A shorter sales cycle means driving more quality leads in less time, which eventually leads to more profit. However, with so much of the sales process resting in your customer’s court, it can be hard to think of ways to speed things up without rushing your prospects and potentially losing out on sales.
Fortunately, a shorter sales cycle benefits your customers just as much as it helps you: you can use it as a competitive advantage to stand out from the crowd once you get the science of it down. If you’re using too many resources waiting for clients to pull the trigger, you need to shorten your sales cycle.
Ideas to Shorten Your Sales Cycle
A strategic sales cycle is a much better investment of your time than blindly trusting the sales pipeline to eventually filter into profit. Here are 12 actionable ways to shorten your sales cycle today.
- Seriously review the quality of your content and collateral material. If you’re not putting out your best articles, you won’t convert your best prospects.
- Review your written sales process for effectiveness. If you don’t have one, start writing it out and then follow it.
- Consider your customer relations performance. Anyone who interacts with your clients should be likable, helpful, friendly, honest, and eager to please. Building a strong relationship with your customers lubricates the sales process.
- Organize yourself so that you are doing the high-return-high-value tasks vs. the low-value administrative time-eaters. Delegate when you can, and invest your extra time into prospect care.
- Clarify your target audience. Casting a wide net is a waste of resources. It’s better to target the specific people your product or service is made for.
- Trim the fat. While it’s true that some prospects need time to make a decision, that’s the time you could be spending on your most promising leads. If you’re stretched for resources, either automate your follow-ups to indecisive customers or table your correspondence until you’ve followed your most decisive prospects through to the finish, then revisit.
- Understand who the real decision maker is in your client’s organization vs. who just has the title. Sometimes multiple stakeholders have purchasing power, but your prospect may not tell you about them. Find ways to network with everyone who can make decisions in your client’s organization.
- Set realistic and useful milestones and reminders in your customer relationship management (CRM) tool. If you don’t have a CRM, get one now that fits your selling style and business. Faithfully use the CRM that you select. Your sales pipeline will thank you.
- Just like Brian Tracy writes, if you have to eat a frog, do it first thing in the morning. Don’t let yourself procrastinate the sales tasks that you don’t like doing. It only gets harder as the day goes on.
- Always think about what is in the “thought bubble” of your prospect. Don’t allow doubts to fester until they become roadblocks. Always address any possible objections as early on as you can to alleviate their fears.
- Share your testimonials and ratings with your prospects. Social proof speeds the sales process, which will shorten your sales cycle.
- Always position a closing statement with your prospects at regular and consistent intervals. Always set the next meeting time and date, and remind them that they will soon need to make a buying decision. Customers react to deadlines. Make it a priority for them, and they will respond in kind.
While it takes strategy and possibly an overhaul of your sales process, a shorter sales cycle will be worth the effort in the end. Fill out my contact form for a complimentary coaching call to help you with strategies to shorten your sales cycle.