Your sales cycle is longer than you want. You spend too much time and effort trying to close each sale, and you have no idea how to shorten the sales cycle.
Instead of being able to quickly resolve issues and close deals, you feel like you’re walking around in circles.
If you've ever spent hours or days planning and strategizing for a single sales call, you know it doesn't always have the result you hoped for.
The fact is, there are certain sales problems that aren't easily predicted or solved.
That doesn't mean you should dwell on it!
We've outlined 11 ways to speed up your sales cycles that can help you increase your wins, decrease sales cycles, and push deals through all stages of the pipeline.
What is a sales cycle?
A sales cycle is the entire selling process, from starting the conversation with the prospective client to closing the deal.
This includes everything each member of your team is doing to keep people interested in what you're selling, engaging them, and answering their questions to convert them from a lead to paying customers.
In this process, the sales cycle length is the key attribute that must be managed more seriously than only deciding on sales targets and achievements. Your average sales cycle determines your growth rate, which makes a difference when you launch your product in the market or seek funding rounds.
What does sales cycle length mean?
Sales cycle length is a particular time frame required to close the deal, starting from the first conversation with the client to the signing deal. It can take several days or months per the business's nature.
An ideal sales cycle has five components weaved together to make conversions:
- Prospect: This is the first step where you are attracting leads for your product. You have to listen to them and understand them to tailor your pitch according to their pains.
- Qualify: When you connect and discuss the needs and desires of your prospect, you can get an overall picture of whether they have the intent to buy or not. So in this stage, you can optimize your funnel and fill them with high-quality leads.
- Connect: In this step, you have to connect with the prospect and make them sign up for your product. In a nutshell, it’s the discovery call. The information gathered during the prospecting stage will help you lead the call towards a positive outcome.
- Present: Now you have to present your product to your leads in a way that it sits at the top of their buying decision. This is where you should start building trust and credibility with your prospects by telling them about their pain points and how your product can solve them. To get the maximum conversion, present your product demo rather than just describing the benefits. It helps them to make informed decisions.
- Close: Now you can hit the sweet spot to get the conversion. Your leads are warmed up and your last step is to make them take action. You can either give a free trial or have them sign up for a paid plan!
Depending on the efficiency of this process, your sales cycle length will be determined.
Why is the sales cycle important?
The sales cycle is essential for any business because it helps you to forecast your sales. From that, you can build your sales strategies, dedicate resources, and make critical production decisions.
Sales cycle length defines the sales efficiency of both your product/services and your sales team. It helps you make some strategic decisions to optimize your resources.
Longer sales cycles will mean you are working on lesser leads. It can also result in more lead churning. Competition in the same market costs you your market share, and eventually, slow growth leaves you behind in the competition to be a top brand in your segment.
Your sales cycle can be the deciding point when you go to the investors. Your average sales cycle denotes your percentage of sales achievement and profit. With a sales cycle in place, you can easily identify your next move with each new lead. You also know where each lead is within the cycle and can improve based on what's worked before.
What is the average sales cycle length?
Average sales cycle length is the average amount of time needed to convert prospective customers to customers. The average time is the total time for all the deals divided by the total number of contracts.
This metric is useful for gauging the effectiveness of your sales strategy. A short sales cycle can be a good thing. According to Geekoboard, the average sales cycle length for a B2B company is around 102 days.
How to calculate the average sales cycle length?
Sales cycle length is measured by the total number of days required to close a sales deal averaged by the total sales deals of the company.
For example, suppose you had two leads to close. You take around 30 days to close one day and took only 20 days to close another deal. So here’s how you have to calculate the average sales cycle length:
Total number of leads= 2
Total number of days= 30+20 = 50 days
Average sales cycle length = 50/2 = 25
Thus, the average sales cycle length in this scenario will be 25 days.
11 Tips to improve your sales cycle length in 2022
1. Generate more prospects using effective performance channels
You must have established multiple channels to attract leads like from the website, various product landing pages, CTA on social media pages, emailers, and chatbot messages. Identify the channel generating leads for you faster. Try to prioritize those leads so that you can utilize the entire yield in the shortest time. Tracking all the channels is essential, as you can not miss out on a single lead.
Tip: Add Product Tour CTA on your website to drive more prospects who are qualified to the funnel. You can use Storylane to build product-led funnel in 10 mins for your product
2. Rank your leads
Mostly in online sales communication, it is wiser to ask customers at what stage they are in when it comes to buying decisions and how soon they intend to make them. You can even ask them to fill in options like 10 or 15, or 20 days. Such tactics help you to rank your leads.
Rank your leads based on their serious interest, buying authority, budget expectations, past experiences, and urgency. Having qualified leads in your sales pipeline is more important to speed up the sales cycle because you do not want to waste your time on wrong leads.
3. Educate your leads about your product
Even though the prospect lies in the warm category, you can not determine when he will buy the product. That is why you need to take charge and make up your prospects' minds to go for it. In this case, you can use a tailored product demo that gives a first-hand experience of your product and give them a realistic experience of how your product solves their pain points.
You can use Storylane to create such a demo without any prior experience and get the maximum conversions without sounding salesy with your approach! And then after your demo, simply share version of the demo with them and help them make quick decision
4. Have a well-structured sales process
A lot of times, the common mistakes that happen with sales activities are handled randomly. The sales reps and managers keep redesigning their process prospect to prospect. It takes a lot of time and creates chaos. Managers and direct sales representatives should sit and write down all the possible queries, situations, or obstructions that may occur in the sales process.
They can do little market research for that. Cumulatively, a structured sales process should be defined where sales reps give similar commitments, and turnaround time in line with the market research. This helps them make decisions immediately and close deals quickly.
5. Use CRM to manage your sales pipeline
Sales pipeline management is equally important as defining a sales strategy. It is more than number tracking and sales report. CRM software allows sales departments to analyze the numbers to see where the efforts can make a difference. Managers can derive patterns and errors and estimate actual sales achievement through CRM. The data can help build sales strategies and training programs for individual sales representatives.
6. Identify repetitive tasks and use automation
Sales automation is a boon for sales reps. Sales representatives, on average, spend 21% of their time writing emails and 17% of their time researching prospective leads. Activities like sending follow-up emails, reminders, and updated offers to all prospects can be managed through automation. In fact, with a sales automated system, you can start a conversation with your future prospects quickly and easily.
7. Track sales cycle metrics
Measuring is knowing. Unless you measure your average sales cycle time, how would you improve it? Keeping track of these metrics will help you to set benchmarks to improve sales cycle timings.
Also, You can measure the average time taken for each stage to complete. It will help you find the stages where your leads spend the most time. It will also help you understand where your sales team lacks a boost to decrease the average sales cycle length.
8. Sales cycle length visualization
As you track and measure sales cycle length metrics, you will have monthly or quarterly data for sales cycle length. You can use visually represent the sales cycle length to motivate your sales representative. For example last six months, the average sales cycle length was 10 days, and now it is widening to 14 days. You can send these visuals as motivation to your sales team, asking them to speed up closures.
9. Collect social proof and use them to establish trust
Many of your prospects may be stuck at one stage and not come to any decisions because they lack trust in the product. Your sales cycle length metrics analysis may reflect those numbers at a particular stage. Use social proofs like reviews, testimonies, case studies, brand endorsers, etc., to represent your brand as trustworthy and well-known. It will help you move prospects quicker through the sales cycle.
10. Make signing contracts and payments ridiculously easy
Keep your well-defined, transparent contract ready to get it signed by the customer. The process should follow all the adequate steps, yet it should feel easy to manage. All the different payment options should be supported. These can be debit/credit cards, wallet payments, net banking, etc. Automated billing service, purchase notifications, and post-purchase service information should be notified to get the incremental benefit of loyalty referrals from customers.
11. Align marketing team with sales goals
In the modern sales process, the role of a marketing team is critical. As marketing materials, content like blogs, vlogs, product videos, etc., play a vital role in lead generation. Create an internal channel where marketing and sales teams can work in alignment for shared objectives, where marketing campaigns and their sales feedback are discussed and capitalized on a single platform.
The improved sales cycle length needs a consistent measure of these metrics. A qualified lead generation and development of an accurate sales pipeline impact your sales cycles big time.
Bonus tip to get more leads in your pipeline
You may have a perfect product, perfect sales strategy, and effective sales pitch, but sometimes you may be failing to describe your product in the best way. Your product demonstration must present all the essential features to your prospects so that you can help them make buying decisions quickly.
That’s why you need an innovative product demonstration that speaks for itself and engages your prospects entirely through the demo journey. How can you be the best at your product demo game?
It's through Storylane! You can create an interactive product demo that covers minute details of your product and highlights features effortlessly without breaking a sweat.
Wondering how Storylane helps you to optimize short sales process length? Schedule a free demo now, as it shows just how you can leverage your sales performance with our simple platform!