The quest for more revenue is a high-priority topic in nearly every boardroom meeting, and it can lead companies down some unexpected paths. Recently, historic rivals CBS and NBC actually found themselves working together as both look to boost ad revenue in the coming years.
When it comes to boosting revenues today, creativity and tech-savvy are key. Amazon provides an obvious example. Jeff Bezos' retail behemoth has consistently used technology and vast amounts of data not just to maximize revenue, but to minimize pressure on existing resources as well. That technology and data have helped Amazon personalize the customer experience on a massive scale, and in the process, it's changed consumer expectations forever.
Artificial intelligence-powered search and recommendation engines can make any digital experience feel more personal and more relevant--the key to winning the sales game. Simply put, companies that can take advantage of data with AI are able to offer more relevant online experiences. More relevant online experiences, in turn, will lead to customers who are more likely to buy or more willing to engage with your sales team. CMSWire, for example, increased its mobile conversions by 125 percent with personalized content recommendations.
You don't necessarily have to incorporate an AI-powered platform into your sales program right now to boost your personalization and relevance, though. Here are three ways to improve your revenue without adding major resources:
1. Scrape data to learn about your market.
Scraping the web for market insights isn't a revolutionary technique. But it is a cost-effective way to find data points that matter. You might start by manually scraping data or building a program in-house to glean better insight into what competitors are doing, for instance.
Greg McBeth, head of revenue at AI startup Node.io, believes that more sales teams would invest in data scraping if they understood how powerful it can be. "Concentrating on data scraping allows a sales team to use existing data to increase potential outcomes efficiently with a comparatively small impact on operational excellence," he says.
On its way to becoming a startup unicorn, Uber deployed this method to amass millions of records containing valuable information on other ride-hailing companies. A sophisticated web scraper like Uber's can tell you when information on a competitor's website changes, allowing you to stay ahead of the competition by using publicly available info on everything from pricing to campaign messaging to product development. Your messaging will heighten in relevance as a result.
2. Close the gaps in your sales pipeline.
Too much time kills deals. It's one of the oldest bits of sales wisdom out there. If you find that customers or prospects are drawing out the sales cycle and never closing, it means there are gaps in your pipeline. Start looking for them now. Reviewing your CRM prospect records to identify where conversations are breaking down can provide you with a good starting point.
On the front end, you may simply be engaging with unqualified prospects. It's a waste of resources to move someone who will never buy down your sales funnel, so start by putting cold leads permanently on ice. After all, the content you're sending them will never be relevant. From there, look to add more transparency into your sales conversations so that potential customers know exactly what to expect throughout each step of the process. Finally, make sure your sales reps are spending their time on activities that directly impact revenue. Any time these employees spend on administrative or clerical work--or any task that can't lead to a sale--is a financial loss for your business.
3. Be your customer's advocate.
Harvard Business Review reports that increasing a company's customer retention rate by 5 percent can increase its profits anywhere from 25 to 90 percent, so companies seeking a profit boost have every reason to prioritize retention over drumming up new business. If you're a B2B company, one of the most effective ways to ensure loyalty is by sending referrals to your existing clients. This way, you provide a relevant reward that could boost your client's revenue and earn you some loyalty in the process.
Even promoting a client's brand on your own channels--which is essentially providing free advertising--can go a long way toward building a lasting relationship. Similarly, B2C brands can share and promote user-generated content from their customers in advertising and on social media as a way to recognize and thank customers for their business. Promote your unique hashtag to organize posts that you can share at peak engagement times.
Consistently doing these relatively easy things to keep your customers happy will make it difficult for competitors to steal them from you. And that's not such a crazy way to make some more money.