The prospect of a drawn-out sales cycle is one that most sales teams would rather not face. Imagine spending time and resources on the cultivation of leads over the course of several months, or even years, only to have them suddenly write you off just as you believe the sale is about to go through.
The difficulties associated with professional selling must make you feel like you’re stuck in a Sisyphus-like predicament.
It is recommended that you maintain the sales cycle as short and efficient as possible if you do not want to spend the entire day laboriously trying to roll the proverbial boulder up a hill, just to have it roll back down again. If your customers make purchases more quickly, your organisation will experience more market share, faster growth, and improved cash flow.
How can you expedite the process through which your team meets its sales quotas? That question is helped to be answered by this article.
But before we get into that, let’s make an effort to comprehend what a sales cycle actually is.
Understand the sales cycle?
The entire process of making a sale, beginning with the initial point of contact with a lead and continuing all the way up until the transaction is finalised, is referred to as a sales cycle. It requires an effort on the part of the sales team to:
Bring in prospective customers.
Get in touch with them.
Check to see if they are serious about making a purchase, and eliminate everyone else who isn’t serious.
Ensure that their interest in the solution is maintained.
Give responses to their inquiries.
Get them to become paying customers.
Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s move on to a selection of excellent client acquisition methods that will hasten the process of making a purchase without jeopardising your relationship with the customer.
8 ways sales leaders can shorten their sales cycle
There are eight ways in which sales executives can shorten the length of the sales cycle.
High-consideration purchases are typically reserved for more expensive items or services, such as the acquisition of a new industrial machine, a timeshare, or a physical server. You need to engage with clients across a variety of touchpoints (such as phone conversations, in-person meetings, email marketing, and the download of white papers), and you need to provide them with compelling reasons to invest in your product.
Because of the numerous interactions and persuasions that must be performed, the typical length of the sales cycle is significantly increased.
However, the duration of the cycle can be shortened by at least five percent and up to twenty percent with the adoption of the appropriate mentality and the implementation of effective procedures.
The following is a list of some of the methods in which you can establish more efficient sales cycles for your company and meet your sales quotas more quickly:
Determine who your ideal customers are and concentrate on them.
Your sales team’s time, energy, and resources are all going to waste if they pursue the wrong leads, so avoid this pitfall at all costs. You need to construct buyer personas, often known as the ideal buyer attributes, so that you can avoid a scenario like this one. You will be able to reach out to the appropriate individuals inside the target market with the help of this, as well as secure quality leads.
You will be able to better design your sales approach and adapt your sales messaging if you have a good understanding of the pain points, responsibilities, job and lifestyle choices, and incentive to make purchases of your target buyer. As a result, this will make sure that your sales cycle is as quick and painless as possible.
Eliminate any cold leads
If your customer relationship management system (CRM) contains a large number of “cold leads,” or prospects who are not likely to become customers, you need to locate them as soon as possible and eliminate them.
For instance, a lead might be considered “cold” if repeated follow-up attempts are made over the course of 12 days and the lead still does not reply.
These are the types of potential customers who will not buy from you even if you send them the email with the most creative writing or the whitepaper with the most convincing arguments. Therefore, rather than concentrating your marketing and sales efforts on parties that are uninterested in the product or service, you should refocus your efforts on cultivating qualified leads, also known as those who have demonstrated a real interest in purchasing the product or service.
If you limit your sales to quality leads only, the time it takes to go from lead to sale will be significantly reduced.
Immediately acknowledge and address any objections that may be raised.
Let’s face it: the people you’re trying to sell to are probably going to raise some form of objection to the sales proposal you give them.
Ignoring their problems and reciting a list of general benefits associated with the solution may seem like an easy way out, but in reality, you are wasting valuable one-on-one time with the potential customer. Instead, it would be a good move to latch onto these pain areas or concerns and try to explain how your solution may help alleviate those issues.
For instance, if a potential customer tells you that they do not have the funds for your solution, you can explain to them how purchasing from you can help them save money in the long run by reducing other expenses (in terms of energy or manpower costs). Alternately, if they remark that they don’t have the time to listen to your sales pitch, you might bring into the conversation the numerous ways in which the time-saving features of your product can free up space in their packed schedules.
If you try to avoid the objections, it will just cause the sales cycle to take even longer because the underlying concerns will never be overcome. You may instead think about bringing up some of these typical worries by proactively asking, “Do you see any reason why our solution would not be a good fit for you?”
When you directly address a customer’s concerns, you not only portray the sales representative’s confidence in the product, but you also create the customer’s faith in you since they can see that you intend to assist them in finding a solution to their problems. Additionally, your demonstrations can be adapted to showcase the capabilities that will appeal to the lead the most, based on the information that was gleaned, making them a great deal more effective.
Eliminate the need for physical signatures on documents.
Because of the snail’s speed at which traditional paperwork moves forward, the sales cycle might be extended by days or months even after the prospect has agreed to buy your service.
Electronic signature solutions, such as Signeasy, make it extremely simple for you and your customers to sign on the dotted line without the need to ever physically touch a pen, printer, or scanner; instead, all that is required is the use of an electronic signature solution. Additionally, the sales contract can be signed and shared whenever, wherever, and using whichever device is most convenient for the user.
Signeasy also enables you to keep track of the document and send out reminders to signers in the event that they miss the deadline. It also interacts easily with tools that boost productivity, such as customer relationship management systems (CRMs), so that the members of your team don’t have to take a break from selling and may sign documents without interrupting the flow of work.
Ensure that your sales funnel is aligned with the journey taken by the customer.
The majority of purchasers are typically in various states of preparation to make a purchase of your product. Those who are just beginning to become aware of the problem are only beginning to comprehend the necessity of the remedies that you provide. The next step is the consideration stage, in which the customer evaluates several brands and solutions based on a variety of criteria, including value, effectiveness, and even experience in the field. The next step, after the customer has purchased your goods, is to provide them with assistance and look for more ways to keep them as loyal customers.
In order to rapidly transform the leads into paying customers, each of these processes calls for a distinctive kind of sales and marketing content delivered in a unique style.
Therefore, you should begin by comprehending the intricate route taken by your customers. After that, all that’s left to do is match your marketing and sales pipeline with the customer journey in order to get rid of friction and boost the effectiveness of your sales.
Improve the efficiency of the sales process.
When it comes to making sales, time is literally money. Your sales procedures are inefficient if they do not spend the majority of their day actively generating additional leads and converting clients into buyers.
Unfortunately, the typical salesperson devotes only 36% of their working day on making sales, while the remaining time is spent on administrative activities.
You might be able to beat this statistic by employing customer relationship management software to automate a significant portion of the work that is not related to sales. Using eSignature solutions is another way to modernise the antiquated sales workflows, which traditionally involved dealing with physical papers.
You will be able to effectively reduce the length of the sales cycle if you improve the efficiency of the sales team.
Provide your potential customers with all the help they require.
There are occasions when potential customers require a comprehensive report on the ROI in order to convince the management. Or a demonstration that is specifically tailored to a certain use-case. Or perhaps an added bonus that will make the purchase more appealing.
You have to be willing to go to any lengths necessary (within the bounds of rationality, of course) in order to get the customer to sign on the dotted line.
Sometimes, in order to demonstrate your agency, you should supply support even when the customer does not specifically request it.
The following are some of the additional options available to you:
Provide help to customers during the free trial period.
Make your deals dependent on the passage of time.
Provide references and testimonies from satisfied customers.
Deliver use-cases that are specific to a certain industry or vertical.
Be upfront about pricing
Never try to prolong a conversation by deliberately withholding information about the price of your expensive product.
If your solution comes at a high cost, be sure to let the prospect know right away. This way, you will only need to pursue leads from people who have the financial means to buy it.
Encourage your staff to provide a quicker response when leads are received. Setting TATs for your sales interaction is very important, especially if the leads you are working with are situated in different timezones.
You should make an effort to meet the decision-maker as early on in the process as possible because they are the ones who control the flow of money within the organisation.
Establish a stringently defined sales process so that your team can respond rapidly to the various scenarios that may arise during the sales cycle.
Determine which channels create the leads that convert into sales the quickest, and give those the highest priority.
Are you prepared to shorten the length of your sales cycle?
Now that you know how to reach your sales quotas in a shorter amount of time, simply analyse your current sales cycles and determine what aspects of them can be improved.
Simply integrating an electronic signature solution into your sales cycle is all that is required to achieve success quickly. Your sales cycle will be shortened by at least a week as a direct result of this.