How to Cope With Long Sales Cycles
Probably every business goes through that phase when sales cycles become stagnant and longer than expected. Even some of the most qualified leads go into the zone of uncertainty when customers don’t respond. Considering that the sales cycle length is one of the metrics of the success of your organization, you get valuable insights from those leads that take shorter time. There are times when your prospective clients are satisfied in the manner you resolve their issues and understand the needs. But longer sales cycles don’t only become an impediment in your path of obtaining success but also leave your sales team frustrated. Here is what you can do in order to put an end to the relatively longer sales cycles:
- Understanding Similar Sized Deals: What you need to understand here is that you have to be practical with the time by which you would like to close a deal. Under pressure, many businesses end up offering discounts and deals which don’t help much either. When your sales cycles start getting longer, you need to bring in the most experienced sales person forward instead of pushing the junior sales representatives to get it done. The experienced VP or someone of same stature will be able to pull it off because they know the trick. For example, you just can’t close a 11 months deal in 11 hours or 11 weeks. However, you can shorten the time to 5 months. And, only an experienced sales person can do this as they have probably done similar size deals before.
- Using CRM to Manage Pipeline: Coping up with longer sales cycles also requires fair understanding of the areas that require more effort. Using effective sales crm tools can help you to track reports as well as understand numbers where actions are much required. With the data available from CRM tools, you can train your team to deal with the situations in which sales cycles get longer.
- Spend Time in Conversation: Most of the sales representatives spend a good amount of time for composing and answering emails. According to Jill Konrath, this simple email interactions can consume as much as 28 hours every week. But the ground reality is that representatives need to spend more time doing the sales rather being on computer. Once your team starts spending for solving issues that made the sales cycle longer, they will able to close deals sooner than expected.
- Automated Lead Nurturing: Automated lead nurturing has been one of the key elements that can help you to avoid longer sales cycles. Automated lead nurturing is all about providing leads with information that they seek for instead of pushing them hard. You can easily set up the triggers in order to respond at the moment of urgency. Here you are taking the customer on a journey which satiates their demands and eventually makes them qualified leads. Lead scores will help you to know the stage at which the customers are. Once you have an idea about their position, you can feed them relevant content with which they will eventually become your buyers.
- Paid Search Strategy: While using top of the funnel paid search strategy, many of the businesses end up using aggressive call-to-action keywords. This has been one of the significant reasons behind the customers taking too long to respond. Instead of using such keywords, you should try keywords that help people will intriguing enough to do further research. The advertisements crafted for your paid search channel should also be able to state the reasons that make you better than your competitors. An educational and informative approach is much required these days for businesses to shorten the sales process.
- Suitable Content as Your Progress: A balance between information about your product and pushing people to research the keywords is much needed. It becomes significantly important for you to understand the first action of the customers once they enter the sales funnel. In addition, you need to pursue sending marketing emails after a lead becomes a qualified one. Nothing can be important than taking the right step when a lead is about convert into a customer.
- Personalized Strategy: When your sales cycle gets longer, you need to act as soon as possible. Longer sales cycle can be prevented by offering a personalized experience. Customers tend to prefer communicating with someone who presents themselves as the face of the business. Therefore what really helps are the touch points that are personalized. Moreover what you need to do is create content that engages the audience with relevant information and relatable language.
- Analyze and Adjust: When people take longer time than usual, you need to understand that something is stopping them from making the decision. With the data available at hand, you can take resort to analysis in order to understand what can be done better. You can also run surveys to have a better idea about the factors that are impacting the decisions of the customers. Once you have those factors, you need to adjust them so that the customer feels at peace to make the transaction. Addressing potential threats is the key to success here.