It may not sound exciting, but sales volume actually is – especially when it can tell you exactly what your company is doing right (or wrong).
The reality is that your ability to sell a certain number of units is just as crucial as your ability to make a certain amount of money. Why? You may discover underperforming products and enhance your sales process across all product lines by being aware of your sales volume.
Here in this RisePath post, we’ll discuss sales volume fundamentals, its importance, and 12 techniques to boost it.
What does sales volume mean?
Sales volume is a measurement of the quantity of a product that your business sells during a given reporting period. Sales volume can help you identify your most and least successful product lines even though it ignores income.
Why is sales volume important?
Imagine your company has recently released a revolutionary new product that is meant to revolutionise your industry. The product not only meets a specific demand for your customers, but it also innovates. Additionally, your business plans for it to be well-received by stakeholders and customers.
However, how can you tell how well your product is selling? Most likely, you use a set of sales measurements and KPIs to monitor the performance of your company. However, the amount of money generated from sales may not always be the best indicator of how well your products are doing overall.
In this situation, a sales volume measurement is useful. Sales volume by itself doesn’t describe how much money your business makes from selling products. However, knowing your sales volume might help you identify which products are and aren’t selling, which is important knowledge for expanding your company.
The performance of your business may be significantly impacted by how you measure sales volume. Monitoring these indicators helps improve operations in a number of ways, including determining which salespeople generate the most income and evaluating the effectiveness of your staff.
Let’s talk about how to determine this measure.
Methods for Estimating Sales Volume
As we previously stated, sales volume does not reflect the financial value that sales provide to the business. It only serves as an indicator of how many units your business was able to move in a specific time frame. This can be calculated using either the unit formula or the percentage formula from the sales volume formula.
The unit formula is straightforward because all that is needed is to multiply the number of units by the duration (e.g. 1 month, 1 quarter, 1 year, and so forth). For instance, if you work for a supplement business that sells 1,000 multivitamin units in Q2, your multivitamin sales volume for that quarter would be 1,000.
Multivitamin sales of 1,250 units during the third quarter might result in a 25% rise in sales volume for this product.
The percentage formula is used to compute the percentage of units sold for a certain item. The equation is:
(Units of individual items sold multiplied by 100) / All-products units sold equals the total sales volume %.
Using the same example, if your company sold 1,000 multivitamins out of 5,000 total units during the second quarter and your entire sales volume for all products was 5,000 units, your multivitamin sales would represent 20% of your total sales volume.
If your business had somewhat lower sales in Q3 and only moved 4,500 units across all product lines, your multivitamin sales would make up 28% of your whole sales. This information can assist guide your future sales strategy because it demonstrates that customers are interested in buying your multivitamins even when sales of other products are down.
Your business has the option of measuring sales volume either by product cases as a whole or by individual product units. Additionally, the length of time can change and be calculated on a weekly, monthly, quarterly, or annual basis.
The volume of Sales Variance
How can you tell if you’re underperforming now that you know your sales volume? Examining the variance in your sales volume is one approach to achieving this.
This statistic aids in calculating the positive and negative effects of selling more or fewer units than planned.
In Q2 and Q3, respectively, you sold 1,000 and 1,250 units of multivitamins, sticking with the example of your supplement business. Now, the 25% rise in sales volume seems fantastic, but is it really? Should your business be selling more than 2,000 units every quarter?
Your firm is headed in the right direction if the variance in your sales volume is positive. If it’s negative, you might want to consider your pricing, your competitors, or whether you’ve oversaturated the market with products that are comparable to yours.
Use this calculation to determine your sales volume variance:
(Actual Units Sold – Budgeted Units Sold) X Budgeted Price / Standard Profit / Standard Contribution Per Unit = Sales Variance
Let’s examine another illustration. Consider a scenario where your supplement company sells 10,000 multivitamins despite only budgeting for 8,000.
10,000 units were actually sold.
Budgeted sales: 8,000 units
This indicates a difference in sales of $2,000 for you. The standard contribution per unit is then calculated. You determine the standard contribution to be $20 per unit after taking into account labour, supplies, and overhead.
$20 is the standard donation per unit.
Last but not least, multiply the difference in sales ($2,000) by the average contribution ($20) per unit. Your difference in sales volume is $40,000 The variance is beneficial in this case, indicating that your business and its product exceed expectations.
Sales volume variance provides information on whether a product is performing poorly, how much it is lagging, and how to address the issue. It is computed by averaging the profit, contribution, or revenue per unit times the difference between the actual sales quantities and the anticipated sales quantities. The financial impact of exceeding or falling short of your planned sales is measured by sales volume variance. With this knowledge, you can modify your pricing methods as well as how you sell and distribute your goods.
Let’s talk about ways to boost sales volume for your company now that you know what it is and why it matters.
Ways to Boost Sales Volume
1. Recognize your product’s distinctive features and core attributes.
To put it simply, when you want to improve sales volume, you want to get more of your goods off the shelf. You must have a thorough awareness of the fundamental characteristics and distinctive qualities of your product in order to accomplish this.
Consider these issues:
- What makes your product unique compared to the competition?
- What does your product offer that the others don’t if a consumer sees it on a shelf next to a number of others that fulfil a comparable function?
- What would you say if you had 60 seconds to persuade someone to purchase your product? What key characteristics would you emphasise?
Let the responses to those inquiries serve as your guide when describing your goods to potential buyers.
2. Continue to put client advantages first.
What’s in it for me? is the main concern of everyone who is in the buyer’s position in a transaction. When considering a purchase, a person wants to understand what they will get for their time and money.
We explained why it’s important for you to comprehend the salient features and unique selling points of your product above. Once you’ve done that, think of ways you may highlight those attributes while emphasising how they will directly benefit the customer. Customers ultimately want to buy things that will save them time or perhaps enhance their quality of life. You can make a stronger case to the customer for why they should buy your products when you present them from this angle.
3. Make sure you fully vetted your prospects.
Are you certain that the initial prospects you’re selling to are the proper ones? Making sure you’re selling to the proper individuals is an excellent place to start if you discover your sales volume is falling or feels sluggish. This could be a sign that you need to update important parts of your sales process.
You want to connect with potential customers who are the best fit for your offering and are most likely to buy. It can be aggravating to try to sell to the incorrect individuals, and it might harm your sales efforts.
Ask incisive, pointed questions throughout the qualification process to ascertain whether the specific prospect is a good fit. For excellent sales qualifying questions, see this post.
4. Recognize the problems your customers are facing.
In order to make a sale, you should ultimately try to match your customers with products that can help them with a problem they are having.
To be successful at this, you must understand the issue the consumer is facing. Once you are aware of these problems, you can compare their difficulties to the reasons your product is the best remedy.
5. Consult frequently with your marketing group.
Maintaining alignment with your marketing team is crucial to ensuring the proper leads are in the pipeline, in addition to thoroughly vetting your prospects and ensuring you understand their problems.
Additionally, be sure to let your marketing team know if you have specific volume sales goals. Your marketing team can produce content and pertinent materials to help you achieve your objectives when they are aware of the products you want to concentrate on selling and why.
6. Pay attention to increasing sales velocity.
Time is money, a cringeworthy but accurate adage. I know; it makes me cringe every time. This saying, however, is accurate in sales.
How quickly you can move prospects through your sales pipeline to produce income is measured by your sales velocity. You can reach more potential clients if you can do this more quickly. You can expand your customer base and boost your sales volume by boosting your sales velocity.
7. Change the sales territory assignments.
You might want to take a closer look at how your territories are allocated if your sales force relies on territory management as a component of your strategy. Reallocating your top sellers to regions or accounts with the highest potential for growth might be advantageous for your company.
8. Encourage and reward your sales representatives.
Depending on the compensation plan in place at your company, offering financial incentives to sales representatives may encourage them to move more merchandise. If changing your compensation plan is not an option right now, think about other strategies to encourage sales rep morale, such as setting up a leaderboard for sales volume and rewarding top performers through friendly competition.
9. Introduce prizes for customers.
While we’re talking about incentives, it can also be beneficial to look for strategies to motivate your customers. Your current customers can be an excellent resource for increasing sales volume, whether you give discounts to customers who buy numerous products at once or compensate customers who suggest additional purchasers with affiliate commissions or other incentives.
10. Pay attention to your best customers.
Prioritization is crucial for increasing sales. Look at the time you and your reps are putting in. Are the top accounts—those that are most likely to make larger purchases or frequent purchases—being given priority?
Make attempts to convert and retain people who are more likely to make significant or repeated purchases a priority for your organisation.
11. Recognize hazards and minimise risks.
Sales volume not only reveals what is most effective but also reveals your weaknesses. Imagine, for instance, that as you’re considering how to distribute your budget, you notice a pattern of consistently low sales in a particular area or population. In that instance, you can modify your sales plan using the data.
You may reduce the dangers your company may face and adjust your plan as necessary by figuring out what isn’t working.
12. Establish criteria and requirements.
Tracking sales volume can assist create a new standard for your sales strategy, which is crucial for both newer businesses and older ones. Your team can learn what metrics are intended to be a target to aim for and beat by tracking and finding averages on a monthly to an annual basis.
Having those numbers to provide to your organisation can inspire every sales representative on your team to give it their all and set high expectations for the future of your firm.
Put These Metrics to Work for Your Business
Understanding how your products are performing can offer insightful information that, in turn, can increase sales for your business. Starting today, use these measures to assess the state of your business after learning how tracking sales volume might affect it.
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