In the work we do with media companies, staffing firms, and other professional service businesses, two topics consistently appearing on our clients’ radar screens are how to accelerate prospects’ movement through their sales pipeline and how to close more sales, faster.
There are basically two areas we focus on as causes for a slow sales process.
First, we look for key infrastructure that may be missing or misused or underused. This can range from lack of sales training programs to missing technology like a CRM or marketing automation platform.
Second, we look at micro-level factors focused mainly on how the firm engages with prospects on a one-to-one or customized level. We know to a high degree of certainty that if a firm is using a one-size-fits-all approach to closing a sale, then a more customizable approach may be just the ticket for reaching sales goals quicker.
In this post, we’ve summarized what's holding you back from making your sales process faster.
You Don’t Have the Necessary Tools, Technologies and Tactics in Place (Infrastructure)
There may be a number of systemic culprits in the way you are running your sales or business development program that need resolution before you can accelerate your sales process. Think of these as a launching pad necessary for reaching your new business goals.
- To avoid wasting time, have an overall sales and marketing strategic plan and process in place that includes defining target personas, definitions of marketing and sales qualified leads, lead generation strategies and tactics, content requirements and needs, and nurturing strategies and tactics.
- Today, you can’t achieve a faster sales process without technology. Invest in marketing technology like HubSpot that can accommodate a “soup to nuts” suite of marketing and sales tools including marketing, email, content management, lead generation, CRM and sales enablement platforms.
- Two critical pieces of technology for making a sales process faster that we often see being misused or underused are marketing automation for lead nurturing and a CRM for capturing, recording and planning interactions with a prospect.
- It’s likely that your slow sales processes are related to a lack of sales enablement tools, like sales collateral, case studies, explainer videos, and other content that can be delivered at the right time in your prospect’s journey.
- Have a sales script prepared with talking points for the objections you’ll probably get. The quicker you can respond to objections, the faster you’ll be closing sales.
- Make sure you’ve climbed the learning curve and have a keen grasp of the prospect’s industry and the issues they face. The faster that you can demonstrate that you are on the same page, the quicker the sales process will be.
- Improve sales performance by developing a sales culture of solution-based selling that creates a solid connection between training and accelerating the sales process. Check out the Center for Sales Strategy – a sales consulting and training firm that can help to this end.
You Don’t Aren’t Developing and Executing Prospect Specific Sales Plans
Once you have the right infrastructure, it’s time to use it in very specific and customizable ways to move a targeted prospect through the sales pipeline. It’s a matter of being able to deliver the right message to the right persona at the right time.
A key reason why your sales process may be slow is that you’re trying to be more productive and efficient with a “one-size-fits all” sales plan when that approach may be having the exact opposite effect.
Instead, consider using a customized sales plan for each sales qualified prospect built with the following tools and tactics:
- Get insights and a good understanding on the prospect’s pains and issues by investigating the trail of interactions they’ve had with your firm – website pages visited, offers downloaded, records of conversations, email exchanges, etc. Having visibility of a prospect’s contact history is a powerful way to enable customization of your approach for closing more sales, faster.
- Create a workflow for each prospect where you can deliver the right content at the right time using tools like marketing automation and email sequences. Checkout the suite of HubSpot tools that delivers these types of capabilities.
- Build a relationship and gain an even deeper understanding of prospect pain points and issues by actively engaging in a social media relationship. This is another way that you can create touch points.
- Make it easy for prospects to set meetings up using scheduling apps.
Get More Visibility, More Leads, and Close Sales Faster
If you’re looking to build your infrastructure or need help for accelerating movement of prospects though your sales pipeline, call or contact us.
We’ll be happy to do an assessment of your situation and brainstorm opportunities for shortening your sales cycle and kicking up your sales performance.