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5 ways to shorten the sales cycle

9 March 2016
by Nick Washbourne

Ideally, we’d all like to have one meeting or call and turn a lead into a customer. However the reality is that it often takes longer than we’d like to close a deal, and the longer it takes, the harder it becomes. But it doesn’t always have to be that way, it is possible to shorten the length of your sales cycle and welcome new customers at a record rate. Here are our 5 suggestions. 

 

Don’t be afraid of qualifying out opportunities

If you suspect a prospect is not going to commit on your current sales cycle (and there will be a number who ignite this feeling) remove them from your pipeline. This becomes easier when you know the tell-tale signs of a ‘non-closer’. A strong post-deal review process which deconstructs your wins, losses and non-decision makers, and identifies key attributes of each will give you the checklist you need to spot those you need to qualify out. Once you’ve cleared your lists you can narrow your focus and efforts on the leads that have a serious chance of converting.

 

Personalise your nurture strategy

Make the effort to deliver the right content at different stages of your nurture cycle, not only will it educate and engage your prospects it will also ready them to start the sale completion process with you. If you can personalise it, even better, it means you can demonstrate your understanding of the customer’s pain points and position in relation to where they are in the sales campaign. Automation is perfect for this process as you’ll always know where your leads are in the sales cycle, and you’ll have the data to refine the content process for the next round.

 

Match up your objectives

It’s not enough to know the pain points of your leads. You have to know what your prospects’ objectives are and focus your engagement around these areas in order to urge them into action. Present positivity in the content you deliver and address their aspirations and goals – the more they believe you can help them achieve their objectives the quicker they’re likely to sign up to your product or service.

 

Work towards building a consensus

Previously, a single contact would be your key to a successful deal but now many businesses decisions are made by committee or consensus. The change means more effort needs to go into building relationships with multiple people and convincing them that you understand their position, needs or objections. It helps if you can be upfront with information and do the hard work for them – let them focus their energy on making a decision, not chasing around wasting time trying to find data that backs up your proposition.

 

Remove objections quickly

Don’t view objections in a negative light; if a prospect comes back with concerns it means they’re considering what you have to offer. Leaping on this quickly and effectively dealing with all their reasons to say no, clears the path to completion and leaves your prospect confident that you understand their business model, their aspirations and the challenges they face. Don’t wait to be told objections either – ask! During a meeting or a call, thrown the question out there: ‘is there anything you’re not sure about’, ‘do you have any concerns or questions I can answer’ - it might prompt your lead to open up and avoid an otherwise costly silence.

 

If your sales cycle could do with fine tuning to deliver faster results, speak to us here at Force 24. We’re experts in lead nurturing and focused on delivering the results you need from your campaigns, whether you’re looking to increase website conversions, win back lapsed customers or improve sales to existing ones.

Learn more with our latest quick guide: Five ways to get results for marketing automation

Photo of Nick Washbourne
Nick Washbourne
Commercial Director

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