SALES CAREERS aren’t for the faint of heart. You need a dogged sense of determination, you need to be thick-skinned in the face of adversity, and you must be prepared to spend some long days in the pursuit of the almighty sale. I have an incredible respect for sales professionals, so I’ve dedicated much of my career to helping them work smarter to close sales more efficiently, and the fastest way to do just that is by shortening the sales cycle. If you don’t already know the length of your sales cycle, average the length of time it typically takes you to close a sale — all the way from your first point of contact to a signed order. By shortening this cycle, you have the ability to call on more prospects, ultimately leading to more wins on the scoreboard. Shortened sales cycles also reduce the likelihood of obstacles getting in your way, like more influencers introduced into the sales process — or your prospect simply losing a sense of urgency over time. More often than not, it’s the salesperson that creates the long sales cycle, not the prospect. Follow these tips to ensure you keep things moving: The easiest way to shorten your sales cycles is to start with the actual decision maker right out of the gate, so determine who controls the company’s pocketbook for your product or service before calling. If you’re unsure, begin at the very top. It’s easy to work your way back down, but it’s much harder to travel up. Get to know your prospect’s needs and desires quickly. Don’t just assume that he can benefit from what you’re selling. Instead of trying to convince a prospect he needs your services, move on to prospects that clearly do. Deal with known objections early on in your conversation. By dealing with them early, you allow your prospect to focus on how to actually do business with you, instead of why they shouldn’t. Make it easy for your prospect to buy by offering a small trial-run type purchase, instead of asking him to bite off the entire enchilada before you’ve had an opportunity to prove your worth. Set your prospect’s mind at ease by offering customer testimonials and case studies. You could even offer reviews of your competitors found on third-party review sites to help differentiate your products or services. And lastly, once you have a prospect’s interest, follow up promptly. Find reasons to stay top of mind by adding value and advancing the sale. For example, instead of calling just to “check in,” send an article about a recent trend in your prospect’s industry; then explain how your product or service can help him leverage that trend to generate results. If you use all of these tips, you’ll find your sales cycle picking up the pace in no time.
This blog was written by RedRover’s CEO & Founder, Lori Turner-Wilson. Read more about Lori and her unwavering commitment to guaranteed marketing results in her bio.