It's true -- the pace of business is accelerating. However, while customers expect their products to be delivered immediately, that doesn't necessarily mean they're any faster at deciding whether to purchase them.
In fact, comparison shopping is easier than it ever has been before, which makes our job as salespeople an uphill battle. That doesn't mean you can't close deals faster -- it just means that your old strategies may not work, and you'll be leaving money on the table if you don't try out some new moves.
In the past six months, I've worked with my sales team to analyze ways we can significantly shorten our sales cycle length. I've found 4 levers that can make a big impact.
At its core, increasing your sales velocity is about convincing the buyer that purchasing now is the right decision. This means building confidence and providing the right information, at the right time, to the right person. But how?
1. Go Right to the Decision Maker
One of the most common speed bumps in sales is when you do a great job of convincing a lead, only to realize -- sometimes after hours or even days of effort -- that they aren't the actual decision maker. At Growlabs, we offer a solution to help sales teams acquire new clients -- we've learned that the decision maker depends on the size of the company. For small companies, we typically sell directly to the CEO or CMO -- for larger organizations, the decision maker is the Sales Director, Head of Demand Gen, or Head of Sales Operations.
Avoid this every time by investing in a high-quality outbound sales automation engine with lead scoring capabilities. These tools allow your sales team to double check that they aren't wasting time selling to someone who can't make the decision to buy.
2. Make Sure You Understand Their Motivations
If a customer can sense that you're just spouting off of a script, then you won't close -- we all know that. More often, the problem isn't that straightforward: you're trying to deliver a genuine and comprehensive sales pitch, but you're off center with your delivery because you aren't addressing the lead's main pain point.
3. Prepare For Objections
Nobody wants to get caught in the middle of a sales presentation with a question you can't answer, or an objection you can't overcome, and ask to respond to it later. Not only do these situations slow down your sales, they make them less likely to happen at all.
Each time you encounter an objection that stumps you or your sales team, log them in a central repository that everyone involved in selling your product has access to- - and then put the answer there. Make sure that the document is kept up to date, and is stored in a searchable system that can be easily referenced during a call!
4. Create Urgency
Remember those "limited time offers" that got you to buy that pair of shoes or book that vacation sooner? Apply that feeling to your own sales to accelerate the closing. This can be as simple as creating a deadline, after which the price will change. However, avoid creating fake deadlines. Instead, I've found that simply asking your prospect if they'd be able to make a decision by a certain date and if they are, then making them stick to it by offering a discount is really effective.
Increasing the velocity of your sales pipeline is all about predicting what the customer will need to feel confident in their decision. With each sale, make sure your team records and shares how it went, what issues came up (if any), and any notes on the client. Learn from each interaction, and the next one will always be faster.