At its most simple, sales promotion is a useful way of introducing or promoting a particular product or service to a potential customer as a means of encouraging engagement and purchase.
The list of reasons why you might consider pursuing a sales promotion is, however, more complex than just that and whether you’re an IT supplier or channel partner, it’s important that you’ve considered these options in full. Doing so equips you with a far greater chance of success – not least of all when operating in the fast, passionate, and incredibly noisy world that is the IT sector!
Whether your starting point is launching a new product; wanting to boost sales on a flagging line; the need to clear aged inventory; increase overall market share; penetrate a new vertical or, simply, stand out from the competition and increase customer loyalty, at the crux of any sales promotion is the need to cut through the noise and create standout.
To achieve this, a promotion must not only resonate with the intended end-user (the customer), but also appeal to those who will be charged with physically pushing the promotion. It must also make sound commercial sense. The balance of these three is the challenge and when addressed properly, ultimately lead to success.
I have seen some amazing promotions over the years, but these are matched by just as many pointless or commercially wasteful promotions that not only prove to be a drain on resources, but also risk damaging credibility.
So, I hear you ask, what factors make a commercially sound sales promotion that has the greatest chance of succeeding? Obviously, a promotion needs to have a clear objective but in addition to this, I believe there are five key considerations towards securing success:
- Is it compelling? – a promotion needs to be relevant to your customers and grab their attention – quickly!
- Is it clear? – if a promotion is not easy to understand, it not only will it fail to engage your customers, but also your sales teams – simply, if they are not confident to promote it, they’ll not give it the required focus and backing
- Is it sustainable? – a promotion needs to run for a time frame that is suitable for the sales cycle of the given products; too short and sales will not be completed in time, too long and the energy and focus will wane
- Is it attractive? – the attractiveness of a promotion is not only vital in engaging with customers, but also the sales force and your own organisation. Key to success in this respect, however, is avoiding the need to pay extra rewards to the sales team for doing what is essentially their usual day jobs, and you most certainly do not want to cannibalize your most lucrative business
- How will it affect relationships? – put simply, a poorly thought through promotion or regular price discounting might devalue your brand and have negative long term impacts. On the other hand, an attractive customer loyalty scheme could strengthen your image and provide a wealth of data on your customers and in doing so build a longevity to that relationship
Whilst we speak a lot about the importance of sales promotion to the IT sector, we do so couched in a deep-appreciation of what exactly this entails. If you’re considering pursuing a sales promotion path, then ensure you’ve spoken with the team at Consenna to ensure success.