It is essential for a sales team and an organization to understand their sales cycles so they may properly execute their sales plan and exceed quotas. Sales cycles usually depend of the size of the deal and the pricing involved- generally, the larger the deal or the higher the price; the longer the sales cycle and vice–versa.
Below are ways that a sales team may close deals, regardless of size, in less time.
Measure each stage of the sales cycle
Confirm stated sales metrics provide an accurate forecast for month and year end numbers. Often sales teams look at factors or use reporting tools that inflate sales numbers, ultimately leading to failure. Utilize real-time reports and dashboards that continually update numbers and averages.
Improve your sales method and reduce sales cycle
Once a reasonable amount of data is available to analyze, generally 3-6 months, set aside time to evaluate triggers in the sales cycle. Does the product/service provide a solution to the prospect’s business need? Do contacts have the authority to buy? If so, what is the decision maker’s buying power? Is the sales team following the correct sales process and properly addressing objections? To properly gauge timeline, the sales team must accurately record each activity and continually reassess the buyer’s journey.
Use Lead Velocity Rate (LVR)
Lead Velocity Rate is a more accurate forecast measurement compared to the sales pipeline, which often contains quality issues. LVR is a month-over-month measurement of qualified leads obtained in the current month minus qualified leads last month divided by qualified leads last month x 100. This will provide the optimal future gauge on sales revenue and ability to reach and exceed quota on a consistent basis.
Analyze and Improve your Sales Team
On a weekly and monthly basis, analyze sales won and lost and the number of activities involved. Gather additional details and make copiousnotes of what led to the win or loss. Compare the wins of top performers to those of lower performing sales representatives. Find a middle ground and set short term goals for the underachievers toensure they reach quota.
Learning when to Cut Bait
Often sales representatives spend time with prospectsthat are looking only to be educated on the product/service. Identify these signs and bring to the sales team. Sales representatives will then be equipped to recognizea non-buyer, pass back to Marketing for nurturing, and shift attention to more fruitful leads.
Successful sales teams understand they must manage and accurately assess their sales cycle. Pay special attention to Lead Velocity Rate and understand every prospect interaction in regards to wins and losses. Always follow up with top performers and underachievers equally to elevate the sales team as a whole. Spend time on winning deals and learning how to identify true buyers. All of the above mentioned provides an effective plan that will provide positive and consistent revenue outcomes.