Of all the objectives that the sales and marketing division of a firm sets out to accomplish, compressing or shortening the Sales Cycle is accorded top priority. Reducing the time it takes to identify potential leads, thereafter group them in accordance with their personas, and finally, deploy targeted promotion strategies to channel them through the sales funnel to make them your steadfast customers has some unique benefits. For a start, a reduction in the intervening period in between contacting a Lead and converting him or her into a client helps the company to trim down expenses associated with marketing efforts.
Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, if the action-plan undertaken to compress the leads-to-sales pays off, then the company will earnestly strive to integrate the approach with the sales process in order to boost the chances of success of subsequent marketing campaigns. No wonder then identifying that ‘optimal phase’ when the sales cycle is at its briefest (whereby attempting to compress the phase any further will have an adverse effect) is the ‘Holy Grail’ for the sales department. However, the optimal timeframe spanning from the moment a sales rep engages with a lead till the instant he or she closes the sale usually varies from one industry to another.
The sales phase is normally longer for manufacturing industries in comparison to firms exclusively engaged in marketing and selling a product or service. So, it follows that the strategy a manufacturing firm would adopt for abbreviating the phase would be different from the tactic employed by a product-based or service-based firm. Unfortunately, there are umpteen firms and companies that are blissfully unaware of the ‘extent’ or ‘duration’ of their sales cycle.
And that is where the crux of the problem lies-you cannot condense or shorten the phase if you do not know its exact extent in the first place. Contrary to what you may believe, more often than not, the sales cycle’s duration is not dependent upon the efficacy of your selling technique. It has been observed on numerous occasions that the price of the product or service has had a considerable impact on the period of the sales phase.
Your prospects may take their time conducting thorough research on your brand, go through feedbacks and reviews, and navigate your website before taking a buying decision. So, how do you go about shrivelling the sales cycle so that your returns on investment are maximized? Pay heed to the three strategies outlined below.
3 Simple and Practical Strategies to Shorten Your Sales Cycle
1. Identify your niche segments and empathize with themThe first and foremost task you’d need to undertake for effectively promoting your ware within a short period of time is to figure-out the leads or prospects who’d be willing to subscribe to your brand. For instance, if you’ve a website design and development firm, then obviously you’ll try to promote the services you offer to potential customers who’re looking to have a site of their own for popularizing their brand across the internet. Some prospects would prefer to go for a plain and simple site comprising just a single webpage while others would like you to create for them a full-scale portal so that they advertise multiple products or services.
The idea is to fully comprehend the problems of your prospects and then work out if your brand can offer a solution to the issues. More often, a single product or service could be capable of resolving specific issues of different categories of customers. So, as far as you’re concerned, you first have to recognize the niche or target segments for whom you can design and develop different types of websites, and thereafter ‘bundle’ or ‘group’ leads as per their needs and preferences.
If you take care to understand the issues of prospects (who may have a need for your brand), address their queries, and empathize with them, you could be well on your way to abridging the sales phase.
2. Run your leads through a sieve and discard ones clogging the sales pipelineNot all prospects your sales reps get in touch with, will become your customers. In this context, it is very crucial for the sales team to realize early on during the campaigning phase or stage those leads that are most unlikely to choose your product or remain fence-sitters. Filtering out such leads as early as possible is essential to keep the sales funnel or pipeline clear and navigable for prospects who’re interested in your product.
3. Chalk out a target-oriented marketing and sales strategyIf you map out a goal-oriented marketing and sales process, it’d go a long way in cutting down the time span between establishing contact with prospects and getting them onboard. Align your sales campaign with your firm’s mission, vision, and growth objectives. Train your sales staff in a manner so that they make the most of the company’s marketing approach.
Ensure that the sales reps patiently listen to the concerns of your prospects regarding price, ease of use, and installation etc. Bear in mind that the prospect you’re targeting will be using your product for the first time and may not have used a similar product previously. Therefore, exploit your extensive experience in creating a sales system that will come in handy for guiding them into the and out of the sales funnel.
You can take advantage of a sales CRM app or software for automating the selling modus-operandi, thereby giving teeth to the procedure, which might ultimately lead to curtailment of the lead conversion time.