Depending on your service or product, your sales cycle might last anywhere from an hour to 3 months to an entire year. And many businesses, don’t understand that they have control over this cycle.
How to Identify and Shorten Your Sales Cycle
In essence, the sales cycle length is impacted by various factors of different impact. However, these factors can be identified, managed, and used to the advantage of the company.
In this article, we will cover everything you need to know about the sales cycle. But most importantly how you can shorten it so that you can improves your sales process in the long term.
Whenever you’re ready to learn more about the sale funnel, keep reading and get your notes out.
This Is Why Your Sales Cycle Is Long
It’s known that most companies suffer from the challenge of a long sales cycle. In general, the sales cycle length is affected by a variety of factors, all of which have contributing impact.
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Let’s take a look at the most prominent factors in this regard.
In an overarching review of company sales processes, it is known that a relaxed approach with sales channels is the secret for a quicker sales cycle.
For instance, the UK has the fastest sales process with an average of 9 weeks. This is directly related to the businesses employing a less formal approach and using email as the primary means for communication.
The complete inverse is seen for Germany, in which most businesses have a very formal approach to quotations and sales. With this small change informality, Germany has a sales cycle that’s at least double that of the UK.
With many secondary tasks to take care of, sales teams often don’t have the necessary time to truly focus on sales. It’s presumed that sales reps spend only about a quarter of their weekly hours on selling.
It’s often that they spend their time on other activities, such as cold leads, providing content, administrative tasks. In fact, nearly all problems in time allocation come down to the excess in administrative tasks.
Furthermore, unproductive prospecting eats into the overall time as well.
Undefined Sales Cycle
An undefined sales cycle will slow down your entire enterprise. Some of the problems included range from undefined roles, unorganized cycle steps, and much more.
Besides the activities mentioned above, there is also a direct link between sales cycle length and the internal processes within the company. Some of these challenges include limited insight, lack of time for direct sales in-person, and undefined alignment with the marketing teams.
This Is How to Shorten & Optimize the Sales Cycle
Practically all companies that have a poor sales cycle suffer from some sort of problem. However, the true issue lies in the identification of why the cycle is ineffective, this is often the hardest thing to do.
Because there are so many factors determining the finite length of the cycle, the first step in shortening it—is to identify what is slowing everything down. By doing so, you will be able to examine the stages of the cycle and adjust the management and processes by required changes.
The most efficient companies use regular collaboration to assess and outline the necessary qualifications for the process to expedite the sales cycle. Defining the most practical leads is also a great way to keep everyone unified with purpose.
It’s critically important to provide sales teams with clear and concise details on the objectives of the company, as well as the long-term vision.
Without this, they cannot effectively convert and nurture leads. Not to mention, the quality of service and consistency they will be able to deliver.
Once you have defined problems in the sales process, it might be useful for the company to outline clearly each phase of it. After doing so, they must be reexamined on how effective they are regularly.
For instance, if you suffer from formal communication at certain stages in the cycle, you might want to opt for relaxed methods of interaction with clients. This type of assessment and reactive planning will help your team succeed in their sales ventures.
Automation & Technology
Advances in technology and software can be used in a myriad of ways. In terms of a sales cycle, they can be used to manage activities that are slowing the process down.
For instance, are you getting the most from your CRM? Storing info in the cloud or migrating tasks to the CRM can provide the sales team with centralized access for managing aspects of the sales cycle.
A CRM can help reduce data entry, outline the sales cycle, manage contacts, store information. As well as streamline steps, connect marketing automation, enhance customer information availability. For instance, Hub’s Technical and Presale solutions can do this.
With all of these benefits, it’s obvious that ignoring the capacity of CRM software is a grave mistake. CRMs increase sales conversion three-fold if they are not used before that.
Alright, but what about artificial intelligence? Using AI to identify top content and look beyond metrics via deeper insight into what drives deals, accelerates sales velocity, or attracts quality leads is critical to business success.
Real-time analysis cuts down on the sales process, it also allows you to invest your energy into activities that drive the greatest value for the business. AI software can automate a variety of processes, as well as sort through tons of data, meanwhile freeing up staff to focus on sales.
With AI and a CRM, your company will be ready for sophisticated analysis of data with tools allowing the processing of information to an extent that no human can process.
By doing so, your company will score leads. As well as acquire insights into the needs and wants of the customer. Finally, it will help you focus on going after the best leads at the right time.
Business Content for You
Now that you know what the sales cycle is dependent on, as well as how you can shorten it in the long term, you are much closer to seeing great improvement in your business outcomes. In any case, there’s really no rush and it’s best to take a slow but regular approach to manage your sales cycle.
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