Imagine this: You’ve just closed a deal with a prospect after several weeks of back and forth negotiations. Soon, your business will receive an inflow of cash.
Are you ready to go through the whole process again when signing on a new client?
Wouldn’t it be nice to close new deals on a regular basis?
Before diving into reducing the sales cycle time, here’s a recap of the 8 stages of the sales cycle:
1. Prospecting: Identify who you’re selling to
2. Lead Generation: Gathering contact information
3. Discovery: Research into their specific problems
4. Qualification: Assess if you are a good fit for each other
5. Pitch: Pitch your product or service
6. Handling Objections: Addressing your prospect’s concerns
7. Closing: Signing the deal
8. Follow up and Repeat: Checking in and upselling
Read more about the 8 stages of the sales process
A sales cycle could last a few minutes to several weeks - depending on a whole range of factors. By reducing our sales cycle time, we can close more deals in a shorter period of time.
With the following 4 tips, beyond reducing the sales cycle time, you can also reduce your cost-per-acquisition.
1. Make it easy to do business with you.
Although this may seem like common sense, there’s many small things that can make a big difference in the eyes of your customers.
Analyze each touchpoint through the eyes of your customers - your website, emails, lead magnets, social media profiles, etc.
Picture yourself in their shoes. Who are they? What are they trying to achieve? What information are they looking for? What details do they care about?
Most importantly, what are their next steps at each touchpoint?
For example: on your LinkedIn page, their next step could be to visit your website.
From your website, their next step could be filling out a contact form.
After you contact them, their next step could be starting a free trial or requesting a sample, etc.
Map out each step your customer should take and make sure they have all the information they need to move on to the next step.
2. Identify and follow up with engaged leads
Very often, you may have potential customers who visit your website but don’t become a conversion. This can happen for a lot of reasons, for example,
- they were distracted and forgot
- they have questions about your product / service that your website does not address
- they are weighting options between you and a competitor
You could spend a huge chunk of money on retargeting ads. But what if you could identify who your website visitors are, follow up with them, and close more sales on the spot?
HappierLeads, a B2B website visitor identification tool, allows you to see which companies are showing high intent on your website. From here, you can use the in-built prospector tool to identify contact details of decision makers.
Photo Credits: HappierLeads
From here, you can follow up with these leads to convert them into paying customers.
3. Automate and simplify your processes
Many processes in your business can be automated or simplified for your sales team and your customers.
For example: Are you still printing and scanning contracts? Consider using a virtual contract management system instead.
There are many tools and systems to streamline your sales operations.
Still prospecting manually? Try prospecting tools to easily connect with your target customers
Asking leads for their availability when scheduling a demo / meeting? Ask them to book a time slot using Calendly or Chili Piper.
By removing manual administrative tasks, you can spend more time on more relevant tasks like prospecting, lead nurturing, and closing deals.
4. Build trust and reduce risk
People buy from people & companies they trust.
Very often, we see companies with a really good offer overshadowed by bigger players with mediocre offers. Why? Because these big players seem less risky - especially when there’s a lot of money involved.
How do you establish trust?
First, provide your customers with all the information they need to make an informed decision. This involves two key components: showing your expertise and addressing their questions and concerns.
Showing expertise revolves around strengthening your (personal) brand. For your customer, this means that you are an expert in your field and can help them achieve their goals.
You need to provide value to your prospects so that they can become customers. You can provide value through several content marketing and lead generation tactics.
Additionally, you can display your ratings, reviews, case studies, and other forms of social proof on your website and product pages.
To address your prospect’s questions and concerns - you can employ a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section on your website or product page. Here you can add details about delivery, payment options, and satisfaction guarantees.
You need to demonstrate how your product or service can solve your customer’s needs.
Beyond a FAQ, you can do this through video demos, live demos, case studies, free trials, or by providing samples.
At the end of the day, you want your sales efforts to be as efficient as possible.
Administrative tasks, a lack of clear information available, and no clear steps for your prospects can make the sales process long and tedious for both your sales reps and your customers. Making use of the right tools.