Declining sales sometimes sneak up on you based on a variety of causes. Understanding common factors and identifying the ones impacting your business is necessary to make the right adjustments.
Here are six factors to consider if your sales are declining and you need to improve demand generation.
1. Reduced Product or Service Demand
One of the simplest explanations of a sales decline is a loss of buyer enthusiasm for your products. This factor could come into play when a product reaches maturity or when competitor offerings increase.
You have a few options to handle waning product or service demand.
You can attempt to re-position the solution to highlight alternative benefits, target a new customer group that hasn’t yet recognised the value, discount items for demand generation or source a new solution.
2. Poor Lead Generation
Declining sales is often a symptom of poor lead generation. With a smaller prospect base, reps have fewer opportunities to convert.
Perpetual emphasis on lead generation is a preventative measure to guard against this factor.
However, if you already face this burden, you might include an increase in leads in your next set of goals.
3. Disconnect between Sales and Marketing
A key cultural factor influencing sales is the level of collaboration between sales and marketing.
When sellers view marketing as a hindrance or necessary evil, sales erosion is a possible evolution.
Instead, you want reps to work in close collaboration with marketing by providing useful data and discussing mutual goals of financial performance.
Marketers rely on data input via CRM software to analyse and prepare marketing materials.
Poorly targeted or ineffective collateral could certainly impede sales success.
4. Cost-Cutting Measures
Companies dealing with adverse financial conditions often respond with cost-cutting measures.
If cost-cutting includes salary freezes or reductions, sellers can become demotivated.
Additionally, trimming your investment in marketing and other support functions blocks demand generation and conversion efficiency.
Viewing marketing and sales as investments in your business helps guard against the downward spiral that often results from cost-cutting measures.
5. Poor Economic Conditions
In tough economic climates, your buyers may get bogged down with their budget cuts.
Tighter budgets cause your customers to deliberate longer over decisions and to even avoid responding to sales calls at times.
Your challenge during these periods is to hone in on the differentiation and value of your solution relative to competitors.
A clear understanding and practical training help your sales reps convey that value to customers, even when times are tough.
You can read more about this here: Are You Listening To Your Customers
6. Ineffective Time Management
Time is one of the most significant resources in selling.
Lost morale and scheduling conflicts challenge sellers to optimise efficiency, according to SalesForce Search.
If your reps spend too much time on low-volume prospects, they may miss opportunities to convert large customers or to maintain relationships with core buyers.
Coaching staff on effective time management and factors to consider when scheduling appointments are critical.
Internal and external factors can both contribute to weak demand generation and declining sales.
To prevent or adapt to struggling sales, identify which factor or factors impacts your business.
Then, design a strategy to prepare your reps for optimum performance.