A key result that many Founders are keen to achieve is a shorter sales cycle or an efficient sales cycle. Many are unaware of the critical drivers required to effect a change, from a long drawn out sales process to one that is militant with all unnecessary fat shaved off. The following three ways could easily help achieve these coveted results.
1. Sticking to your sales methodology
Your sales pipeline are the stages that a prospective buyer goes through, your methodology is what you do within each stage. To take Pareto’s principle, the 80% is the process, the 20% is the methodology. Using pre-prepared scripts, arranging your line of questioning ahead of calls, and be absolutely clear on the pain points of this buyer persona you will be speaking to. This will encourage a more robust and institutionalized approach to the meeting cadences.
2. Next Steps on the call
At Sales for Startups, we researched 103 B2B sales opportunities and noticed that 67% of deals were closed lost if next steps were not agreed on the call. This may sound strange, but having those concrete next steps in the calendar is crucial. This could be by way of another meeting/phone call or agreement that a Proposal was going to be created. As an aside, if a Proposal is being sent, you have to set a Proposal Review Call before you send anything, but more on this in a future article! This could also be a tour around your facilities etc., anything really provided that the next steps are in there.
3. Map out the sales process upfront
As a Sales rep, if you are speaking to a prospective customer and they are top of the funnel, but there is a good fit and your discovery is going well, you would be strongly advised to outline what the sales process looks like from here. This is so the buyer understands not only the steps that happen but what they are going to have to do to procure your software. Making the purchasing of your software incredibly easy is a critical process to map out and have plumbed into your overall process. That way the whole customer experience is a great one.
Bonus: 4. Handle any objections early
Face the objections head on to immunise their impact when (not if!) they come up. This could be by saying to the prospect that you’re not the cheapest solution, or that it has an 8-week implementation cycle to get them up running. You would be well advised to raise these early and not stick your head in the sand, hoping they won’t appear. Because they will, with vengeance. Qualify prospects properly, book next steps and tell a prospect what happens from here. D that and see your sales cycle creep down in days, while more deals come through the door.