Supersize Your Sales (Without a New Product)

Last Updated Mar 23, 2010 8:07 AM EDT

Driving revenue growth is about more than introducing new products or expanding geographically. There are many other ways to grow sales that are often both quicker to deliver and provide better returns.

I have recently been working with a brand owner on this very question. Here are five areas we focused on to help the business find new ways to drive profitable, top-line growth.

Which of these could help your business achieve higher levels of growth?

  1. Make it easier for customers to buy your products. A key element of Tesco's UK growth over the past 10-15 years has been its development of new formats â€" such as Tesco Express and Tesco Homeplus, as well as its on-line offer â€" giving customers new, more convenient ways to shop at Tesco.
  2. Target and attract new customers. Critical to converting non-users is growing awareness of your products. In markets that are overcrowded, this means finding a unique selling point and also finding new ways to communicate your products' benefits. Alliance Boots [the Chemists] has benefited significantly from research that highlighted that its No7 brand's Protect & Perfect skincare range performed significantly ahead of its competitors. The resulting sales explosion not only enabled No7 to gain share, but it also grew the market.
  3. Increase use rates. The growth of smart-phone "apps", led by Apple's iPhone, has transformed the use of handsets into a range of personalised uses. Using my iPhone I can track the progress of trains I want to catch, tune my guitar, listen to the radio, play a variety of games, catch up on the latest â€" and mostly disappointing -- news about Preston North End and stream music through my stereo.
  4. Offer new 'pack' sizes. The tactical methods for different pack sizes include multi-buy sales (buy one, get one free) or volume offers (33 percent free), but there are also more strategic opportunities. Both McDonald's and Starbucks offer their customers the chance to 'go large'. Conversely, other companies have driven sales by offering smaller pack sizes, either to reflect different uses or to lower the total price paid. For example, tissues and wipes are offered in a variety of pack sizes to reflect different usage occasions, and Majestic Wine has reduced its minimum purchase quantity from 12 bottles to six.
  5. Raise prices and/or reduce discounts. The recession has limited business's ability to raise prices, but as the recovery begins to gain pace it may now appropriate to pass on the increase in costs that many companies have endured. To succeed, you will not only need to demonstrate your products' benefits but also ensure that your sales teams are effectively managing their accounts without simply offering volume and other discounts.
  • Stuart Cross

    Stuart Cross is a founder of Morgan Cross Consulting, which helps companies find new ways to drive substantial, profitable growth. His clients include Alliance Boots, Avon and PricewaterhouseCoopers.