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5 Tips to Help Shorten the Sales Cycle

Salespeople, use these five tips to remove barriers to closing sales and convert more prospects.
Amy Bible, Director, Acquisition Sales

Does your sales cycle resemble a long, complex maze with various hurdles that agents must maneuver? Do prospects continually lose their way and fail to complete the sales process? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you should take a hard look at your current sales strategy.

Let's face it: generating interest from B2B buyers is a challenge. So when a prospect finally makes the decision to buy from you, your sales process should be as simple and straightforward as possible. So, how can you simplify and shorten the sales cycle? Consider the tips below:

1. Engage with the Right People

All too often, sales agents waste their time (and prolong the sales process) by engaging with prospects who have no decision-making authority. Keep in mind that the shortest way to make a sale is to speak directly with the individual who controls the purse strings. When prospecting, therefore, target C-level executives.

2. Disqualify Non-Closers

Not every lead will become a buyer. Most "non-closers"-or buyers that aren't yet ready to pull the trigger-will display certain characteristics. For example, they continuously dodge your phone calls. Once you start to actively engage with a prospect, take note of whether they exhibit signs of a non-closer. If so, put this prospect aside and concentrate on leads that are more sales-ready.

3. Create a Sense of Urgency

If you have prospects who have displayed interest but remain on the fence, give them that extra little push by creating a sense of urgency. Whether you present a limited-time discount or a special value-add, attaching a deadline to a deal is a great way to get them to commit. Be sure not to rush a prospect, however, as this can come off as desperate and disingenuous.

4. Overcome Objections

When a buyer shares their objections with you, they're actually signaling interest in your offering. What's more, the named objections give you direct insight into what's standing in the way of your sale. The last thing you want is to be caught off-guard and unable to counter buyer concerns, so sit down with your sales team to identify potential objections and come up with effective ways to combat them.

5. Understand the Decision-Making Process

As a salesperson, you should have a clear picture of what has to happen for buyers to make a decision, including what hurdles they have to clear internally. Understanding the various key points of the sales process and where holdups may occur will help you identify where you can accelerate things, and where you will need to hold the prospect's hand.
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