Close the Excuse Department and Shorten Sales Cycles
Categories: Sales Process
The ability of your sales teams to sell higher in an organization is driven by a value-based selling rhythm that drives a shorter sales cycle and bottom-line impact.
CSO Insights’ research shows that sales reps who engage decision makers close opportunities faster. In fact, their sales cycles are more than 20% shorter than those who sell at lower levels in the prospect organization.
Recent research highlighted in Harvard Business Review’s blog also provides insight on the average sales cycles, specifically in the tech industry.
A survey of 100 Sales Vice Presidents revealed the following sales cycle benchmarks:
- 70% Less than 60 days
- 24% 60-90 days
- 54% More than 90 days
- 23% 60-90 days
How do your sellers compare?
If you’re looking to shorten the sales cycles in your organization, you need to enable your salespeople to sell higher in the prospect accounts.
How to Shorten a Sales Cycle
One of the most effective ways salespeople can shorten sales cycles is to link their solution to an issue that is so critical to an organization, the prospect can’t go another day without fixing it.
If the problem is big enough, it doesn’t matter what your product costs. The excuse department is closed when you’re aligned with an issue that can’t go another day without correction.
When your entire sales team has the ability to uncover those pressing problems and articulate how your solutions help correct them, they’ll gain consistent access to the C-Suite. As a result, they'll be able to move opportunities through the sales process at a faster rate.
Remember, your salespeople are delegated to whom they sound like. If they speak the language of C-level problems, they’ll get C-level access. Provide your sellers with the consistent ability to:
- Uncover high-level business needs
- Articulate value and differentiation based on those needs
- Position value throughout the sales process
Here’s a quick way to remember how to speak the language of an executive buyer. Share with your sales team these three phrases: “Much-ness”, “Soon-ness”, “Sure-ness”
Money – “Much-ness”
“Much-ness” is the money factor of the conversation. How much money are your prospects losing or do they stand to lose if they don’t take action? Price is always going to be part of the conversation, but the key is balancing the price with the business benefits of your solution. Remember minimize the cost, by maximizing the value.
Time - “Soon-ness”
“Soon-ness” is the timeline of implementation. If there is a critical business issue, your buyer wants to know how fast you can implement the plan you are proposing. Remember to tie it back to the business impact of your solution. Make sure they understand the timeline that it will take to earn them the promised positive business outcomes.
Risk – “Sure-ness”
Your buyer also wants to be assured that you can deliver on what you promise. Remember, your prospects want to know that you can do what you say you can do. Minimize the perceived risk of implementing your solution by sharing the tangible results you have achieved with similar companies. Proof points can be a great tool in helping with the “sure-ness” component of the conversation.
Ensure your sales team has the ability to create urgency. Enable them with the critical sales skills that warrant the attention of C-level economic buyers, who have the influence and discretionary income to fund your solution.