Sales is a complex and delicate process. It takes a lot of effort and know-how to properly prepare and close a successful sale. There are many steps in this process – from finding quality leads to converting them into customers to doing follow-ups. Therefore, it’s not surprising that it can take a lot of time to close the deal. And whether you want to increase sales on your website or in-store, accelerating your sales cycle is an excellent idea. However, rushing the process at the wrong stage of the sales funnel can lead to the opposite effect. You might end up lacking the right data or leave a false impression and lose customers. So, how do you speed up your sales cycle effectively? Firstly, you need to know the stages of the sales process inside out. Then we’ll show you how to be more efficient and revitalize your sales process.
What is the sales cycle?
A sales cycle is a framework that consists of several sales stages or steps. It encompasses the period from customers’ first contact with your brand to closing the deal and follow-up. Of course, stages will be somewhat different depending on your type of business, sales, etc. However, there are some common sales stages. In fact, there are seven basic stages of the sales cycle that you want to keep in mind:
- Prospecting for leads
- Initiating contact
- Qualifying the leads
- Presenting the product
- Overcoming customers’ concerns and objections
- Closing the deal
- Follow-up (anything from a thank you email to asking for a referral).
Now, let’s have a closer look at different ways to speed up your sales cycle and help your business grow and develop.
Automating the repetitive tasks is a great start
The sales process consists of many repetitive manual tasks. If you want to save a significant amount of time, automating is the way to go. There are many digital tools and software that can automatically perform the tasks that would otherwise occupy your staff’s time. For example, a quality CRM system or exit popup software can make a great difference. That way you’ll give your sales reps an opportunity to focus on more important parts of the sales cycle such as devising strategies or building valuable relationships.
Manage all the relevant data in one place
Another great way to speed up your sales cycle is to better organize and manage all the sales-related data. And, as you know, there is a lot of that – from information about the leads to customer history and everything in between. Keeping it all in one digital space will ensure data is up-to-date, comprehensive, and easily accessible to all your team members.
Assess your leads
In sales, a lot of time is wasted on chasing the wrong leads. Although generating leads is vital, not all of them are created equal. In other words, some leads are more likely than others to become customers. So how do you know which leads to focus on and when? A sales engagement platform or CRM can help you here, too. They’ll track leads’ engagement and qualify them once they reach a determined threshold. Qualifying leads will significantly boost your speed. However, don’t neglect unqualified leads, either. With the right nurturing, they can turn into loyal customers in time.
Personalization is the key to a fast and successful sale
Studies show that people are more likely to interact with and purchase a brand that offers a personalized experience. In fact, they not only prefer it but also expect it. Personalization shows that you care about your customers and what they need and that you appreciate their time and interests. Plus, it helps you create trust and build valuable relationships. So, how to do it? Customer segmentation, engaging content, a callback system, and excellent customer service are all excellent ideas when it comes to personalizing your brand.
Set clear goals for every sale
Now, this is a bit different from previous ideas. Setting clear goals will not speed up a certain stage in the sales cycle, but the cycle on the whole. How so? Once you analyze your sales process, you’ll be able to see what works and what doesn’t. Setting the goals will ensure you stay on the right track and streamline and accelerate the whole process.
Transparent pricing, overcoming objections, and communication
What do these three have in common? The answer is simple – failing in either of them will quickly put off your potential customers. Communicating the costs to the customers in a timely fashion is vital – nobody wants unpleasant surprises when the deal is almost closed. Additionally, always be ready for customers’ questions, concerns, and objections. Anticipating them in advance will help you address and overcome them with ease. Lastly, throughout the whole sales cycle, your communication is the key. Treat your audience with respect and appreciation.
Optimize incremental closes
Incremental closes refer to an indirect sales approach. It’s a strategy that allows you to increase customers’ commitment little by little. Instead of focusing on the big deal (a product or service you want to sell), you build a relationship by getting the customer to say yes to smaller steps. That way you learn more about them and deepen their investment. With good planning and execution, the customer will be more likely to say yes in the end.
Focus on high-performing channels and ensure marketing and sales teams work together
For the sales cycle to go smoothly, it’s necessary that the marketing and sales teams are on the same page. Marketing campaigns should clearly represent the product and target it toward the most interested audiences. That will generate leads, and build trust and community. But also, you need to focus your marketing on your highest-performing channels. The effectiveness and ROI should be your top priority.
Make the most of social proof
People tend to trust their friends and peers. For that reason, don’t hesitate to leverage the social proof. Referrals, reviews, social media – all of these will help you create a reputation and become instantly recognizable. Your reps will be able to spend less time convincing your customers about your brand’s credibility.
The bottom line
Since the sales cycle is central to almost every business, finding ways to accelerate it is important. Luckily, at every stage, there’s something you could do to speed up your sales cycle. Follow our tips and make your sales process smooth and effective.
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