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3 Ways To Shorten Sales Cycle


Sales cycles are longer right now. This is one of the unfortunate realities that a lot; if not all sales executives have to deal with. Blue birds that used to close in a matter of weeks now take months or even multiple quarters with painful negotiations that drag on and on……and on. I consistently have conversations with sales VPs that are looking for easy, quick fix ways to bring their sales cycles down. Though there are some excellent marketing tools out there, I believe in some of the tried and true methods that we often forget about in our pursuit to recreate the wheel.

1)      Sell based on value. A good sales person loves the product that they sell. When I talk to them their love of the product often leads to long discussions on features and functionality. Features and functions are pain easers and while everyone wants their jobs to be easier, CFO’s don’t prioritize funds for a solution that will make someone’s day better.  People buy based on 3 major motivations: to make money, to save money or to mitigate risk. If your product is seen as a “nice to have”, it can wait to be purchased. You have a much higher chance to close a deal quickly if you are able to sell based on value and show the prospect how this will help their company’s bottom line.

2)      Pick up the phone. Cold calling is tough to do. It takes a lot of time, a ton of effort and you have to deal with a lot of rejection. Despite these factors, if done properly, it is the fastest way to build fully qualified sales opportunities. The reason for this, it is discriminatory. If you are trying to shorten your sales cycle you do not want a ton of unqualified leads coming your way. Simply put, you don’t have the time to weed through them and separate the wheat from the chaff. Cold calling allows you to go directly to decision makers, pitch your value, qualify them in or out and advance the sales cycle in one call.

3)      Aim high. When you have time you can get away with selling lower in organizations just to get an “in” and then navigate your way up. When time is short you should be selling to as high a level as possible. This of course is much tougher to initiate, but again when time is short you do not have the luxury of nurturing low level contacts in hopes that they will escalate this for you. Getting someone that will be a champion for you is great. Finding the person that signs the check is much better. Even if the person on top passes you down (which often happens) you at least have an endorsement from the right person. If my boss tells me to take a meeting with someone I take it seriously. If that person were to call me without the endorsement from my boss I am more likely to blow them off.

I certainly encourage all sales and marketing executives to find new ways to increase their forecast. However, you should not turn your back on the proven methods that work just because they are “old school” and in many cases tougher to do. Roll up your sleeves, do the dirty work and close some deals.


Happy Hunting!


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