A faster sales cycle drives bottom-line impact across a sales organization. If you can get your sales team to move their prospects through the sales process faster, what would it mean for your revenue numbers each quarter? Guaranteed, it will make it a lot easier to deliver on the forecast, not to mention reduce the strain on the rest of the organization.
As a sales leader or manager, it’s easy to say, “Sell larger deals, faster.” The problem lies in “the how.” How do you get your teams to move their prospects through the buying process more quickly?
Here are five ways to do it.
1. Be “audible-ready” to speak to multiple buyers
Like a football player who calls an audible to change a play, a salesperson needs the tools and understanding necessary to respond to the business problems a buyer is looking to solve. Selling in today’s B2B environment means you are dealing with more and more decision makers who are weighing in on every purchase. If you want your sales team to be able to articulate the business impact of your solution, enable them with the tools necessary to do that no matter who is in the room. This starts with them having a crystal clear understanding of the true value you provide your customers and how your solutions are different and/or better than your competitors’.
2. Effective Discovery
Your sales team needs the ability to effectively uncover the business problems facing the prospect and the negative impact that those problems are having on their business. Asking the right questions that lead to discovering this information is a learned skill. Spend time in your opportunity reviews role playing conversations. Encourage your sellers to spend time learning the information they need to drive a compelling business case. Making the effort for pointed discovery will only fuel success throughout the sales process. Enabling your team to execute effective discovery allows them to uncover the pain that will allow them to demonstrate the business value of their solution, shortening the decision-making process and the sales cycle.
3. Map to the Business Impact
If your salespeople effectively uncover the problems and pain points that the prospect is currently experiencing, they then need to be able to truly demonstrate how their solution will impact the business and solve those problems. A salesperson can successfully map to the business impact by effectively articulating the answers to these two questions:
What are the requirements to make this solution successful?
What are the metrics you will use to demonstrate that success and impact the business?
Effectively mapping the solution to the business impact makes the decision much easier on the prospect company. If they can “defend the spend,” they’ll be able to sign on the dotted line more quickly and with a higher degree of confidence in your solution versus the alternatives.
4. Demonstrate Positive Business Intent
Positive Business Intent is one of the most important assets a seller can leverage throughout the sales process. You demonstrate it by showing business acumen and understanding what it truly means to think about their business. This is achieved through discovery but also demonstrated in every prospect interaction. You customer needs to know that you aren’t there to hand out business cards and get a deal signed; you’re there to drive impact in their organization. Sharing industry insight, additional resources, and value-based sales conversations can be instrumental in demonstrating your willingness to improve their bottom line.
5. Proof Points
It sounds obvious, but I can’t state the importance of proof points enough. Customers want to know that you can do what you say you can do. Arming your sales team with tangible evidence of the success your solution has had at similar companies will help them move opportunities through a sales cycle more quickly. Metrics and data can be the pivotal component to a customer choosing your solution over the competitors.
Take the time to capture customer success stories. As a sales leader, it’s one of the most important tools and processes you can put in place for the sales team. Build alignment with your marketing department to make sure those testimonials and metrics are consumable for the sales team and easy to use in front of customers. The easier they are to put at a salesperson’s disposable, the more they can expedite future customer decisions.
About the Author:
Brian Walsh is a Senior Director with Force Management, a GrowthPlay company. Force Management specializes in sales transformations that help B2B sales organizations increase revenue, improve sales margins and gain market share. Walsh has nearly 30 years of experience in sales leadership. Follow him on Twitter @BWalshBrian
Want to learn selling success secrets? Download the free e-book for 130 tips from top experts.