The B2B sales landscape has changed dramatically in terms of the average sales cycle. With more decision makers on board, the cycle is typically at least 3 months and can sometimes even drag out for years. This can lead to customer dissatisfaction, a delay in revenue growth, and a delay in goal attainment. Some deals may even be left on the cutting room floor.
However, there are strategies companies can integrate to make the sales cycle more efficient and increase success rates. This article will look at common problems and the steps you can take to overcome them.
Common Problems That Complicate the Sales Cycle
Budgeting Issues: Often budgeting cycles will clash with the proposed schedule for closing the deal. So by the time everyone is on the same page, the money may not be there to make it happen. This can delay the deal, sometimes into the next quarter.
Multiple Decision Makers Need to Be Satisfied: With multiple decision makers onboard, everyone will want their needs to be met. Gone are the days when the CEO signed off on the deal and it was done. Now everyone needs to be brought into the mix presenting conflicting requirements, timelines, and opinions.
A Sense of Urgency is Required: Companies often demand a sense of urgency from their sales rep. They want deals closed yesterday. However, when you consider how long the sales cycle takes due to the complexities that arise, meeting these goals can be nearly impossible. This can lead to strained internal relations, and it can even result in a high turnover which can further delay the sales process.
Wrong Forms of Communication: Various decision makers struggle to keep in touch through emails that can be long, and complex. If they are unclear or not thoroughly read, miscommunication can occur. Others may rely on various platforms, so communication is scattered and difficult to keep track of.
A Lack of Engagement: When a deal is first brought to the table, decision makers are excited. But as it drags out, they may lose interest and not make it their priority. The deal will lose momentum and may even die in the process.
Solutions for Making the Sales Cycle More Efficient
Centralized Workspace for Stakeholders: All stakeholders should be kept up to date on the sales process via a centralized workspace. The workspace should provide personalized insights for everyone involved. It should allow for the sharing of documents and reports so team members can collaborate and add their input as needed. It should disperse valuable information to the group promoting the development of deep relationships that go beyond a single transaction.
Visibility of all Deal Related Information and Alignment Tools: Deal related information and tools on platforms should be visible immediately. It should allow those just joining in to become updated quickly and collaborate in the process.
Better Customer Engagement: Steps must be taken to increase engagement, so stakeholders don’t lose interest in the deal. A centralized platform that keeps them updated will be helpful. Modern customers have access to a ton of information, they need your help to collaborate on a “custom solution” to meet their needs/problems.
Establish and equip an Internal Champion: An internal champion will be the person on your team who is keeping track of all interactions and pushing the deal though. However, 90% of decisions will be made when that person is not in the room. The right tools will ensure he or she is up on the latest so they can keep everyone in the loop.
Promote Deal Accountability: Success is contingent on deal accountability. Tasks must be assigned in accordance with team members’ skill set. Mutual Action Plans can also be brought into the picture to assist in collaboration with buyers which will speed up the sales process.
An Effective Solution
You need a tool that offers a centralized workspace that makes collaboration and communication between clients and teams easy, and allows for the sharing of Mutual Action Plans, alignment information, agreements, and proposals developing more meaningful relationships. It should offer automation so you can take care of tasks more efficiently and scale engagement.
Multiple decision-makers result in complex deals that can drag out the sales process. The right tools can provide a solution that brings people together, improves relationships, and speeds up tasks. How will you be using this information to move your business forward?
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