pay-per-click or PPC. This is where you pay each time someone clicks on your ad content, which means you’re guaranteed traffic (i.e., leads you could sell to).
11. Re-engage inactive email subscribers
Rekindling interest among inactive email subscribers increases website traffic and conversions and boosts sales volume.
Re-engage contacts by crafting compelling, highly relevant content and sending exclusive offers.
Time-limited discounts are a great way to get cold leads interested again. They create a sense of urgency that persuades some customers to make buying decisions faster.
Signpost each message’s value in its subject line so that inbox browsers are more likely to click open and read the content.
For example, if you run a flash sale to get people back on board, your email subject line should be as direct as “25% off [product name] for the next 24 hours”. Add a countdown timer to the email marketing copy to foster haste. Something like the one below from Restream.
It plays on the recipients’ fear of missing out (FOMO) while also making them feel valued (e.g., “take advantage of this unique offer”). The subject line reads: “FINAL HOURS: Get 20% Off a Restream Upgrade.”
Bundling related products or services helps customers feel like they’re getting more for their money, compelling them to buy. It’s a simple but effective sales strategy.
For example, an online learning provider could offer discounted bundles of related courses. People considering purchasing multiple courses now have an extra reason to commit and some discount customers may take notice, too. These are careful, price-driven buyers who are always looking for an improvement on the standard advertised price.
As well as helping your sales volume, bundling should increase your average transaction value by promoting cross-selling, as customers will discover additional offerings that they find valuable.
If you sell many related products, allowing customers to build custom bundles ensures they get the products that best address their pain points. They then enjoy a better user experience and are more likely to return.
13. Offer discounts
Offering temporary discounts, even on individual products, can drive customers to make purchases in a hurry.
For example, if you sell cloud storage, running a time-limited 20% discount on your premium subscription plan incentivizes potential customers to take action now rather than continue researching. It might also be enough to upsell existing customers of your basic subscription.
However, be careful, as consistent underselling can damage people’s perceptions of your brand. They may start undervaluing your products or expecting special offers with every order.
If you’re struggling to keep up with demand for a specific product, it’s a sign you’re undercharging already. It’s best to choose readily available products.
14. Use sales performance data to refine your tactics
Analyze sales performance data to gain insights into trends and opportunities around your:
Use what you learn to tweak your tactics and close more deals in less time.
Say you notice that a particular product is consistently underperforming in sales while another is always out of stock. You could switch your team’s focus for the next month to restore the balance. You’d also get to know the underperforming product in more depth, making it easier to sell in the future.
The best place to find insightful sales performance data is your CRM system. In Pipedrive, you can create custom sales dashboards and reports that show the most relevant metrics to your business and sales efforts. Share these with your sales, marketing and product teams to keep everyone informed.
If your goal is increasing online sales, in-store sales or any other type of deal, the strategies in this guide will help.
You may use some of these tactics already but employing more can help you grow your efficiency, navigate challenging periods and hit your sales targets regularly.
Keep track of what works best for your team and business. If one of the strategies helps you increase online sales in a specific product category, expand it across your organization to amplify the returns.
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