Starbucks has established itself as the best global coffeehouse brand. Since its inauguration, the company kept striking gold until 2008. It came across a severe financial crisis, with its stock process shriveling drastically. They had to close down 977 stores and lay off 18,000 people.
The next year, they decided to get things back on track. They set off by refocusing on what they did best – make coffee!
Teaming up with an acclaimed marketing company and revised branding strategies, it was turning over a new leaf. In 2014, the company reported $16 billion in annual revenue.
When you come across stories like these, you can’t stop wondering about their secrets. How do they get back on their feet? And if it is a global brand like Starbucks, you only think of how they manage their sales cycle. There must be an insane number of obstacles and variables in each sale. It is nearly impossible to design a fool-proof sales system for massive supply.
All such companies must have discovered a way to speed up their sales cycle.
Speed Up Your Sales Cycle – A High Priority Concern
In simple terms, a sales cycle is a process that symbolizes the connections you’ll have with potential customers. From initial contact until a sale closes down.
Five Stages of a Typical Sales Cycle
A sales benchmark study of several businesses revealed that B2B companies have a sales cycle length of 102 days on average. This indicates, it takes over three months before a company witnesses revenue from its sales effort.
Living amidst the cut-throat competition of today, you can’t expect growth with a slow sales cycle. You must find a way to speed it up and meet more prospects in a given time frame.
How to Speed up your Sales Cycle?
Following are four things you can do to speed up your sales cycle:
- Serve Qualified Leads
Don’t clog your pipeline with leads that are unlikely to purchase. You must figure out a way to differentiate between the prospects more likely to buy from those who won’t.
Does this mean you should not pay attention to ones with low conversion chances?
The only reason behind the categorization is to devise a separate strategy for each segment.
Suppose a visitor comes to your website after searching for your name specifically. It means they have a serious interest. They are the ones who immediately need your product or service. So you must make hay while the sun shines!
Meaning, you need to usher them into the CRM pipeline quickly. Spending more time with these qualified leads also increases your forecasting accuracy. To score such leads, you must train your sales reps. Jason Jordan of Vantage Point has done extensive research on sales metrics. He wrote Cracking the Sales Management Code, where he emphasizes the importance of filtering out the quality opportunities.
And as for the leads who aren’t ready to buy, you must devise a different strategy. Try to grab them through exit-intent popup and social media ads.
- Be clear about pricing
It is quite frustrating when you discover the hidden fee right at the moment when you pay. Or, in more precise words, customers hate it!
It may be tempting to wait in the wings. As a seller, you want to convince your customers by showing them the value of your product/service. You want to hide the exact pricing information until the customer is fully ready to purchase.
This practice often turns out ineffective.
It is crucial to make the price crystal clear from the start. Make sure your pricing information is everywhere. This will only attract people who can afford your products or services. Moreover, being transparent adds authenticity to your brand. There are no customer backouts at the eleventh hour, neither any objections or complaints by the customers.
- Automate Repetitive Tasks
One way of improving the sales cycle is by relying on automation. Using procedures like workflow automation and digital communication, you can streamline some tasks to improve your team’s efficiency.
For instance, you can deploy apps like Asana and Trello to communicate with your project team. This way, you don’t have to send repetitive emails. On average, an employee spends 2.5 hours each day, sending and composing emails. By using an email automation tool, you will allow your sales reps to focus on more meaningful tasks like planning content strategies.
For years now, we have witnessed the traditional business community wasting countless hours and energy into mundane tasks like data entry. Automation of such functions will free up hundreds of hours for the company.
You can use this time to perform more complex tasks such as tackling customer queries, designing presentations, and following up with the existing customers.
- Focus on highest-performing channels
The media channels that you choose to bring your marketing strategy to life are just as important as the content you publish on these platforms.
Today, there is an overwhelming number of media channels in the mix. You can’t expect to escalate your sales by marketing on every channel. Your budget may not cover it, and the attention span of the customer is also of the set limit. Plus, focusing on poor performing channels will slow your roll.
It is essential from the beginning to focus your attention on the channel with the highest Return on Investment. Follow the content marketing KPIs on each platform to track your performance.
Spot the medium where you are likely to find a significant number of your prospects. So if, for instance, you get more reach via LinkedIn, you can spend more on this medium and buy premium tools to make your marketing on this platform more useful.
Boosting your sales cycle takes a lot of sweat. But when you incorporate the tips mentioned above, it should ensure your efforts will reward you.
In case you do not agree with us, or you have any queries about our approach on the topic, leave a comment!