Shorten The Sales Cycle And Prosper In Sales
Most sales are lost to a competitor called “nothing”. Reps introduce new products and companies decide to do “nothing” and stay with what they already have in place. This resistance to change increases as the sales cycle drags on and on. For this reason, as well as a few other reasons, reps must find the ways to a shorter sales cycle.
To illustrate why we need a shorter sales cycle, just look at what’s going on with health care reform. I’m not taking sides in this debate. I’m only looking at the issue from the eyes of a sales consultant. The Administration wanted to get a Bill passed quickly.
Why did the Administration want a shorter sales cycle? They knew that a long debate would contaminate their proposal because more and more revisions would be introduced. As of today, some question if it will ever pass. Never overlook the importance of a shorter sales cycle.
Reps know that sales prospects must be closed when they are “hot” to be closed. A shorter sales cycle is about “striking while the iron is hot”. A long sales cycle generates complications for many reasons. Decision makers may loose interest and move on to other projects. Funding may change. New competitors may get introduced. Any number of things may happen if a sale drags on and on. All this can be avoided by a shorter sales cycle.
STEPS TO A SHORTER SALES CYCLE
Time is not on the side of the rep and that’s why we need to discover steps to shorten the sales cycle. Here are a few steps to a shorter sales cycle I’d like you to consider.
Start the sales process with a decision maker and not a committee or recommender. Once you have the support of a decision maker, all other entities fall into line and the process moves faster. Speed is at the heart of a shorter sales cycle.
Understand the decision making process. Know how the decision will be made, who will be involved and what criteria will be evaluated. This information will help you streamline your sales strategies instead of jumping through meaningless hoops. When you focus on the things that matter to your prospect, it will lead you to a shorter sales cycle.
Focus on the prospect’s pain as well as the prospect’s desire for gain. This goes beyond cost justifications and ROIs. The focus is on how those financial considerations are presented. It’s great to tell a prospect they can save one hundred dollars a day. However, if you want a shorter sales cycle, explain to your prospect that they no longer need to loose one hundred dollars a day. Every day of delay cause another one hundred dollars to fly out the window. Even your prospect will call for a shorter sales cycle once they appreciate how much a delayed decision is costing them.
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Implement the sales process to perfection. Longer sales cycles often happen when a rep incorrectly assumes they are ready to move on to the next step in the sales process. When the rep is wrong, the rep is forced to backtrack. By avoiding backtracking, you’ll generate a shorter sales cycle.
A shorter sales cycle will not only increase your productivity because you’ll be in position to sell more in a shorter period of time. A shorter sales cycle will also increase your productivity because you’ll improve your close rate. Stop loosing to “nothing” by using a shorter sales cycle.
If you are not implementing the sales process like a top pro, I urge you to get some powerful sales training on the subject. Once you master the steps in the sales process, you’ll master the steps that will lead to a shorter sales cycle.
I hope you’ll implement some of these suggestions because I know they’ll lead to a shorter sales cycle.
To your sales success!
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