Have you gone through the long process of buying a home or a car? The process does not involve simply hopping on to Google, looking for a new car, and hitting the “Buy Now” button.
There are plenty of industries that are known for their longer sales cycle, like insurance, finance, software, and consulting services. The list is endless. But, have you ever wondered what effect does the length of your sales cycle has on your company’s performance? The longer the sales cycle, the larger the impact on inventory management, budgetary planning, cash flow rate, sales strategy, and marketing schedule.
According to the Implicit study of several B2B companies, the average length of a sales life cycle is 102 days.
Hence, you need to optimize your sales cycle to make it more efficient.
So, how can you do it? How can you push more people to the sales funnel? How can you make your sales cycle more efficient to generate a better ROI?
In this blog post, we will help you achieve your goal of optimizing the sales cycle and making it more profitable.
What is a Sales Lifecycle?
A sales life cycle is a calculated and continuous process of interaction with the customers to turn a lead into a customer. Proper placement of the sales cycle lets you know what is coming next and where your lead is within the cycle. It assists you in generating better profitability and higher return on investment (ROI).
Most companies mention the sales cycle as the time between making the first impression and closing the deal. The sales life cycle management includes generating and maintaining interest to drive maximum engagement and conversion.
However, there are many things you should consider to convert your lead into a customer.
What can you Consider to Make it More Efficient?
After conducting in-depth research across various B2B industries, we have come across ten great strategies that you should consider to make your sales life cycle process more efficient. It will not only help you optimize the sales cycle but also help to boost the sales and revenue of the business.
Automate the Sales Cycle Process
If we look at the statistics, we will find that average salespeople spend 21 percent of their time writing emails and 17 percent on prospecting and researching leads.
Automating the sales life cycle process makes the tasks easier to complete. Automation is a great tool to outsource repetitive tasks, thereby saving time to focus on more significant aspects of the business, like building targeted relationships. All you need to do is conduct an audit of the sales process and determine which tasks are repetitive in the sales cycle. Next, prioritize the most crucial repetitive tasks that need automation. Once you have automated all the mechanical tasks, you need to begin exploring the complicated ones.
Make the Entire Process Responsive
Nowadays, most people make purchases on their mobile phones. Or they use any of the portable devices.
The efficient sales team keeps up with their buyer behavior and alters the sales techniques to make it responsive. You can also integrate online contracts that can be signed during the process. It cuts down the time taken to go back and forth with the prospects.
Give Clear Information about the Pricing at the Beginning
Sometimes, the companies are tempted to hide the pricing information when you sell high-quality products. However, it is never the right approach. Rather than creating a crowd of old leads, you should focus on attracting premium leads that can afford your products.
The best practice is to give crystal clear information about the pricing at the beginning so you will get only the leads that are ready to purchase your product.
Plan for Sales Meetings
Your business has made multiple sales in its journey. On the other hand, the prospects are purchasing your product for the first time. In this situation, you should utilize your experience in sales life cycle management. It will not only help you to gain the trust of your prospects but also shorten their sales cycle by helping them to overcome the obstacles.
For instance, the businesses use “Have you purchased anything in this category before?” or “Do you need some advice?”
Draft a plan for sales meetings so that your customers can effortlessly make their purchases, and your sales cycle will become effective.
Use Chatbots and Live Chats
The fundamental difference between an offline and online business is that all the answers to the questions of the customers come in handy with offline businesses. They get their queries solved in no time.
Customer service is also required in eCommerce websites these days. Fortunately, you get several live chat options available. However, chatbots are also a great option if you don’t have a dedicated team or you don’t want to indulge in a live chat option.
Using chatbots and live chats on your eCommerce website provides the correct information at one click. It helps the customers understand the product precisely and, thus, makes the sales life cycle efficient.
Provide an Effortless Product Navigation
Effortless product navigation allows the customers to make a prompt purchase decision without even consulting the team. For example, Amazon provides a sturdy search feature and showcases it remarkably in the drop-down “All” List.
You can enable a search button on the sidebar or the menu section of your website. The customers can easily navigate to the products and access all the related information without any hassle.
Eliminate Cold Leads
One of the most effective ways to shorten the sales life cycle stages is to eliminate cold leads. A business should very well keep in mind that all leads are not likely to convert. According to Marketo, around 96 percent of leads do not convert. Hence, focusing on potential leads yields a greater return on the marketing efforts.
Getting rid of the cold leads authorizes the sales team to concentrate on the leads that can potentially turn into customers. It is your responsibility to foster genuine prospects and let go of the rest. Therefore, it is considered to make the sales cycle efficient.
Drive Action Through Personalized Experience
Do you know what is sales cycle management? It means managing the activities of the customers through personalized experiences. All the sales life cycle stages should give a personalized experience to the buyers. It will allow them to make prompt decisions and, thus, make the sales cycle more efficient.
Use language in your messaging that makes the customer feel relatable. It will help you in creating a robust relationship with your customer. You should create a strategic remarketing strategy.
Leverage Social Proof to Gain Trust
A new prospect does not have trust in your products. It has been reported that nine out of ten buying decisions are based on recommendations. You should leverage the power of social media to make your sales cycle more productive. The businesses should:
- Use LinkedIn to develop connections with the prospects.
- Showcase your prospect’s case studies on social media.
- Mention similar companies that your prospects can relate to.
- Evoke discussion about the product on social media channels.
All the strategies authorize the businesses to leverage social proof to gain the trust of their customers.
Concentrate on the Best Performing Channels
Some companies don’t use newspapers to advertise their products and services as they are outdated methods of advertisement. Concentrating on the lowest-performing channels will lead your business to losses.
You should audit all your business channels and find the best one to promote your products and services. Moreover, you should continuously build systems that support additional concentration on these areas. In today’s world, LinkedIn remains one of the best platforms to promote B2B products.
You need to keep a track of all the channels during your sales cycle. It is advisable to experiment using different channels to promote your products and services and find the best performing channel for your business.
You need to manage your sales cycle if you want to make it more effective. It means having a look at every step before proceeding further and making changes wherever required. After going through all the ways to shorten the sales cycle, you must be clear about what is sales cycle management.
To optimize the sales cycle efficiently, you should track conversion rates between each stage of the sales cycle and the average sales cycle length. You should optimize your sales cycle as and when required.