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B2B Sales Cycles: 11 Ironclad Techniques to Effectively Shorten Them

Brian Cristiano Jul 5, 2021
Two salespeople in an office fist bumping each other, celebrating accomplishments with their company's sales.

Your sales closing techniques determine your success as a salesperson and the success of your business. For some people, closing sales is like a walk in the park. However, some people have to learn the techniques and update their skills often. Traditional B2B sales cycles are long and ineffective in today's business environment. Today, customers are more informed about products. They can compare what your competitors are offering with your brand and products.

Most customers search businesses online before connecting with them. Most customers can search for products and brands on their mobile devices. This makes long sales cycles ineffective since the internet generate qualified leads that may refer to shorter B2B sales cycles. 

Reasons Why Long Sales Cycles May be Ineffective

Here is why long sales cycles may be ineffective for your brand:

1. Uncertainty

You may not be certain that the customer will commit after the long wait. It may give the customer time to search for an alternative. Your competitor may also reach out to your lead and close a sale faster than you close.

2. Costs

To keep in touch with the lead, you may need to make regular calls or visits to their premises. This comes at a cost. If the sales cycle costs more, it reduces your ROI.

3. Losing Interest

The lead may lose interest in your product if the sales cycle is long. Failing to close sales quickly gives the lead time to reconsider your product. Besides, they may find internal solutions to their problems.

4. Losing the Lead to Competitors 

Remember, you are competing for the same leads as your direct and indirect competitors. Your direct competitors have similar products with yours, while indirect competitors offer products the prospects can use as an alternative. You may also lose customers if the competitors reach out to them with better offers.

5. Time Consuming

You use a lot of time selling to one lead if the sales cycle is long. This reduces the time you have to reach out to new prospects. Consequently, you have fewer conversions and sales. This reduces your ROI as well as may slow down the growth of your business.

Shorter B2B sales cycles leave you with more time to reach out to new prospects, giving you a competitive edge. When you optimize your sales cycle, you automatically increase your ROI.

11 Techniques to Shorten B2B Sales Cycles

Here are 11 ironclad techniques to effectively shorten your B2B sales cycles.

1. Clarify Your Target Clientele

Knowing your target market helps you prepare your sales pitch. It clarifies their pain points, responsibilities in the organization, as well as what drives them to make an order. You also learn about how they research products. 

With this information, you can target more qualified leads and reduce time with unqualified leads. When you clarify who your prospects are, you can reframe your discovery call and make it intentional.

2. Eliminate Cold Leads

Cold leads refer to leads that are unlikely to make a purchase. Study your leads database to establish those with high purchase intent. Concentrate on turning these to customers. This will shorten your B2B sales cycles as you nurture leads with a genuine interest in your products or services.

3. Prepare to Meet Your Lead

Before initiating contact with your lead, ensure you have adequate information about them and their business. Another significant aspect of your preparation is ensuring you know your product well.

Technology has made it easy for customers to get information. They can research products they need and businesses they want to connect with. Customers can also know if you have a good reputation on the internet and social media platforms.

This tells you the customers may have prior knowledge about your brand and product. They probably know about your competitors' products. Ensure you also know your product and your competitors. 

4. Good Business Acumen

Your business acumen skills will help customers see you as an authority in your field. Demonstrate that you understand your business, your competitors, as well as the customer's business.

One way to do this is to research these businesses and their products. Customers cannot take you seriously if you have to refer to your notes to answer their questions or give inaccurate information. 

Remember, they probably searched your brand on the internet. They will also trust you if you can teach valuable lessons they can use to improve their businesses.

5. Close the Certainty Gap

Before reaching out to your leads, you know how much you need to close that sale. However, sometimes you may feel uncertain about the possibility of closing the sale. This is referred to as an uncertainty gap.

The more you entertain thoughts of possibly failing, the more you will feel uncertain about reaching out to the lead. Close your uncertainty gap and eliminate any anxiety that may affect your pitching. 

Your leads should not detect anxiety when talking to you. They expect you to be an authority that is both knowledgeable as well as confident about the product you are selling to them.

Female customer closing a deal with a businessman, showing a concept of shorter B2B cycles.

6. Align Your Sales Pitch with the Customers Journey

Do not be in a hurry to close a sale. Take time to learn the customer, what drives them to make a purchase, what their problems are, as well as what may prevent them from committing to buy. At this stage, you want to ask probing questions to uncover facts about the lead.

If you sound too salesy, the clients may dismiss you if they feel you are too pushy. Even though you know a lot about the customer and their brand, allow them time to volunteer most of the information.

Use the information they provide to uncover their problem. Ensure you also agree on what the problem is. After that, you can show the prospect the root cause of the problem and your solution.

7. Optimize Your Sales Process 

The reason you reach out to the customer is to earn a conversion. If you focus on this, you will avoid irrelevant, lengthy talks as well as activities that do not assist in the conversion. 

Work on getting a commitment in the shortest time possible. You can achieve this by automating non-sales tasks. Once you get a commitment, present your product and allow the customer to probe you about it.

8. Eliminate Objections

As the customer is probing your product, detect any objections and address them. The objections may arise if you fail to show them how deep their problem is. 

It could also be because you have not connected the dots adequately to help them see how your product solves their problem. Go over these issues to eliminate customer objections.

9. Create Urgency as You Ask for the Sale 

People are usually afraid of committing even if they want the product. Use a tactic that shows them the urgent need to commit. If the customer is hesitant, give them an offer they will be afraid of losing.

No one likes losing. If you make the customer see they stand to lose by failing to commit, they may make up their minds faster. 

You may inform them the product is on offer for a limited time. You can also offer a discount if they commit within a certain time. However, explain to the customer that you are not making the offer because the product is defective or lower in value.

10. Follow up Your Leads

It is easier to sell to a previous lead than to new prospects. A new lead needs time to know you and understand your brand. 

However, a lead you have previously sold to may be more ready to buy if they are satisfied with your products. Follow up with your customers to tap repeat business from them.

11. Automate 

Automating your B2B sales cycles helps you keep better records of your leads and products. It reduces the time you take to close a sale since repetitive tasks are automated. 

Invest in sales and marketing automation products like the Deal Flow Accelerator Program. Deal Flow Accelerator Program will help you find new qualified leads with ease. The 6-week program is designed to shorten your sales cycle to close deals faster than you may perceive possible.

With this program, you can implement a complete and effective sales system that gives you time to concentrate on the other aspects of your business that are most important.

Register for our upcoming webinar to learn more about how businesses like yours are scaling with ease.