Let’s face it—sales cycles that drag out are a drag. Literally. The friction they cause can prevent customers from purchasing from you, and that hurts your bottom line.
So the goal is to shorten the sales cycle, bring buyers through the sales funnel quickly and close deals with the least amount of wasted time and resources. How? Here are 6 essential tips for anyone who wants to minimize the time it takes to get from visitors to leads to buyers:
1. Qualify your leads. Probably the biggest reason why sales cycles take too long is the fact that too much time is spent on unqualified leads. These are the people who don’t really need your products and services, but you’re trying to convince them that they do. Don’t. If they don’t have the problem, then you can’t provide them with the solution. Move on!
2. Create a value proposition. Your qualified leads need to know why you are the solution to their problem. What separates you from the crowd? Why are you the best choice? Too many times, sales and marketing departments focus on the commodity rather than the benefit. Think about your company’s value and what it has to offer your prospective buyers.
3. Quickly remove barriers. Also known as objections, these are the obstacles that many people throw up to protect themselves from taking risks they aren’t comfortable with. The faster you can remove these objections, the sooner you can make the sale. Listen to the problem, deal with the issues and follow through promptly.
4. Build confidence and trust. Odds are, your leads have researched other companies before coming to you. Why should they trust you? Whether the investment is large or small, these people want to know that they will get a good return on it. Provide them with testimonials, studies and referrals. Give concrete examples of how you have helped others.
5. Talk to the right person. Does the lead have the authority to make decisions? Do they have the budget to make a purchase? Getting to the decision-maker as quickly as possible saves a lot of time, so determine who the appropriate person is and make contact.
6. Follow through. Don’t leave your prospects hanging! Once you have them interested in your offering, follow through with a phone call, email or direct mail. Don’t quit until the loop is closed.
When you shorten your sales cycle, you not only increase your marketing efficiency and productivity—you take control over the entire process. So, don’t neglect these essential tips when engaging in lead nurturing. Shorter sales cycles mean more qualified leads, more sales and a greater return on marketing dollars.