B2B is notorious for having long, drawn out sales cycles. One of the main reasons for this is the higher commitment B2B customers make to companies that sell to them than the typical B2C consumer. But the excuses surrounding the long sales process often hinder sales improvements.
Stop making excuses and take control of your B2B sales process by shortening your sales cycle with these 7 steps:
1. Know Your Ideal Client
Stop wasting time kissing frogs that will never be the prince you actually wanted. Instead of dreaming about the perfect client, decide what realistic characteristics actually make up your ideal client and then focus on attracting those types of people and companies to your business. This process requires thorough research and a well-thought out strategy for finding and reaching the right people.
2. Qualify Leads Early
Although you may know who your ideal client is, it takes effort to get to a place where you can discover if a virtually unknown website visitor will actually be that ideal client. Implementing the right lead grading scale will help you discover what information you need to gather and then use it to more quickly determine if a specific lead is a good match for your company’s needs or not.
3. Review and Optimize Your Process Regularly
Having a formal sales process in place is essential, as is reviewing your sales process consistently to determine problem areas. But reviewing it is not enough. Once you’ve reviewed and identified areas that are potentially causing problems and increasing the overall length of your sales process, it is important to discover ways to address or eliminate those problem areas. Doing this regularly can not only initially speed up your B2B sales process, but also keep it going strong.
4. Clearly Define Next Steps
When engaging with a prospective client, it is important to always identify actionable next steps. If there is any kind of communication breakdown or lack of clarity surrounding what is expected next, the sales process is significantly slowed down. Combat this problem by clearly stating next steps in every interaction with a potential client. Even if the action is on your part, your prospect shouldn’t be left scratching their head and wondering what is going to happen next.
5. Speak to Pain Points
Your potential clients are looking for solutions. By identifying and speaking to those pain points, you stand out from the crowd and make yourself more memorable. Speaking to very specific pain points can also reveal to the potential client what they are really looking for, ultimately speeding up the sales process.
6. Anticipate and Address Objections
If your company has been around for a while, you probably already know the most common and legitimate objections potential clients will have regarding your product or service. The quicker you address and overcome these objections, the shorter your sales process will be and the more likely the prospect will choose your company over the competition.
7. Get in With the Right Crowd
Not only do you need to know your ideal client, you also need to address the correct audience within the company. If you’re trying to speed up the process, often selling to top officers is going to get you a quicker decision. But don’t forget the value of influencers in the sales decision process.
These are just a few of the ways to shorten the B2B sales process. Stop believing that simply because you're a B2B your sales process has to be a long, drawn out ordeal. Be proactive and start generating faster sales results.