Wouldn’t it be great if every customer you talked to knew exactly what they wanted and were ready to buy it right then and there? Unfortunately, that’s a rare event for most salespeople. Instead of customers immediately signing on the dotted line, there’s a process – a series of stages – that most customers go through on the way to making a purchase. Sometimes the process is fairly quick, while other times it’s slow, sometimes even halting completely, never making it to a conversion.
While you might have an occasional customer who buys immediately, as well as some that fade away during the sales process, there is a lot of insight you can glean from knowing what your typical sales cycle looks like, and how to improve it. This is especially important for B2B companies who are seeing some long sales cycles for new customers.
In a recent report from CSO Insights, a division of Miller Heiman Group, it shows that B2B sales cycles for new customers take at least four months to close almost three-quarters of the time, and nearly half of new customers take seven months or more to make a purchase. The cycle is considerably shorter for existing customers, showing that B2B companies should dedicate ample time to their retention efforts.
But what about the sales cycles for new customers? Seven months is a long time to wait for a conversion, and the longer a potential client spends in the sales process, the more expensive the conversion ends up being to the business. On the other hand, when prospects spend shorter amounts of time in the sales funnel, the business is positioned to earn a higher profit margin from those sales.
The good news about long sales cycles is that there are some ways that B2B businesses can work to shorten them without negatively affecting their customers in the process. Keep in mind that the goal here to rush customers into making a purchase, rather it’s to be more efficient throughout the process. Here are five ways to accomplish it:
Understanding your B2B sales cycle is crucial to streamlining and shortening your company’s sales processes. Not only will a shorter sales cycle for new customers increase your profit margin and save you time, but it will also help you with sales forecasting and optimizing your cash flow, two very important aspects of your business. And, it really can be done without sacrificing any of the value you provide your customers in the process.
Reliable Acorn will help you create a custom digital marketing strategy that does just that.Ready to Talk?