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How to shorten your sales cycle

Sales are the lifeblood of any small-to-medium-sized business but how can you shorten the cycle? How can you stop it from dragging on for days or, even, months? Here are six ways to shorten your sales cycle.

Speak to your customer

With the popularity of instant messaging apps, like WhatsApp, people often prefer to send a text message rather than speak to someone over the phone. While text messaging is a useful way to interact with your client, the best is to call them. By having a phone call you can quickly understand the objections a client has and you can offer them a better deal in line with their needs. If your clients are online, you can use live chat apps to help answer your client’s questions speedily and accurately and move them through the sales cycle quickly, rather than allowing them to swim through FAQs which may never give them the answer they are looking for. Another aspect to remember is to make sure you are speaking to the decision-maker in the company. If you can’t get to speak directly to the decision-maker, then ensure you speak to someone who is directly connected to the decision-maker.

Know your value proposition

As Charles Hsuan mentions in the Sales Indaba Webinar “Master the secret language of sales: Storytelling” knowing your unique story helps to show the value you add to your client because most people can compete on price, customer service and product but nobody can tell your unique story. You can further define your value proposition by asking your clients, colleagues and business network “how do I provide value in what I do?” With these answers, you can then write your value proposition. You need to ensure you speak to your client’s need and explain why you are the best option and be able to prove it. With these three aspects in your messaging, you will build trust with your customer.

Expose your price

Many companies feel keeping their prices hidden will ensure that those serious about buying their product or service will contact them or they feel they need to show the customer the value of their offering before they see the price so that they don’t reject the product because of the price. But it is prudent to remember that everyone has a budget and even if your product is exactly what your customer wants if the price doesn’t fit in the budget they will not be able to purchase your offering. So by not exposing your price, you may waste your lead’s and your time.

Make buying easy

Your prospect may like your product but be wary of paying the high price so have an introductory offer so that they can see how your product or service works. This will encourage them to pay the full price. If you have a contract for your customer to sign ensure it is clear and easy to understand. If you have an e-commerce site, ensure you only ask for the information required for the sale and don’t have any hidden costs which appear on the final invoice.

Make your marketing valuable

Every piece of marketing plays a vital role in the sales process and helps to build rapport with your client. Ensure that each marketing touchpoint leaves your customer feeling like they have gained value. This will shorten the sales process because they will already know that you are an expert in your field and want to buy what you are selling.

Know what you are going to say

When you speak to your customer make sure you have an outline of what you want to say. You should also prepare a few reactions to potential objections clients may have. By having a good idea of what you will say in your conversation, you will help move the sale forward and you won’t be left with awkward silences where no-one knows what to say.

Review your sales cycle

Look at your sales cycle and see where your customer regularly stalls or falls out of the sales cycle. When you have identified this place then look for ways to improve and streamline the process.

These six pieces of advice will help you move towards shortening your sales cycle.

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