6 Tips to Shorten the Sales Cycle
An omnipresent goal of the sales department is to make sales while shortening the time to do so. The sales cycle remains a ticking clock against which B2B sales teams frequently fight.
The catch is that in 2021, Zippia researchers found that 68% of B2B businesses hadn’t defined their sales funnel. Without a clear plan and path to success, sales departments have more difficulty defining what victory looks like.
By effectively using their existing CRM with a sales engagement platform, sales teams—from leadership through account management—can have a hand in effectively defining the funnel and even shortening the sales cycle.
Learn six easy changes your sales team can make that will help shorten sales cycles and the bottom line.
1. Be Prepared
To be efficient, you have to be informed. In other words: Get to know your prospect or customer and where they are in their journey. Understanding your buyers’ needs will make you more prepared and go a long way in your goal to shorten the sales cycle. The information in your CRM plays a critical role in making this happen.
Knowing your buyers’ needs gives you valuable insight into any meeting or touchpoint—in-person, virtual, phone, email, or chat. By being prepared, you remove the exploratory Q&A, appear more thoughtful and can get to the heart of the matter more quickly. Lean into the valuable information stored in your CRM to unlock these insights.
A CRM’s activity tracking capabilities include valuable contextual information like who your client has already spoken with and about what. This data can also deliver insight into who the client is, where they are in the sales process, what they’re looking for, previous issues, and what lines of communication they prefer.
These are all vital pieces of the puzzle, which help you further understand the client so you can be more impactful with your interactions and shorten the sales cycle.
2. Maintain Communication
Maintaining relevant communication with customers and prospects keeps your business top of mind. Winning share of mind with the buyer puts you and your sales team at a tactical advantage and helps shorten the sales cycle.
However, you want to make sure those communication touchpoints are meaningful for the customer. Maintaining constant contact will have a negative effect if the customer finds it pointless or misaligned with their interests or customer journey.
In this context, the automated messaging made possible by CRM data messaging is simply the messenger—it’s up to you or your sales team to create meaningful content to feed into the automation. This is where targeted and relevant sales campaigns come into play. These are just a few of the automated sales campaigns you can employ:
- A nurture series for prospects not yet in market
- Automatic renewal messages when the date of a contract is expiring
- Auto-responder messages to people filling out contact forms on your website
- New product announcements
- Triggered messages when a known contact visits your website multiple times over a set period of time
All of these automated messages are possible by using a sales engagement platform to tap into your CRM data.
The goal is to create content that justifies the touchpoint and brings value to their experience while—hopefully—winning a share of mind and shortening the sales cycle. Knowing your customers’ communication engagement rates can also help tailor content and messaging.
3. Automate Repetitive Tasks
The most significant value of automation is its ability to alleviate the workload of sales staff.
Sales is a customer-focused job, but so much of it seems to focus on inputting data and managing spreadsheets. Automating tedious and time-consuming manual tasks will instantly free up sales staff to focus on the customer—whether that’s thinking creatively about purposeful touchpoints, creating a strategy around the customer journey or talking to the customer.
Automation isn’t limited to preparation and communication. Discover other tasks that can be automated with a sales engagement platform, such as:
- Updating sales stages
- Testing email templates
- Executing workflows
- Generating analytics reports
These will take some of the workload pressures away, provide valuable insights, and free up time so that sales teams can focus on building customer relationships.
4. Make Every Sale Transparent
If there’s one thing a customer dislikes the most, it’s being misled. Sales is a fast-moving enterprise, and elements can change during the buyer journey that have an unforeseen impact on a customer. As a salesperson, you should be leveraging the transparency enabled by CRM data to ensure you’re not caught off guard by an upstream situation that can negatively impact your downstream sale.
CRMs provide sales reps and managers information about each campaign, so you can access the latest data about pricing, contracts and product availability—to name a few. This powerful information allows you to make promises to the customer that you can keep because you know they’re made with the most accurate information at hand. Sales engagement platforms make it easier to access CRM data by bringing it into where they spend most of their time – the email inbox.
Customer journeys are continually evolving, which is why constant updates are critical to establishing trust and transparency. Leverage CRM data to keep your customers abreast of any updates changes to the product, delivery, or customer experience; this will help shorten the sales cycle. While detours and delays can be inevitable, transparency goes a long way to alleviate any customer relations pain points that can come with it.
5. Focus on Your Highest-Performing Channels
In a fast-shifting environment, activity and engagement data can help keep you and your team updated on which channels or campaigns are currently more successful. This information gives you the insight necessary to pivot toward success and increase overall sales.
Similarly, the reports made possible by accurate and comprehensive CRM data can help shorten the sales cycle by analyzing which customers and channels are most likely to convert. Sales reps and managers can learn from these insights and refine segmentation campaigns.
These campaigns help you better tap into opportunities, match the type of communication and content with the client’s needs or interests, and reduce any redundant communications that may result in a prospect abandoning the customer journey.
6. Schedule Meetings Effectively
Every sales rep knows the pain of scheduling meetings with clients. This seems like a perfect job for automation, saving the time and energy of scheduling, while providing all the necessary information needed for a successful meeting.
The online meeting schedulers that come with sales engagement platforms provide sales reps with a swifter way of finding time convenient for everyone, and it will generate post-meeting reports and follow-ups. Instead of multiple back-and-forths, reps can send a link for prospects to book a meeting time that works best for them. A round-robin schedule even makes it even easier to distribute meeting requests across a sales team.
Shorten Your Sales Cycle with Groove
Your CRM is packed with powerful data that can immediately impact your sales performance for the better. A sales engagement platform like Groove enables you to leverage the full power of your CRM to shorten the sales cycle through insights, automations and more. Shortening the sales cycle makes sales teams more productive and streamlined.
Find out how to better leverage your Salesforce CRM, increase adoption, and shorten your sales cycle with Groove today.