Shortening the sales cycle is one of the best ways to generate more revenue for your business. Time is money, right? Below are a few tips to make sure your team makes the best use of everybody’s time.
Is your Sales Team following your sales process?
Hopefully, your sales team has a process in place. If it has been a few years since anyone thought about the process, it may be worth a review. Updating the flow of the process to make it current and more efficient can cut slack in the chain and improve how effective it is in today’s market. If you have a great process in place, it may be worth a double check to make sure your team is using it. If you have no sales process whatsoever, have your manager work with your team to develop one. It will help in the long run with training new people and showing consistency throughout your organization.
Do not follow bad leads.
Bad leads are a huge waste of time. It is tempting to try on leads that do not quite fit, but the chances of success are lower and your sales team could have spent that time focusing on better leads. If your sale team is complaining all your leads are bad, revisiting the marketing team’s focus should work to improve that. Especially when just starting up, it is difficult not to sell to everyone. Focus. Niche down. Stick to your ideal customer profile. It works better in the long run. Better for you and for your clients.
Learn the prospect’s buying process.
At some point in the sales process, your salespeople need to focus on learning the prospect’s buying process. Knowing the buying process means you know which person or team makes the decision, how long it takes, and what type of presentations are likely to move things along the fastest. Working with the highest executive has been the preferred method in the past and the salespeople who had the courage to work with the person at the top were generally rewarded with sales.
Courage to work with high profile, powerful people is still needed because selling to people too low in the chain of command will turn into a large stumbling block. The good news is managers and executives are more willing to delegate now to specialists or teams rather than making all the decisions themselves. One of the first things asked of a potential buyer should be, “who is the person I should talk to about this?”.
Make sure your sales team is focused on solving problems instead of being salesy.
Always be closing is a good attitude for your sales team. Solving the pains of your clients is a great attitude of your sales team. The more customer focused your team is the better their results. We are all good at telling when someone is genuinely interested in us versus just trying to push their agenda. Even if the product is a perfect solution for someone’s problem, if he/she cannot trust the salesperson, there will be no sale.
Show your solution working.
Telling someone about your client’s past successes (if plausible) is a great way to build that relationship. If you can show someone the solution working, that sells itself. When Sara Blakely (the inventory of Spanx) first started selling her product, she knew it worked. In the middle of a pitch to one of the department stores she was asking to carry it, she asked for a moment in the middle of the sales call to put them on to show the executives what her product could do. She won the contract. Your product in action goes a long way to selling itself. Starting out with a demonstration and testimonials will go much farther than a well-designed pitch deck.