Typically, a business to business (B2B) sales cycles is a long, drawn out process lasting months, if not years.
We give ourselves excuses or reasons to hang in there and over-exercise our patience often rewarding ourselves for hanging in so long.
Terms such as “in it for the long game” and “patience, persistence and perspiration” litter the conversation when a sales team has their weekly sales reports.
It’s true; you do need another level of patients in a B2B sales environment. Here are a few simple hacks to shortening any deal lifecycle.
1. Widen the funnel
It sounds simple, but it’s right. Statistically, you can only close a percentage of what you quote. It’s impossible to close more than you quote.
We are not advocating spending time quoting poor quality prospects. We know bonuses are paid on closing ratios, not how much you quote.
Spend time analyzing your sales funnel in weekly meetings, applying adequate time in weekly sales meetings going through your deal stages, and critiquing the ratio of your funnel.
For example, the following funnel would raise alarm bells for being bottom heavy, too much in the negotiation stages, and not enough at the top of the funnel.
Let’s solve that!
2. Start prospecting, or prospect more efficiently.
A lot of companies consider prospecting as a quick Google of a company or individual. Think again!
Companies spend hours prospecting their leads drawing up organizational charts, calculating the right angle of attack when prospecting new clients so they do not spend hours and hours of time selling to the wrong person.
By getting behind the companies or prospects, DNA informs and assists you in gathering pain points and an angle to sell them your service or a product.
Don’t know a potential leads role in the company? Check out our DNA feature which works as a data enrichment tool saving you hours and hours mapping out organizational data.
3. Sell to the right person
Email signatures make life tricky – they can overstate role importance that might be over and above the position held by the person within the company.
Now consider you spend 12 months selling to this prospect when they are not a critical decision maker in a purchasing opinion. Not ideal!
Overcome this obstacle by becoming a bit more relentless, (every successful salesperson has a ruthless streak) research people within the same company, reach out to them and ask for a meeting. Get the conversation going at a higher level so you can push on through the organizational barriers preventing you from sealing your deal.
4. Reward small victories
Yes, sales is a bottom-line business, but pause and celebrate deal progression and measure this success.
With Tubular, you can see instant visual reports on what took hours and hours of formatting on Excel (and no more Copy of Copy.Final draft.xls files).
Now you can measure week-to-week reports, month-to- reports, quarterly, six-month and twelve monthly reports to see exactly how you are progressing in real time.
Measure your improvement! Start celebrating small victories now by signing up to Tubular here.
5. Be personal
Widening the funnel, organizational mapping, reports, and prospecting will help shorten your B2B sales cycles, but let’s remember – B2B sales is a personal game! King of Sales (for the right and wrong reasons), and the original Wolf of Wall Street Jordan Belfort, claims one of his top sales tactics is to be…
1. Sharp as a tack
2. Enthusiastic a hell
The good news is, these two skills are free!
Think about it; you wouldn’t choose a doctor who isn’t sharp. You want him to be sharp. Your clients are looking for the same traits.
Bring enthusiasm to every pitch and every meeting and you will quickly see the difference in engaging with key clients.