Have you ever purchased a home? Or a car online?
The typical consumers of these high-value items don’t simply hop on to Google, type in “New car,” add to cart, and check out. Nah! These high-value commodities usually have a long sales cycle—it could take weeks or even months to close a deal.
And that’s a problem for marketers because the more time a lead spends in your sales funnels, the less return on investment (ROI) for you.
In fact, with all the time and resources that go into nurturing a lead, if the conversion process takes longer than usual, you may find that you’re spending more money to gain a sale than the sale itself is actually worth.
So, how can you shorten your sales cycle and make people buy faster? We’ll look into creative marketing strategies that can help you speed up a longer sales cycle. But first, a quick crash course on the sales cycle.
What Is a Sales Cycle?
The term “sales cycle” describes the series of events that take place from the moment a marketer engages with a prospect until the moment when the sale is made.
Simply put, a sales cycle defines the time between making the first contact and closing the deal. It encompasses all the marketing efforts put in by a marketer to generate and nurture leads, along with the steps taken to engage and convert into customers.
Strategies to Speed Up Longer Sales Cycle
Since the sales process is a journey for a prospect, it’s a roadmap for marketers. Thus, there are things marketers can do to shorten the sales cycle. We’ll look into the strategies that marketers can implement to speed up a longer sales cycle.
1. Identify Bottlenecks
The first step in developing strategies to speed up a longer sales cycle is to obtain figures for the average time it takes for your sales rep to complete a sale.
Supposing you already have figures for your average sales cycle length, the next step is to pinpoint the things that are slowing down your sales processes. In other words, identify the bottlenecks. This should help you zero in on the sales funnel stages that need attention.
For instance, if you find that prospects tend to sit longer in the introduction stage, it could mean your sales reps are struggling to get leads to get to a meeting. In this case, you could implement strategies to bring prospects on board quickly. For example, you could:
- Install a scheduler on your website that will send invites for a 10-minute consultation using Calendly
- Advise your sales reps to send a follow-up email if prospects don’t respond within a specified timeframe.
- Implement strategies to better understand potential clients by sending personalized messages on social media.
Resolving the identified bottlenecks should help boost the speed of your sales cycle. Additionally, you should identify sales reps who have a shorter sales cycle than your company’s average and get to know how they approach prospects. This could also give you more ideas on how to speed up your sales cycle.
2. Automate Your Processes
If you have a sales pipeline with hundreds of leads, engaging them manually might prove difficult, especially if you’re in real estate. You’ll likely not be able to respond to all prospect queries on time, which could be detrimental to your closing rate.
Furthermore, real estate transactions are complex with a lot of moving parts. That said, real estate agents who take the manual route are often bogged down by challenges like missed deadlines and important tasks falling through the cracks, as explained by Paperless Pipeline.
By automating critical processes, realtors can improve operational efficiency, save time, and close deals faster. For example, automating real estate tasks with transaction management software can ensure you and your team will never miss a critical due date on any transaction.
Through automation, you’ll be able to automatically track your transactions due dates and sync those dates with your favorite calendar system. This way, missed deadlines/appointments, which are often the cause of lengthy sales processes, will ultimately become a thing of the past.
3. Focus More on the Best Performing Channels
Your leads are likely flowing in from multiple channels you’ve set up. It could be from social media, blogs, marketing emails, product landing pages, etc.
Identify the channels with the fastest closing rates and capitalize on them.
For example, you could label each lead by channel and the number of days it took to close the deal. If you find that Facebook leads are the quickest to convert, prioritize social media leads over the other leads in your pipeline.
Since these (Facebook leads) are your best-converting leads, prioritizing them will shorten your sales cycle.
Does that mean other channels should get zero attention?
No! It’s important to keep track of them because your best-performing channel might not keep giving you the shortest conversion times. Over time, fast converting leads might start pouring in from other competing channels, in which case you might need to scale those channels too.
4. Use Social Proof and Testimonials to Gain Trust
For many prospects, knowing that they’re not the only ones using your products can go a long way in shortening the sales process.
One great way to show this is to display real-time visitor activity on your website using social proof tools like TrustPulse or Nudgify. In addition to displaying real-time activity on your website, you will also want to use testimonials to gain Trust. Why?
Your prospects may not automatically trust you, but their peers’ testimonials and opinions will hold a lot of weight. Leverage the power of social proof to win their Trust—and ultimately close deals quickly.
5. Offer Digital Signing
Implementing digital signing into relevant stages of the sales process makes it ridiculously easy for prospects to sign contracts on any device. This can come in handy in industries like real estate that involve a lot of paperwork and moving parts.
Top-performing real estate agents can speed up lengthy processes by implementing digital signing solutions, like DocuSign. With a digital signing solution, online contracts can be signed on the go, significantly cutting down on the back-and-forth with your clients.
We hope this article will help you to significantly speed up your sales cycle. Feel free to comment and share.