With so much information on the internet already and a little time, how do you ensure you maximize your time learning skills that are in demand — skills that will help you boost your product user experience and sales this year and in the years to come?
Here’s the truth: You need both soft skills and hard skills. The soft skills will stem from your ability to see possibilities from within you, many people suck at developing these intuitive skills — but if you can master them, then learning any other skill will be easier to learn.
If you’re ready to increase your product sales and trounce the competition, regardless of your industry, here are the top 10 ‘demanded’ skills you should pursue and possibly master:
1. Using Social Proofs
Social proof is a psychological factor that tells people you have had success with the services you're offering. It also puts peer pressure on your prospects, in a positive way. Would you trust someone who shows proof of past successes or someone who has no proofs at all?
Social Proof gives more power to your product pitch. There are many ways you can show social proofs to your prospects. These include:
i). Testimonials: This involves users praising your product or service and talking about how it has improved their business or lives. Here’s an example of testimonials from KISSMetrics.
ii). User review: This shows what users think about your product. They can tell what they like and hate about your product. This usually includes user ratings where they rate your product out of 5 stars.
Average ratings of over 4 are usually good social proof for your business. It’s no surprise that 63% of consumers claim they are more likely to buy from a website that has ratings and reviews.
This is an example of customer reviews used to sell a book on Amazon’s physical store.
iii). Case studies: It shows the challenges that prospects and customers have before they started using your product, what they did after purchasing your product and the results they got. This is an example of a case study from Unbounce.
iv). Data/Numbers: High performance indicated by data goes a long way to improve trust.
When using social proof, it's important that you use people who are similar to your ideal customer as this puts on more peer pressure. Using positive social proof is also crucial as negative social proof can have a negative impact on your sales.
2. Live Chat
If you want to grow your sales, one way you can do that is to be able to answer customers’ questions even while they are on your website. According to a survey by Econsultancy, 79% of customers prefer live chat because of its immediacy.
SuperOffice also put the average response time of live chats at 2 minutes, compared to social media that is 10 hours or email that is 17 hours.
If you sell products on your website, this could be the difference between a customer buying from you or your competitor. A report by eMarketer found that 35% more people made a purchase online after using live chat.
Econsultancy also found that live chat had the highest customer satisfaction rate, compared to other means of customer support.
With the use of live chat, ICICIPru was able to increase sales by 20% and got 100% customer satisfaction.
3. Mobile Development
Are you able to market on mobile? First of all, your website must be mobile-responsive. Mobile users are increasing daily. In fact, more Google searches are now done on mobile than desktop.
Another way companies sell more products is through their mobile apps. Research by Formstack shows that 46% of shoppers are less likely to shop around for other options when they're using a company's mobile app. This means they retain more customers.
When ASDA, UK’s second largest supermarket chain, improved shopping experience on its mobile application, their app accounted for 90% of all their grocery sales. They also found that shopping frequency on their mobile app was 1.8X higher than the desktop site.
4. Ability to Network with Influencers
Influencer marketing is an important part of your business. RhythmOne found that influencer marketing has 3 times the return on investment (ROI) of traditional marketing at 62% lower cost. [source]
Having an influencer in your field approve one of your products could be the breakthrough you need for that product. It could be the difference between average sales and be having a viral product.
It is important to be able to seek and maintain a good relationship with influencers in your field.
5. SEO/SEM Marketing
This is an important part of making sales because appearing in search engines is one of the pillars of selling your products online. Research by Forrester found that 71% of consumers use search engines to discover new products and 74% use search engines for consideration and purchasing.
Ranking high in the search engine results for important keywords gives you an edge over competitors that are absent in the organic listings. You must be able to optimize your website for these keywords.
By creating quality SEO-focused content, SendOwl got 40% of their sign-ups from SEO.
6. UX/UI Design
Why do you think iPhone sells like crazy, even though it’s quite expensive? Because it promises and delivers great user experience through its simple user interface design.
A bad user experience on your website is always a red flag for potential customers. It can spoil every other thing you have done well.
Your user interface design skills should always be to embrace simplicity. Your website must load quickly. WalMart discovered that conversions go down as your website load time increases from 1 to 4.
Users on your website should be able to navigate to all the important parts of your website easily. When you're able to make your customers happy on your website, they’ll happily pay for your product, though it may be more expensive than the competitor’s.
According to Vision Critical, customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator by 2020.
What makes a great user experience for your ideal customer? You must incorporate this into your website.
By performing a UX audit to improve usability, Javafly had a 112% increase in revenue.
7. Data Visualization
Can you obtain information from graphs, charts, and numbers? How many conclusions can you make from data presented to you?
In many cases, stories are presented in numbers. To improve your sales, you must be able to decipher the right information numbers are telling you.
It shows areas where you're doing well and where you need to improve your sales processes.
According to research by Aberdeen, organizations with real-time data visualization achieved a 15% increase in cash generated from operations.
As a marketer, most of your work is persuasion. Whether through your blog posts, or your sales page or interacting personally with your customers.
Some people are naturally persuasive, but some have to learn it. There are many persuasion skills and hacks that research has made known. You must know them and be able to put them to use.
For instance, one persuasion skill that Robert Cialdini found is the use of the word ‘because.’ When you present your product and use the word because to precede the reason they should buy, they become more receptive to buying.
The surprising thing about it is that you don't even have to give a unique reason after the word ‘because.’ There are many other persuasion techniques you must learn today to sell your products to customers.
Copywriting is one of the most important skills you need to sell your products. Through copywriting, you can tell your prospects all they need to know about your product and how it's going to help them.
This skill involves speaking the language your users understand. It involves preaching the benefits of your products to your customers. You may love the features of your product but customers are only interested in what these features will help them achieve.wri
You can walk into your prospects’ hearts by crafting persuasive and helpful content. Failing at this skill will make your product much more difficult to sell, especially online.
A study by RealBusiness found that 59% of people will not do business with a company that has poor grammar on its website. Appliances Online improved its sales page copy and other elements -- this led to a 9.5% increase in sales.
The competition in your marketplace is not going to decrease. It's only going to become tougher as more marketers and sales reps seek to sell more to the same customers you’re targeting.
If you don't continually add to your skills, you may sink while thinking you're safe. Your competitors are adding more skills to help them sell more products to customers.
Why not learn more skills to connect better with your potential customers and make more sales?
Sawaram Suthar is CMO at Acquire, and also a founder of Jagat Media, a digital marketing agency. A digital marketing consultant, he has experience in things including branding, promotions and page optimization, along with research and strategy. He has an MBA from the University of Pune. Anyone can find him on @sawarams.