A short and almost perfect sales cycle is probably what every company dreams of. Clients who don’t need much convincing and products that fly of the real or virtual shelves.
Sounds too good to be true, right?
Unfortunately, it is. There’s no guarantee that you’ll ever get to such a sales utopia. Even if you do, who knows how long you’ll be there.
However, there are ways to shorten your sales cycle and make sure that fewer leads fall off it. A sort of fast-forward button, if you will.
Let’s dig in!
What Is a Sales Cycle?
According to HubSpot, a sales cycle consists of the specific actions the sales team takes to close a new customer.
Different companies, however, define the sales cycle differently depending on the industry and products they sell.
Some define it as the time from starting to closing the deal while others define it as the time it takes for a prospective client to close.
Regardless of how you define it, you must make sure that it’s short so that your selling process becomes more efficient.
3 Steps to Help You Shorten Your Sales Cycle
Before you can get into changing things up in the company, find out why it’s taking the sales team too long to close deals. These blockers could just be some of the reasons why your team is taking more time than it should:
- Poor communication methods. You are yet to find out where your real customers are. Are they easily accessible via email, social media or other modes of communication?
- Your sales team spends very few hours on the actual sale because they have other responsibilities. According to a Pace Productivity research, salespeople only spend 22 percent of their time selling.
- The sales team has an undefined sales process. They do not have defined roles for each sales cycle, they lack insights, they have poor marketing methods and different definition of a lead.
- They spend too much time on prospects that will not turn to leads.
- There is no defined diagnostic protocol to help the sales team recognize a potential lead.
After defining what your problems are, you need to come up with workable tactics on how to help the sales team close deals even faster. This will involve activities like:
- Defining a clear diagnostic protocol for leads. Define what the right questions are to ask and how much time before they tell the client what they are offering (the first few minutes will tell the client if you can solve their problem).
- Create a strict process that eliminates bad leads. This allows you time to focus on the good ones.
- Find out what your prospects problems are and how you can help them solve them. Explain to them the cost, the solution and how your solution adds value. Prepackage your sale so that it sells.
- Make sure your sales team understands the company goals
- Reevaluate your marketing process regularly to know what’s working and what’s not.
Automate, the Automate some More
For the sales team to make sales, you must provide them with the right tools. Make their work easier by automating your systems.
Marketing and sales automation tools improve customer service, support product differentiation, streamline operations, and reduce operating costs.
Today, prospective clients have easy access to information. According to research, 57 percent of the purchase decision is already made before they look for a salesperson or visit your website.
Sixty-seven percent of the prospective buyer’s journey is done online. Your sales team must have enough information about the lead too.
They should understand the needs, intentions, and activities done before the first contact. Having this information allows the salesperson to craft a conversation that is fulfilling to the prospect’s needs.
A. Get an automation software
It helps the sales team automate marketing tasks, streamline workflows, and measure marketing campaigns outcomes. With automation, the marketing team can create segmented, timely, personalized interactions with their customers.
They automate features across email, social media, direct mail, digital advertising, lead generation, surveys and so much more. They also offer the team analytics to help measure campaigns ROI, KPIs and revenue impact.
B. Get a good CRM
A good customer relationship management tool like Salesforce provides the organization with a complete view of their relationship with their customers. It integrates customer support, marketing, and sales. It also reduces the need for manual entries and allows the salespeople to know what their prospects are doing on their sites.
The integration of a good CRM and automation tools can:
- Boost revenues
- Help the sales team nurture leads
- Increase their productivity
- Get insights and data to personalize communication with customers
- Allows the sales team to focus on qualified leads and close sales faster
- Allows the sales team to send relevant content that shortens the sales cycle
- Measure ROI effectively
A short sales cycle not only improves your competitive advantage, but it also builds brand loyalty and enhances your customer experience. The more volume your sales team is able to move, the better the bottom line.