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Tips for Shortening Your Sales Cycles

by Rachel Clapp Miller /

stopwatch_resized.pngWhen you're in a race, your speed doesn't depend on how many bicycles you have but on how quickly you're able to pedal the one that you're on. The same applies to your sales cycle.

Organizations that are able to shorten their sales cycles are able to work more efficiently moving through more opportunities in a quarter. If you think your organization could benefit from shorter sales cycles, here are five areas where you may want to put your focus: 

1. Streamline Your Process

Make sure your salespeople are using a qualification process, consistently throughout the sales cycle. Calling on ten leads a day is not a sales process. Rather, using tools that allow your salespeople to qualify in and out of their pipeline maximizes their resources. As a result, they're able to spend more time selling. Qualification makes sure that you're using your time and your lead's time appropriately. When you work to consistently qualify your leads, you'll better understand their motivation and problems. 

2. Tap Into Digital Behavior 

Digital content plays an important role in the buying process. Your marketing department likely churns out blogs, ebooks and tip sheets on a regular basis. Make sure you’re sales team is set up to understand how your prospects are utilizing that information. Whether it’s through a Salesforce integration or a weekly report from marketing, your sales team can use that knowledge to execute better informed sales conversations. When your sales team is tapped into the digital behavior of prospects, they’re able to qualify quicker and have more efficient sales conversations. 

3. Understand Your Customer's Buying Process

Your sales process needs to be focused on how your buyers buy. As an integrated sales and delivery team, you need to constantly be judging where you are within the sales cycle or account by what the customer is saying or doing, not by where you feel you are based on anecdotal evidence. Understand your buyers. Who are the decision makers? Who needs to sign off on the opportunity? What is the paper process that is required for the deal to close? If you're sales process isn't aligned to the customer, you'll never be able to shorten your sales cycle. 

4. Give the Right Message to the Right People

One of the most effective ways salespeople can shorten sales cycles is to link their solution to an issue that is so critical to an organization, the prospect can’t go another day without fixing it.  If the problem is big enough, it doesn’t matter what your product costs. The excuse department is closed when you’re aligned with an issue that can’t go another day without correction.

When your entire sales team has the ability to uncover those pressing problems and articulate how your solutions help correct them, they’ll gain consistent access to the C-suite. As a result, they'll be able to move opportunities through the sales process at a faster rate.

5. Make the Process Consumable

You want your salespeople to spend time selling, not burdened with cumbersome adminstrative processes. Your sales process needs to be easy to consume and execute by your salespeople.  If it's not easy, it won't be followed and it won't have any impact on your sales cycles. 


Sales Leader Action Guide: Improving your sales process

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