April 10, 2024

Sales Growth in a Post-AI World: Here's What You Need...

Every sales professional understands the importance of increasing sales. But simply focusing on closing deals daily isn't enough. To truly measure success and develop a winning sales strategy, you need to track certain metrics, like sales growth rate.

In this article, you’ll learn everything you need to know about sales growth. We'll cover what it is, why it matters, how to calculate it, and proven strategies to boost your company’s sales growth rate. 

We'll also explore how AI and automation, particularly through Copy.ai workflows, can streamline this process and help you achieve even greater results.

What Is Sales Growth, and Why Does It Matter?

Sales growth refers to the increase in your net sales (not gross sales) revenue over a specific time period, while sales growth rate expresses that increase as a percentage. It's a key business metric and KPI (Key Performance Indicator) and indicates how fast a business is expanding. It's often compared to other metrics like sales velocity, which measures the average time it takes to close a deal.

Tracking sales growth allows companies to:

  • Measure performance: Sales growth is a strong indicator of your business's overall health and performance. A high sales growth rate signifies increasing customer demand, market share, and, ultimately, profitability.
  • Set strategic direction: Understanding your sales growth rate helps you set realistic goals, evaluate the effectiveness of sales strategies, and make informed decisions about resource allocation and future investments.
  • Identify growth opportunities and challenges: Monitoring sales growth can reveal areas for improvement. Flat or declining growth may indicate inefficiencies in sales processes or a need for market expansion strategies.
  • Secure investment: Investors and stakeholders are highly interested in a company's ability to generate revenue. A good sales growth rate strengthens your case for funding and resources.

Simply put, a healthy and consistent sales growth rate is essential for the success and scalability of any business. Understanding this rate allows you to evaluate the effectiveness of your sales and marketing efforts toward a specific goal, such as increasing market share or achieving sales velocity.

Calculating Your Sales Growth Rate Step-by-Step

Since you’ve seen the importance of sales growth, let's delve into how to calculate it.

Here's a breakdown of the steps involved:

Step 1: Gather Your Sales Data

You'll need historical sales figures to compare against current performance. You can obtain this data from your CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software, accounting software, or internal income statement/sales reports.

Step 2: Choose a Time frame

Decide on the interval for which you want to calculate your sales growth rate. Common options include monthly, quarterly, or annually. Consistency is key here, so choose a timespan that aligns with your sales cycle and reporting periods.

Step 3: Apply the Sales Growth Rate Formula to the Revenue Numbers

I’ll explain this in detail in the next section, but the formula to keep in mind is: 

Sales Growth Rate (%) = (Current Period Sales - Previous Period Sales) / Previous Period Sales x 100

Step 4: Interpret the Results 

The result will be the percentage growth rate over the two periods. A positive growth rate indicates an increase in sales, while a negative rate indicates a decrease.

Step 5: Set Goals and Compare

Compare your calculated growth rate to historical data and industry benchmarks to set realistic growth goals for the future.

Remember: Calculating sales growth regularly helps you monitor progress and make informed decisions. So, use this calculation monthly, quarterly, or annually to track growth trends.

You can set automation for data collection and calculation to ease this process, which is where Copy.ai Workflows come in. 

With a library of pre-built workflows — mainly focused on sales — and the ability to create any kind of custom workflow you wish, Copy.ai Sales OS is the salesperson’s dream come true.

Additional Tips

  • You can calculate sales growth in dollar terms, not just percentages. This can be useful for visualizing the actual increase in revenue.
  • You should compare growth rates over consecutive time periods (month-over-month, quarter-over-quarter, etc.) as it shows how growth is accelerating or slowing.

Sales Growth Rate Formula and Calculation Examples

To recap, the formula to calculate the sales growth rate is:

Sales Growth Rate (%) = (Current Period Sales - Previous Period Sales) / Previous Period Sales x 100

This gives you the percentage growth over the two periods. Now, let's apply this formula to some scenarios.

Example 1: Monthly Sales Growth

Say your company’s August revenue is $10,000, and July revenue is $8,000. Following the given formula to measure sales growth rate, you’ll have:

10,000 - 8,000 / 8,000 x 100 = 25%

This shows that August sales grew by 25%, or $2000 (in dollar terms), compared to their previous period’s sales in July. 

Example 2: Quarterly Sales Growth

If your sales numbers for Q1 and Q2 were $60,000 and $50,000, respectively, your sales growth rate would be:

50,000 - 60,000 / 60,000 x 100  = -16.67%

As you can see, this result came out as a negative value. This indicates a decrease in the sales growth rate between Q1 and Q2. While they generated $60,000 in sales in Q1, their sales dropped to $50,000 in Q2, resulting in a negative growth rate of 16.67% or -$10,000 (in dollar terms).

Example 3: Annual Sales Growth

For a current year sales of $1,000,000 and previous year sales of $800,000, the sales growth rate would be:
1,000,000 - 800,000 / 800,000 x 100 = 25%

This means you experienced a 25% or $200,000 (in dollar terms) revenue growth from the past year. 

These examples showcase how the formula remains consistent across different timeframes.

Note: When interpreting sales growth rates, consider factors like company size, seasonality, and industry trends. A 5% growth rate might be exceptional in a stagnant industry, while a 10% increase could be a cause for concern in a high-growth market.

Strategies and Tips To Increase Your Sales Growth

Now that you can calculate your sales growth rate let's see how you can boost or maintain it (if it’s on the rise).

Grow Your Customer Base

The first way to increase growth is to boost customer acquisition. Do this by focusing on improving lead generation with marketing strategies like content marketing, SEO, email marketing, social media marketing, attending industry events, etc.

You can also offer new products, packages, and pricing to attract different customer profiles and get a higher sales growth rate.

Lead generation can be time-consuming, which is why you should use Copy.ai workflows. It can automate tasks like prospecting, crafting hundreds of personalized emails (based on their role, company, interests, etc.), and follow-ups.

There’s a whole section in the workflow templates library dedicated to prospecting:

Just pick any of the templates and modify them for your use. Or create a custom workflow:

Increase Sales From Existing Customers

There are three ways to do this.

First, identify upsell and cross-sell opportunities to encourage existing customers to purchase higher-value products or complementary services. 

Second, offer customer loyalty programs and incentives as it motivates customers to buy more often from you. 

Third, check to see that the customer service team is providing great service, as this fosters loyalty and encourages repeat business.

Improve Sales Team Productivity and Performance

Sales teams are the growth engine of any company. But how do you ensure they're firing on all cylinders? 

Start by building a strong foundation. Recruit top performers with a hunger to learn and grow. Then, invest in sales training programs to help them hone their selling skills and stay up-to-date on industry best practices. 

You also need to equip them with the right tools and resources to do their job effectively. This could be a robust CRM system, sales automation software, or effective sales enablement materials. 

Finally, fuel your team's drive with well-designed incentive programs and engaging sales competitions. This keeps them motivated and focused on crushing their quotas.

Optimize Your Sales Processes

Review your sales funnel to identify bottlenecks and inefficiencies that slow down deal progression. Then, work on these roadblocks to streamline the process for faster deal cycles. 

You can also optimize this process by evaluating your tech stack to ensure you're using the right tools to automate tasks, improve data analysis, and manage customer relationships effectively.

Copy.ai Workflows help in this regard by automating time-consuming and repetitive tasks such as data entry or CRM updates. This then frees up significant time for the sales team, which they can invest in activities directly influencing sales, such as nurturing leads. They also help generate sales enablement documents, ensuring the team has relevant resources for each client interaction.

By executing these sales growth strategies, you’ll be able to sustain a healthy growth rate in the long term.

Setting Sales Growth Targets and Benchmarks

Meaningful sales growth doesn't happen by chance. You need well-defined targets to work towards. Here are some tips for creating a sales strategy and setting sales growth goals.

  • Look at your company’s growth rates and revenue trends over the past 1-3 years to establish a baseline performance.
  • Research your industry averages and competitor growth rates to gain a broader perspective and gauge your company's competitiveness.
  • Factor in your business objectives, stage of growth, and any major economic factors or market trends that might influence your sales potential.
  • Set specific short-term (monthly, quarterly) and long-term (annual) growth targets. Short-term sales goals provide a sense of immediate focus, while long-term goals keep the bigger picture in mind.
  • Make goals realistic but ambitious enough to drive action. Base your targets on past performance, current market, and available resources.
  • Regularly monitor your progress towards your sales growth targets and revise if necessary. 
  • Celebrate wins and milestones along the way. It keeps your sales team motivated and focused on achieving the ultimate objective: sustainable sales growth.

With careful goal setting and monitoring, you will be well on your way to scaling revenue.

How AI and Automation Can Boost Your Sales Growth

You’ve seen how AI and automation via Copy.ai workflows enhance your sales efforts by crafting targeted, personalized cold emails at scale, producing sales enablement docs, and automating data entry. However, there’s still so much more AI can do to accelerate sales growth. Here are some other ways.

  • Lead qualification and enrichment: Beyond simply identifying potential leads, AI can qualify leads based on pre-defined criteria like industry, budget, and buying stage (to ensure you're targeting the most promising leads). Then, enrich lead profiles by automatically finding and filling in missing information.

Although you can create your own, there are workflow templates for enrichment available in the Copy.ai Workflow library:

There’s also one for “lead scoring”:

  • Predictive Analytics: AI can predict customer behavior and buying patterns, enabling you to anticipate demand and adjust your GTM strategy accordingly.
  • Dynamic Pricing: It takes dynamic pricing strategies to the next level. By analyzing real-time market data, AI recommends competitive pricing, packaging, and upselling strategies to optimize revenue potential.
  • Data Analysis and Insights: You can also set up automation to analyze vast amounts of sales data to identify trends and patterns that you might miss during human analysis. You can use these insights to optimize your sales process, personalize customer interactions, and improve overall sales effectiveness.

The key is choosing the right workflows and AI applications to automate high-value but repetitive sales tasks. This boosts sales productivity and allows sales reps to focus on building customer relationships. With the help of AI, you can scale your sales growth exponentially.

Keep Tracking Your Sales Growth Rate

In summary, measuring sales growth rate is vital for any growing business. 

By following the steps and best practices outlined here, you can set goals, monitor progress, and implement proven strategies to consistently improve sales growth.

Leveraging AI and automation tools accelerates this growth by optimizing manual processes and providing data-driven insights. Keep tracking your sales growth rate to take your business revenues to new heights.

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