Most talented salespeople understand that the key to accelerating sales is through understanding their customers’ needs and pain points and creating long-lasting, meaningful relationships through lead nurturing.
However, to quickly and successfully increase your profitability, you may need to speed up the sales process. It means looking at the key stages within the sales funnel, so you will know what requires automation or the human touch. Learn how to speed up your sales cycle below:
Score Your Sales Leads
It is vital to evaluate every lead that comes your way. For instance, if a lead has stated they immediately need your goods or services, and they have both the authority to make a decision and transfer funds, this must be classed as a high scoring lead. As a result, they should become a priority for your business.
However, if a potential customer has stated an interest in your services, but doesn’t have the funds immediately available or needs authorization from a manager, this will be a low-scoring lead.
Nurture Leads That Aren’t Ready to Buy
While it is essential you don’t fill the sales pipeline with leads that are not ready to make a purchase; you should still make time to nurture the leads that are seemingly not ready to buy from your business.
Separate them from high-scoring leads, so your sales representatives can quickly increase your profit margin. When you are not busy securing sales, take the time to build relationships with potential customers who might need a little more convincing.
Identify a Customer’s Potential Pain Points
Every company must identify the potential obstacles and pain points, which could each prevent a lead from becoming a customer. It is important to put yourself in various buyers’ shoes to identify what could stop them from signing up for your service or buying a product.
It could be a lack of trust in a brand, a high price, or a lack of knowledge about the product or service. Build buyer personas of different types of customers and aim to provide a solution to their problem.
Invest in a Contract Management Program
If you want to speed up the sales cycle, you must be capable of immediately providing a new customer with a professional contract. However, hastily pulling together contracts or a slow turnaround time could result in a lead turning to a competitor.
For this reason, you would be smart to invest in a contract management program, which can streamline the way your business contracts are drafted, stored, and delivered. What’s more, it will allow your company to maintain an accurate audit trail of every contract version throughout a sales negotiation.
Manage the Sales Pipeline
Every sales manager and representative must focus on managing the sales pipeline. It is not just about tracking numbers, but it is about identifying where their actions are helping to speed up the sales cycle and where they are slowing it down. As a result, they can make the appropriate tweaks to their tactics and processes.
Cut Staff Meetings
Unless it is absolutely necessary for the business, you should cut staff meetings. Your sales team will want to be out there selling your products or services to a potential customer, and meetings will take them away from arranging face-to-face or video conference meetings. They will also be eager to make calls, send emails, and track their performance. Remember, time is money, so don’t waste your sales staff’s time if you can help it.
Coach Every Sales Representative
Don’t just give your sales staff a phone and a computer and tell them to get to work. If you want the company to reach its annual profit goals, you must coach every sales representative that joins your business. For example, you should walk them through the specific steps for each type of deal, so they will know how to maximize their sales or move on from a low-scoring lead.
Automate Sales Activities
Review each stage of the sales pipeline to identify if there are any tasks which could be automated, as this could speed up the process for both your customers and sales staff. For example, you could automate email campaigns or follow-up emails, which could trigger a potential lead to make a purchase.
While automation is focusing on low-scoring or new leads, your sales staff can spend more time making calls, emailing or arranging face-to-face meetings with higher scoring leads. It will ultimately help to speed up your company’s productivity and, in turn, its profitability.