3 Proven Strategies to Shorten B2B Sales Cycles

April 24, 2024

An average B2B sales cycle can take anywhere between six months to even over a year at times. In some industries, like software, legal marketing, and manufacturing, the ROI timelines can take a snail-pace.

What’s even more alarming is that the cost of customer acquisition also rises with each passing day. Though the customer lifetime value vs. customer acquisition cost ratio varies among industries, the general rule of thumb is to aim for 3:1 or higher.

On average, organic CAC can range from $200 to $650 in industries like manufacturing. As the CAC rises, the chances of winning deals diminish rapidly. Indeed, sales are seldom easy.

This is why you need proven strategies to shorten sales cycles. In this article, we will discuss three ways B2B companies can close deals 25% to 30% faster.

Talk Early About Pricing

Having unqualified leads sitting for months in the sales funnel can become the single biggest factor in a lengthy sales cycle. What you need to do is let the elephant in the room out, front, right, and center.

In other words, bring up the topic of pricing as early as possible. In many B2B deals, the budget becomes a top reason why a prospect may not be able to invest in a company’s products or services. When you talk about the financial aspect early, it saves time and resources by eliminating those with a tighter budget.

The way you present the pricing details will also determine the effectiveness of this strategy. Let’s look at a few pointers in this regard -

  • Be clear and concise - Explain your pricing in the clearest way possible. For instance - is it an hourly rate, subscription-based, or fixed price model? Ensure that prospects understand your pricing without getting overwhelmed by the details.
  • Offer flexibility - Prospects always love customized options. If possible, provide them with multiple pricing tiers so that they can choose the one that fits their budget and requirements.
  • Showcase the real value - Pricing is the time to highlight your brand’s unique selling propositions to the maximum. Let them know the key benefits and competitive advantages (along with cost savings, if any).

By these points, we do not wish to negate the fact that certain instances require reinforcing value before talking about numbers. However, discussing pricing first in most cases saves time for everyone involved. That way, any critical objections can be handled early on.

Drive Strategic Sales with Relationship Maps

Recent studies have shown that the younger generation is gaining more and more decision-making power. On average, 7 to 10 key decision-makers may be involved in the sales process.

It is crucial for sales reps to not only identify each decision-maker but also earn their buy-in. A relationship mapping platform is a good place to start. Using relationship or visual maps, you will get a clear picture of the key stakeholders whose trust is needed to close a deal. Also, it becomes easier to anticipate risks within an opportunity.

According to Prolifiq, relationship maps allow the sales teams to gain a comprehensive understanding of target buyers. Even each stakeholder’s role and relationship within the organization can be known.

You can leverage this information to devise sales tactics that win the must-have support. Since you have a visual representation of the key relationships within the organization, any changes in the decision-making process can also be accounted for. With tailored messaging, you stand a better chance at building stronger relationships and shortening sales cycles.

Introduce Automation to the Sales Process

A sales rep can improve their chances of qualifying a prospect by 21x if they respond to the initial request within five minutes. We understand that it is nearly impossible for your team to be perched by their computers day in and out.

This is what makes automation the only real way to speed things up. Initial emails are good opportunities for automation as the information is more or less the same. What’s even better is that modern CRMs will permit you to personalize your responses.

Let’s break it down for you. Listed below are areas that can be easily automated -

  • Lead scoring from website forms - Tools like Qualified and Drift will enable you to check inbound leads against your ICP (Ideal Customer Profile). Based on specific scores, leads can be considered ready to move further down the sales funnel.
  • Call scheduling - You can use automation tools to handle all bookings and appointments. This will save time otherwise spent on back-and-forth messaging and call scheduling.
  • Messaging - There are often certain questions for which you must type the same responses. Why not choose canned messages? These are pre-written responses that help keep the communication consistent whilst saving time.
  • Opportunities distribution - Do you still assign leads manually to your team? Consider using a round-robin system that will help you do so fairly so that everyone has a chance.
  • Task reminders - You cannot afford to let important to-dos slip through the cracks. Modern CRMs have task reminders as their default option to help you stay on top of the tasks for the day.

In a study, 82% of sales reps agreed that building solid relationships with clients/prospects is the most important part of the selling process. As a bonus tip, we would recommend following up with qualified leads regularly.

On average, 80% of all sales require at least five follow-up reminders. This process may seem long and tedious but it can help you shorten the overall sales cycle. So, implement the strategies mentioned in this article, develop a sales cadence, and close deals faster.

 

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