Decrease Your B2B Sales Cycle
Depending upon the complexity and deal size, B2B companies take 2 to 12 months on average to win a new customer.  What if you could significantly decrease your B2B sales cycle and close new deals faster – especially the ones where the stakes are high? Based upon data from our sales leader simulation assessment, the good news is that you and your team can significantly reduce the time and distance from the initial meeting with potential buyers to closing bigger deals.

While most solution selling training participants know that upfront qualification is a must to ensure that you are focused on ideal target clients who appreciate your unique value proposition, many sales managers are surprised to hear that spending more time in the messy and often confusing buying stages between the start and finish can make all the difference.

Explanation of the Advice
Here’s what we mean. We believe that many sales are lost because business sales training does not typically focus on helping sales reps to understand and navigate the internal customer buying process.  According to recent Gartner research, B2B buyers only spend 5-6% of their time on average with a potential vendor during the buying process.  The rest of their time is spent with up to 10 different (and often misaligned) internal stakeholders discussing options and making decisions. 

Too often, salespeople are so eager to close the business that they rush through seemingly benign sales meetings that include others who play an important role in the buying process. And too often, this mistake results in those stakeholders putting the brakes on the sales process.

What You Can Do to Decrease Your B2B Sales Cycle

  1. Gain the Trust of Your Primary Contact
    Before you can make much progress in presenting a meaningful solution to your customer’s problem, you must gain the support of your primary contact by showing that you have their best interests at heart and that you have the competence and resources to address their need. It’s the first step in becoming a trusted advisor and is a prerequisite to navigate the internal complexities of the customer’s buying process and power structure.

    This is true even if your initial sales contact is a gatekeeper.  Gatekeepers have their role for a reason.  Respect them and work with them; they are often an important part of the buying process.

    Have you built enough trust with your primary contact?
  2. Work within the Customer’s Buying Process
    Here’s another step in the sales cycle that you must deeply understand and accept — the need to work together with your contact to guide the buying decision according to the customer’s process. But it’s in this and the next step that you face the full challenge of the sale and where so many deals get sidelined or jettisoned.

    Can you fully articulate the customer buying process and the rationale behind it?
  3. Spend the Time to Understand Other Stakeholders’ Needs
    One enthusiastic supporter is rarely enough to close complex and high stakes B2B sales. You need the cooperation and positive votes of all key influencers in the buying decision. And, because they represent different roles in the organization, they have different needs, different perspectives, and different priorities.  

    This is where you, in the end, can significantly decrease your B2B sales cycle. If you spend the time, as you did with your primary contact, to fully understand the unique needs, perspectives, and priorities of each influential stakeholder, you can better handle sales objections. By working behind the scenes, one-on-one with the stakeholders that matter, you can build internal alignment and trust across factions.

    Have you identified and invested in the different customer stakeholders to gain their support and commitment to working with you?

The Bottom Line
The most successful salespeople are disciplined. They spend their valuable time where they have the most opportunities. When you can slow down in the middle of the sales process you will speed up at the end and see your sales win rate improve significantly.

To learn more about how to decrease B2B sales cycle time, download 30 Effective Sales Questions that Matter Most

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