TechsPlace | It is a known fact that time is money, but sales folks are the only ones to realize how true this statement is. Every second you spend with an uncertain prospect is the time you could spend on generating more business. Lengthy sales cycle can also adversely affect your forecast when you least expect it. Not all sales can be closed quickly. There are reasons why it gets slowed down and strategies that your team could use to speed them up. Here are the three hurdles that might just be slowing down your sales cycle, and how you can clear them.
- Target the right audience: The first hurdle that might slow down your sales prospecting is that you don’t target the right audience. You have to understand that leveraging your product or service is not every prospect’s priority, and that is natural. It will be a fault on your part if you cannot identify the right audience and adjust your lead generation as well as outreach strategies accordingly.
- First, check on how long the recently won deals stayed in your sales pipeline. It also helps you to identify those prospects that were lost yet spent considerable time in one or the other stage of the sales funnel before dropping out.
- Take any deals that took longer than the reasonable cycle length for your business. Categorize them by various lead profile dimensions. These include lead source, contact title, company size, company industry, number of decision makers, and the solutions already in use.
- Check for the trends- if these deals are from a particular industry or using a certain competitive solution. If so, rethink the way you prioritize your leads. Based on these characteristics, shorten or minimize your average sales cycle and help reps focus on prospects with a faster time to close the deal.
- Ensure that you don’t rule out any prospects whose lengthy sales cycles are accommodated for by high deal values. Focus on the value for speed based on their lead yield.
- Review and revise your sales process regularly: A good sales process is deemed to be the backbone of any organization. A formalized manual for sales process with a common language and a set of expectations helps the sales reps from getting diverted. Also, it provides leadership with the ability to track deal progression. While adhering to the process steps is critical, your sales process should work for your organization and not the other way round.
- Often, slow sales cycles may be a result of misplaced or unnecessary process steps that a company has been conditioned to take. Good organizations keep reviewing and revising their sales processes to ensure every step is right.
- You can utilize a stage duration analysis report to quickly get an idea of where the hurdle is. This report helps you understand, on an average, how much time deals are spending in each stage of your sales pipeline. Whenever you notice the deals getting hung up or dropping out in a certain spot, it is time for you to re-evaluate the information and actions required in the process at each stage.
- Though some processes can’t be avoided, they can be sped up. Choose a sales CRM or a sales platform that is capable of automatically capturing the data around activities like emailing and calling to help streamline these necessary yet time-consuming tasks.
- Your reps may be stressing on the closure: It might sound ironical, but the fact is stressing on the closure does delay closing. When reps focus too much on getting a deal to the final stages, they often miss critical steps and opportunities for influence throughout the sales cycle. Sometimes, it can backfire and cause the deal to stall right at the end of the road, while potential customers are still coming to grips with the process that they are in.
- As long as you don’t stress on the closure, you can see the best results. Once you know when exactly the deal is going to get closed, there is nothing that is remaining to be done from your side, everyone feels a lot more comfortable. It is more about the mini closes that lead up to the final closure. They may not decide upfront, but at least they are aware of what will happen if they get to a certain stage.
- Building this sales strategy into your sales cycle will keep the momentum going, preventing slow down. Ask customers if they might be willing to agree to a proof of concept if they like what they see after the demo. You still have to prove that you are their right solution, but you are actually preparing them to take the next step and move towards closure.
Ideally, your sales cycle should run smoothly like a well-oiled machine. But to keep functioning at top speed, it needs routine maintenance. Try these tips to remove those hurdles and maintain a faster sales cycle. Slow down your sales process to sell faster. Take time and learn more about your customer’s needs. That’s the way you can speed up your sales process, while you obtain the competitive edge.