10 Tips to Expedite a Slower Sales Cycle

A slow sales cycle can take a toll on your business. It’s crucial to identify the causes of a long sales cycle and find ways to optimize to increase the quality of your leads and the number of sales.

Understanding the Causes of a Slow Sales Cycle

Slow sales cycles happen for many reasons, including:

  • You’re focusing on low-quality leads: Focusing on a lead that’s ultimately not able to buy is not the best use of your time. If you’re spending energy on low-quality leads too often, your time investment is not going to lead to many sales. 
  • You’re using the wrong tools: Keeping track of your leads and effectively communicating with them is key. If you’re not using the right technology to stay organized, your sales cycle feels the effects.
  • Your process is pretty random: Moving between multiple focuses on the job slows down the sales cycle because you’re not concentrated enough to keep it on track.

Tips to Shorten the Sales Cycle

If you’re looking to speed up the sales cycle, check out these 10 tips. 

1. Streamline the Qualification Process

Your leads are those interested in your product or service, and not every lead is worth pursuing. The qualification process helps you determine if a lead is ready to purchase what you’re offering. If you don’t qualify your leads, you’ll waste energy on people who won’t initiate a sale and lose the time to focus on those who will.

The qualification process will look different for every company, but the key is to do it as early as possible in order to devote your time to meaningful leads. Factors to keep in mind when qualifying a lead include:

  • The budget to pay for your product or service
  • Decision-making authority
  • Pain points or needs that the product or service can solve
  • A timeline that you can work within

2. Optimize Lead Nurturing

While quality leads are your bread and butter in the sales cycle, unqualified leads still have potential. As circumstances change, these leads might be ready to purchase your product or service. You can encourage these future sales with lead nurturing. 

Lead nurturing is the process of building relationships with leads and keeping your business top-of-mind through tailored content and marketing campaigns. For example, keeping unqualified leads on a mailing list where you announce deals and discuss relevant topics in your industry will show them you’re there when they’re ready to buy.

3. Offer Customized Solutions 

Every customer is different, and acknowledging their unique needs makes it easier to close a sale. When offering custom solutions, you want to consider a customer’s goals and how you can best address their challenges. For example, a large enterprise only needs support after hours, not around-the-clock management. The IT company trying to close the sale can talk about their tier levels of service, and how the enterprise can choose their after-hours option.

Every Customer is Different

Taking time to understand your customers this way is also an excellent way to build trust. When your lead sees that you know them and their needs, they are more prepared to commit to the sale. 

4. Accelerate Follow-Ups

The sales process usually doesn’t end with one call. Follow-ups are a big part of keeping your leads engaged and moving them through your sales process, but scheduling these follow-ups can be challenging. You can speed up your sales cycle by streamlining your follow-up steps.

Techniques for improving your follow-up process can vary. For example, you might end every meeting by scheduling the next one. You can also count on a receptionist to initiate follow-ups, so your leads are always in line to meet with you again.

5. Leverage Sales Technology

Sales technology is your best friend for many reasons, but it’s particularly helpful for your sales cycle. Tools like a customer relationship management (CRM) platform help you keep track of client information, monitor sales performance and automate tasks like sending emails.

Using a CRM is a great way to stay informed about where every lead is in the sales process. To get the most from this platform, you have to maintain customer profiles as they move through the cycle. 

6. Prioritize Customer Education

An informed lead will likely commit to the sales cycle and help you close. When you’re moving through the sales process, make sure to educate your customers on your services and products, so they’re clear on what you offer. You can also provide resources for your leads to engage with, like product catalogs and case studies to showcase what you can do. 

7. Simplify the Proposal Process

Your sales proposal is your pitch to new leads to help them decide if your product or service is worth buying. Typically, your proposal will be a series of documents that outlines your product or service, the associated costs and the terms of the sale. 

Keep your proposal brief without leaving out any essentials. If you want, you can review the document during a meeting with your lead, so you can answer any questions then and there. If other parties need to review, provide a deadline for a response to keep the process moving. 

8. Address Objections Proactively

Address Objections Proactively

Every buyer will have doubts. Rather than pretending these doubts and objections don’t exist, acknowledge them. It’s helpful to talk about these objections early on to prevent them from growing stronger with time. Let’s say a lead has concerns about price. You can address this by talking about the value of your product or service and describing any payment plans you offer to make the price manageable.

The best way to address any objections is to encourage your leads to talk about them. Be open to hearing their feedback and remember to validate their concerns before responding to them. 

9. Implement a Sense of Urgency

Time is of the essence when it comes to sales, especially when you want to shorten the sales cycle. Create a sense of urgency for your leads with deals that expire within a set amount of time and email subject lines that call them to action. Your lead should feel like they’re going to miss something if they don’t act soon.

Additionally, you can keep your sales process on track by establishing clear dates and timelines for when materials need to be reviewed or the next meeting needs to be scheduled.  

10. Measure Progress and Adjust Strategies

Stay in touch with your sales cycle by tracking the timeline. What’s the time between the initial contact and that first discovery call? How long does it take to go from the discovery call to a closed sale? When you have this data, you can identify bottlenecks and make changes to your strategy.

Improve Your Sales Cycle

Turn to AnswerHero™ to Improve Your Sales Cycle

AnswerHero™ is a call answering service that’s ready to support you in your sales cycle optimization. With our call agents answering the phones 24/7, you can efficiently schedule meetings with leadstake the calls that matter most and learn more about lead capture. To get started, check out our pricing plans and contact us today.