Are too many of your deals “nearly” done?
This can lock up your cash flow, which means you may have to delay investing in your business while you’re waiting for your sales team to close deals. You’re pretty sure these deals will be done soon, so you concede that a new piece of big-ticket equipment or software can wait. But, days stretch into weeks, and weeks stretch into months.
You’ve been patient long enough. There are ways to shorten your sales cycle and unfreeze your business’ cash flow.
Things such as…
Outside Sales Consultants
You may have handpicked a sales team full of superstars. However, bringing in a team that specializes in sales effectiveness training can turn them into superheroes.
These specialists can audit your entire sales process and find new ways to shorten your sales cycle or generate more qualified leads. The sooner you give your sales team the tools and processes they need, the sooner your cash flow will reap the benefits.
Say “No” to Some Would-be Customers
Sometimes saying “no” isn’t closing the door to a possible sale. It’s opening the door for your team to work on more qualified leads.
Be specific in defining your target audience, so you know when to tell a lead, “Maybe this isn’t a good fit.” This is particularly true in the b2b space.
You don’t want your sales team spending too much time preparing detailed quotes or traveling to on-site visits if this lead can’t actually afford your solution.
Determine 3-5 steadfast criteria that your qualified leads need to meet. This could be something like:
- A minimum size of X
- A minimum budget of Y
- Direct access to (or influence on) the decision-maker
Take a look at the deals you’re closing and the deals you’re losing to find your company’s telltale signs.
Find Tasks to Automate
It’s entirely possible that your lead times are too long because your sales staff doesn’t spend enough time selling.
Research shows that the average salesperson spends:
- 21% of their time writing emails
- Another 17% prospecting and researching leads
The sum of those tasks can equate to 2 lost workdays each week. Your full-time staff is now basically selling part-time.
You may not be sure it’s time to invest in a CRM or automation software. However, ask yourself how much time your sales team is spending on those “extra” tasks, and how much it’s worth to have them selling full-time.
Make it as Easy as Possible to Pay You
Ensure that your company is able to accept any type of payment method that your customers would want to use. Also, make it easy for clients to pay you using any mobile device in a few quick taps.
You can also offer alternate or incremental payment plans to break things up. That way, you will have some money coming in and a predictable idea of when the next payment will arrive.
In times of financial stress, you might wonder if you should lower your price to bring in more cash. That’s possible. But before you do something that drastic, consider outside sales or lead generation help, automation or CRM software, and removing any possible payment barriers.
Any one of these tactics could shorten your sales cycle right away!