How to increase your sales in a competitive market

Increasing your sales in a competitive market can be tough, but by understanding your customers and market place it can be a lot easier

Author: Euan Aitken | Published: 12/08/2022

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Increasing your sales in a competitive market can be tough, but understanding your customers and marketplace can be a lot easier.

Being in a competitive market gives you a huge opportunity to thrive as a business.

Yes, at times it can be challenging, however, understanding your business and marketplace well allows you to really differentiate your business, and stand out from the crowd.

Understand how you want to position yourself

Often there is a misconception that all sales are good sales, and I will tell you with no uncertainty that this could not be further from the truth.

One of the main keys to getting sales right is aligning yourself and your needs with those of the buyers, which is why this first step is so important.

When you are in a competitive market, the concept of a USP (Unique Selling Proposition) becomes difficult, if not impossible.

Instead, you should look at your Value Proposition, to understand how you want to position yourself.

You can be one or two of the following, but cannot be all 3 as this will never create a solid foundation for a sustainable business.

  • Best
  • Fastest
  • Cheapest

When competing, too many businesses will opt to undercut prices to win more business, and go with the cheapest, but what you need to consider is will this get you the customers you really want?

Types of buyers

In order for you to identify how to position yourself, you may want to consider your customers or prospective customers first.

Typically, buyers will fall into one of two categories, those who buy on price and those who buy on service (or value).

Unfortunately, those customers which are driven by price can often be the ones who are hardest to build relationships with.

If someone cheaper comes along, will they remain loyal to you? Possibly not? They might, but they might also try and squeeze your prices.

Often the biggest issue is they still want the best service for the cheapest price.

Whereas customers who buy products or services based on service or value, are much more likely to become loyal, longstanding customers for as long as you maintain your levels of service.

Getting the win-win

Once you truly understand the types of customers you want to attract and the type of business you want to be known as, you can begin to take steps to develop processes across every aspect of your business to ensure you attract the right customers and give them the service you want to deliver each and every time.

What do customers really want?

While we have spoken about customers falling into one of two categories, it is a really good idea to profile your ideal customers using buying personas (more on that here).

This allows you to better understand who those customers are, and segment them based on what is important to them.

In doing this, you can really understand what makes them tick and use this in the development of your processes to ensure you meet and exceed their expectations at every opportunity.

What should your processes look like?

The matter of fact is that your business processes should be as simple as possible, as this will make them quicker, more efficient and make it easy for your team to adopt them.

It also makes things straightforward for your customers to deal with you too which is vital, if you don’t need bureaucratic red tape – get rid of it, it’ll only slow you down.

It’s important to have processes unique to each step of the process, and ideally you want to be able to break these down into workflows to cover specific scenarios or customers.

You should have a process for everything from sales leads through to your ongoing service delivery to customers. Each should be independent, but should also interconnect for the greatest results.

This is where the fun starts….

By this point, you know;

  • Understand the business you want to be
  • Understand your different types of customers
  • Have simple processes and workflows around each part of your business

Use ALL of this, to your advantage to drive more of the right sales from both new and existing customer accounts.

If you are out to win new business, you are most likely to create a quotation or proposal as part of this process – this doesn’t have to be a one size fits all affair.

  • Show the customer, how you understand them and their needs & wants.
  • Give them different levels of detail as individuals absorb information at different levels
  • Include images or drawings. (Lots of tools for doing quotations fall down at this stage…)
  • Give them choices, or optional upgrades
  • Communicate what your processes look like when they go ahead (Not if, but when)

When you send the quotation, you should agree on the next steps, when are you going to follow up with them, and if you really want to stand out – make sure you do!

Creating quotes and proposals in this way will make you stand out from your competitors using their accounting systems, excel or word to create them and will surely turn some heads.

By having different document templates, pre-built quote libraries and a quick and easy to use the system to create them, quotes and proposals should take mere minutes to get out the door.

A customer should never have to wait for a quote or proposal – if you don’t get one sent out quickly, someone else could have won that business while you are still editing your quote….

Everyone is in Sales


Here is the revelation – if you really want to increase sales in your business the most important thing to understand is that everyone – every single member of your team is in Sales.

The most disciplined and successful salespeople know that closing a sale begins at the very start of the process – they control each and every interaction with the customer or prospect.

Use this knowledge in everything you do as a business.

Make information readily available for all of your team to quickly respond to customer queries or issues, and instil a culture of ownership and accountability, employ the right people, train & treat them well.

Take each and every opportunity to reaffirm information with customers, manage their expectations, and make them feel loved.

Happy customers become loyal customers.

Keep your customers happy, bring value to the table at every opportunity and you will see your sales increase even in the most competitive markets.

Euan Aitken

Euan Aitken

Sales & Marketing Director

Having started his journey with Zigaflow as a customer who took a keen interest in what the software could become, Euan joined us to lead our Sales & Marketing. Euan loves all things Business, Sales & Tech.

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