The sales process in business has many steps to it. Whether you sell directly to individuals or other businesses, there are various steps you have to complete. When you consider the B2B sales process, this is a journey that can be successful although quite long. However, it’s a necessary process.
The Sales Process Turns Prospects Into Customers
The sales process is a key component to transform prospects into customers. In the B2B world, this sales process can take a long time. There are usually more steps in a B2B sales timeline than there are in a business-to-consumer setup. However, the sales process is a worthy one as it can turn prospective customers into actual ones.
Risk of Taking Too Long to Close Leads
When you pursue the B2B sales process, you need to make sure you don’t take too long to close leads. Here are some risks you may encounter if you wait too long to close leads:
- Your potential customer might choose a different company
- The prospect may decide they don’t need the services or products
- The customer may get tired of waiting and move on
Fortunately, there are ways to shorten the B2B sales cycle and close leads in a quick manner.
11 Ways to Shorten the B2B Sales Cycle
If you’re ready to improve your B2B sales process, here are 11 ways to shorten the B2B sales cycle and get the customers you want:
- Target Qualified Leads: You can waste a lot of time trying to secure leads that may not go anywhere. Therefore, target qualified leads only.
- Use Automation: If you have repetitive tasks in your B2B sales cycle, try to automate those duties whenever possible.
- Advertise Limited-Time Offers: Limited-time offers can often speed up the process. If a great deal is only available for a short period of time, your potential customers may turn into actual customers even faster.
- Talk About Pricing Early On: Oftentimes businesses are on a firm budget and can’t go above a certain amount of money for a project. With this in mind, discuss pricing early on in the conversations so you and the potential customer don’t waste unnecessary time.
- Be Reachable: Sometimes a B2B sales cycle is lengthy because one or both parties aren’t readily available to discuss the project. Make sure that you’re always reachable to speed things up.
- Schedule Sales Meetings Ahead: It’s helpful to have a firm calendar in place with scheduled meeting dates on it. This way you know when you’re meeting in the near future and what you’ll discuss during those meetings.
- Ensure Your Marketing and Sales Teams are Aligned: If company departments, such as marketing and sales, are on different schedules, this can draw out the sales cycle.
- Be an Easy Person to Speak With: Communication is a key component in sales. If it’s difficult to speak with you, potential clients may shy away from doing business with you. Make your potential customers and current customers feel at ease and comfortable discussing all aspects of the sales project with you.
- Provide Social Proof: Buyers love reviews and having access to these reviews can speed up the B2B sales cycle. Therefore, make sure you have a client testimonial section on your site or be able to refer your clients to review sites that mention your company.
- Offer Follow-Up Contact with Leads You May Not Have Closed: If you had any potential leads that were not 100% sure about doing business with you but still seem open to the idea, follow up with these individuals. You can do so via email, limited-time offers, and social media.
- Know That Every Sales Situation Is Different: Even though it’s good to know how to speed up the B2B sales cycle, know that every business relationship is different. In addition, the sales cycle may be different for each potential lead and prospective customer.