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How can a long sales cycle be shortened?

timepiece by Robert Couse-Baker (Flickr)

The challenges of closing sales and reaching your yearly target are numerous. Are you under pressure to increase your average sales size? Would you expect an incentive if you achieve this goal, and most importantly, would the sales cycle of your product allow you to do so within the time frame allocated?

Let us explore in the article below some tools that have often proved beneficial.

1.Clarify the target Market

Once you start your research, you will initially need to find the influencers and decision makers you need to help you achieve your goal. Invite them, as well as several prospects, to a 1-day seminar held at your office. There you can explain to them what you do in greater detail and discuss the solutions your company can offer. 

2. Create a mutual action plan to reach your prospect’s goals

Start connecting with every person that will take part in the decision management. Identify their objectives, whether personal and professional. You can then start connecting with employees of the targeted companies that will likely benefit from using your solutions. Build a trusting relationship and recognize challenges that could be solved by working together as a team.  Building a strong relationship with your prospects can significantly shorten your sales cycle.

3. Select challenges you can solve

The correct systems and processes, as well as developing your sales teams’ skills, ultimately all have an impact on the shortening of the sales cycle.  The responsibility lies heavily on the Sales managers’ shoulders as statistics show that only 20% of salespeople have the skills necessary to sell successfully.  

Salespeople need to have a structured strategic approach when they operate. Breaking the sales process into sections allows them to analyze challenges and weaknesses.  The sales process can be compared to a GPS system on a car.  Once we provide the destination post code (goal to be achieved) the GPS provides the route to take (sales process) and the time needed (Sales cycle) to arrive to your destination.

4. Align your activities around your prospects

Establishing a time frame for your next step is crucial.  If you don’t confirm your next meeting or call time with your qualified client, you will find it may extend your sales cycle by an extra 2 weeks.  Be on top of the customers’ mind to maintain the momentum.  Getting the buy in and the “yes” is important at all stages; small yesses are just as significant. 

If you are skipping stages by jumping straight to the end contract or proposal and then face an objection, this means the client didn’t see your value or didn’t understand the full process.  Make sure you ask clearly: “Are you ready for the next stage or do we need to talk through any other details?”. 

5. Monitor your pipeline

Plan your pipeline flow versus your timeline. Is the speed of the qualified and potential deals in line with the date your want to close the deal?

Daily pipeline monitoring is essential if you need to manage prospects: is the size of your pipeline is satisfactory? Are the stages of your sales cycle optimized? Do you have enough prospects to reach your targets?

Answers to these questions will help you prioritize your visits to clients, prepare focused offers and follow up on pending matters with potential clients.

6. Master your self-limiting beliefs

One of the non-supportive beliefs usually sounds like this: “I don’t need to speak with the actual decision maker because my contact will take care of it.”

Our beliefs and emotions may sometimes negatively impact our sale. Thoughts like the following ones are self-limiting:

  • “In the markets I sell to, it is well known that the sales cycle is long.”
  • “The companies I target have long sales cycles.”
  • “The companies I target take a long time to respond.”
  • “Nothing moves fast in our industry.”
  • “New customers need more time to think about how they spend their budget.”

If the salesperson believes it is ok to think it over, analyze and research and accepts that the environment needs time, then the result can only translate in lengthier cycles and delay closing. The salesperson must understand the sensitive nature of the impact of self-confidence and speed on the sales procedure.

7. Deal with managerial pressure

Senior managers will always test their sales leaders’ capabilities and stretch their capacity towards better results every day. To make sure you will be amongst the successful salespeople, you need to create a sales effectiveness process that will insure you reach the required targets. The consultative selling approach has regularly proved highly successful in that respect

If you want to get more information, please access to following the following link. We will be more than happy to assist you.

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