Let’s Talk Business for December 22, 2023

Today’s customers are savvier than ever, using artificial intelligence (AI) and YouTube to do their research before making a purchase. Data from HubSpot show that 71% of consumers prefer to gather information themselves rather than speaking with a human. Here are some ways to update your sales strategy, allocate resources, and focus your messaging to increase sales in 2024.

Chat tools have received a lot of attention in the media, but data show they might not be the best use of your sales resources. The three most effective sales channels, according to HubSpot’s research, are in-person meetings, phone calls, and email. While AI may help sales leads find information, it isn’t closing the deal. Your sales reps are — by investing the time into more productive, personalized conversations. In 2024, sales teams should focus on in-person meetings to increase sales, using customer relationship management tools and AI to provide early stage engagement and product education on autopilot.

In line with deepening customer relationships, businesses will need to prioritize building trust with consumers in 2024 to increase sales. Forrester predicts that trust for both established and new businesses will decline by 10% in 2024. Global events, a national election, and economic uncertainty have caused anxiety among consumers, and companies of all sizes will be affected.

Prepare for customers to be vocal when they see business practices that seem out of alignment with your brand promise. Hone in on a messaging strategy for your sales team that is authentic, true, and cohesive with your products or services, customer experience, and branding. Companies that are prepared can take advantage of eroding customer support for their competitors and boost sales.

Many sales teams are revisiting their performance metrics and prioritizing productivity with the same importance as profit. It’s worth revisiting your productivity rate to see what can be tweaked in your internal operations. Today, sales reps spend around two hours a day selling and at least one hour per day on admin tasks. Burnout is also at an all-time high. Tracking productivity can help you understand where time is lost due to routine tasks, overwork, and burnout so you can implement solutions to alleviate these issues.

Finally, customers across the board are focused on value. Discounts are nice, but customers are responding well to limited-time-only offers, according to Bank of America. Economic uncertainty and distrust of brands will encourage consumers to spend wisely, but they still want to shop. Increase sales with tactics that make shoppers feel like they’re getting an exclusive, once-in-a-lifetime deal.

The Emporia Area Chamber of Commerce offers many resources to help you start, run, and grow your business–including our annual Leadership Emporia Academy, monthly Group Lunches, Ribbon Cuttings, Business After Hours events, Legislative Dialogues, and more. Stop by the Trusler Business Center at 719 Commercial St., call 620-342-1600, or visit our website at www.emporiakschamber.org to learn more.

# # #
“Let’s Talk Business” is a weekly column of the Emporia Area Chamber of Commerce and Visit Emporia. The mission of the Chamber is to be proactive in creating an environment for business and community success, guided by the vision that positive attitudes promote positive actions. Contact us at 620-342-1600 or chamber@emporiakschamber.org and visit our website at www.emporiakschamber.org.