The DriveSales™ | Here are the top 5 most effective and efficient strategies for shortening the sales cycle and increasing ROI!
One of the most critical organizational goals has been to shorten the sales cycle without any up-front investment in the sales process. Long sales cycles invariably lead to missed opportunities and wasted resources. Shorter sales cycles give more time for generating additional leads and eventually improving the bottom line. A shorter sales cycle can prove to be a strong competitive advantage allowing companies to grow their business and increase market share.
In many cases, sales teams spend time with under qualified or unqualified prospects who take a long time to ultimately reject the product, thereby leading to the loss of better opportunities with more highly qualified prospects.
The following are the 5 most effective strategies for shortening the sales cycle to win more high-value opportunities and increasing the ROI.
1) Clearly defining the Target Market: A target market is a group of customers within the purview of a business’s serviceable market towards which all the sales and marketing resources are directed. Exactly defining this target audience group is of paramount significance that can make or break the sales cycle. Creating detailed buyer personas helps in clarifying the target market wants and needs which results in quality lead generation. Buyer personas outline the traits of an ideal buyer by identifying their pain points, responsibilities, factors driving the purchase decision, and the process adopted for product research. This helps the sales reps to customize their sales pitch and target prospective clients in a focused manner. This results in generating better-qualified lead thereby cutting down the sales cycle.
2) Removal of Cold Leads: Another important hack for shortening the sales cycle is the identification and getting rid of “cold” leads. Not all leads are equal and only a small percentage of visitors are likely to make the purchase. Focusing efforts and resources on prospects who are more likely to convert into buyers will lead to an increased return on effort. Hence, it’s critical to analyze the database comprehensively and remove leads that are not very likely to convert based on pre-defined factors. The focus should squarely be on nurturing prospects who have displayed genuine interest in purchasing the product or service further optimizing the sales cycle.
3) Automate repetitive tasks: There is ample research to suggest that only one-third of a salesperson’s time is spent on selling. Time and energy get wasted doing other mundane and clerical tasks such as updating CRM systems, writing reports, researching leads, etc. These tasks eat into the prospecting and selling time of sales teams significantly. A lot of sales automation software available in the market today has the necessary capabilities to remove such repetitive tasks and free up time for sales teams. For instance, using email templates, usage of an automated service for making phone calls, or automation of documentation to consistently generate formatted and error-free documents help in shortening the sales cycle.
4) Create a common objections list: Objections should be viewed as an opportunity to gather more information about the prospects and their pain points. If sales teams can ensure that any objections are addressed satisfactorily, creating a list of common objections and their corresponding responses inhibits the wastage of critical time. Any objection should be probed deeper to find the underlying pain point by asking questions for clarification and understanding the root cause of the pain point. For instance, if the price is a cause of concern, then instead of trading numbers, the focus should be to move the conversation back to value and the unique product specifications, further backing it up with performance data, reviews, and testimonials. Information about all such objections should be recorded in the CRM system to avoid wastage of time and frustrating repeat conversations.
5) Optimizing the Sales Process: A clogged sales pipeline or a leaky sales funnel are the biggest enemies of the sales process. A sales pipeline is a defined set of stages through which prospects move as they progress from leads to customers. On the completion of each stage of the pipeline by the prospect, the prospect is advanced to the next stage. However, a sales funnel refers to the theoretical buying process which companies use to direct the customers through while selling their products and services.
A sales bottleneck is an avoidable scenario as it is easily identifiable. The clogging of the sales pipeline refers to the stage where the leads get stuck and lay dormant within the pipeline, with no further movement. In the case of a leaky sales funnel, the prospective leads will be lost through the cracks in the sales funnel due to the underlying inefficiencies in the sales process. It’s imperative to identify where the funnel is broken to pinpoint the stage at which the prospects are exiting the sales process.
The sales team should make sure that they solely focus on prospecting leads and converting them to customers. All these efforts will lead to optimal productivity of the sales teams, thereby shortening the sales cycle and improving profitability.
Now, as an effective SALESPERSON! We can do three things from here.
1. Not ignoring the opportunity and blaming the situation for revenue loss.
2. Taking necessary notes and revisiting your sales strategy with a growth mindset.
3. Reach out to The DriveSales™ in case you need any specialized help.
To conclude, what you believe also provides some idea of your development as a consultative salesperson. For more, please be connected to team The DriveSales™ as these are the foundations for our culture and ways of working!