A sales cycle is defined as the course of activities and time needed to convert qualified prospects to customers. It is comprised of a series of stages that vary by ideal customer profile, industry, or product/service but often follow the following sequence:
- Prospect For leads
- Initiate Contact
- Qualify Lead
- Customize An Offer
- Clarify Objections
- Close The Sale
To calculate the sales cycle, choose a time period and determine the number of days from initial contact to close and divide by the total number of opportunities closed. For instance, let’s assume that you closed four opportunities in a calendar month. While opportunity #1 took forty days, you needed sixty to close opportunity #2; Opportunity #3 and #4 took thirty days each. Therefore, your average sales cycle would be (40 + 60 + 30 + 30)/4 = 50 days. It is essential for businesses to track sales cycle length to ensure the selling process is optimized.
Listed below are essential tips to add velocity to your sales cycle:
Include a pricing discussion in early conversations to eliminate iffy leads and allow the sales team to focus on prospects with a budget. Moreover, a dialogue on pricing builds trust from the outset and enables the prospect to ascertain the full value of the offering.
Evidence of achievement
Prospects often look for proof of competency. Providing customer testimonials will help you create a positive impression. Moreover, you may also use white papers and case studies to build rapport with prospects and ultimately speed up the sales cycle.
Investment in technology
Automation of time-consuming tasks will let you focus on your core competencies. Using Marketing Automation and CRM tools will enable you to streamline repetitive tasks such as scheduling reminders, data entry, and reporting. As a result, you will be able to utilize resources more efficiently.
Recasting & revamping
Reflecting on channels that have provided the best leads in the past will help you replicate success. You may also reduce sales cycle length by revising the sales pitch and utilizing closing techniques that enable you to win similar opportunities. Using past experiences to guide future decisions will help you maximize success and accelerate your sales cycle.