shorteningOur inadequacies hinder us to achieve our sales target.  The fact is that we invent many reasons and excuses to support our inadequacies.   Let me share few basic wrong agenda items resulting into our inadequacies.

  1. Not enough qualified Sales leads.
  2. Spending time on wrong industry and wrong customers.
  3. Spending time with wrong people.
  4. Not using technology.
  5. Unprepared for the meeting.
    • No agreed agenda for the sales meeting
    • No idea of customers KPI ( Key purchase indicators)
    • Incomplete customer audience for the sales meeting
    • Half-baked customer presentations
    • Unprepared for response to customer objections
    • No testimonials

        6.  Un-prepared for the customer order process.

The list is long but above is few inadequacies that are within our area of influence.  Now what if you could achieve your annual sales target?   And what if you could shorten your annual sales target achievement to 9 months?    You not only earn your annual variable income but increase your bonus and commission by 25%.  Is that good or bad?  Well you can shorten your sales cycle by following few simple rules and am sharing it below …..

  1. CREATE YOUR PROSPECT PROFILE: What does your ideal prospect look like?  What Industry; its size ie. Number of employees, revenue and locations. What are your customer demographics and psychographics?  For example your ideal customer profile is your existing customers. Use CRM  ZOHO to profile your prospects and LinkedIn to research your prospects.
  2. NOT ENOUGH QUALIFIED SALES LEADS: Run a lead generation campaign such as Email, customer referrals, Social Media (FB, Google, Twitter and LI) and telemarketing campaigns.
  3. SPENDING TIME WITH WRONG CUSTOMERS: Qualify the list of prospect by asking yourself 360* questions and ruthlessly stripping the prospect to a qualified list A.
  4. SPENDING TIME WITH WRONG PEOPLE IN THE PROSPECTS BUSINESS:  Identify the four types of buyers i.e. MUTEManagement; User; Technology and finally Economic buyer.  Also identify 2 influencer in the customer organization who would influence MUTE buyer’s decision.  Use LinkedIn to identify the MUTE in your prospects business.
  5. NO IDEA OF CUSTOMERS KPI (KEY PURCHASE INDICATORS):  Investigate and ask the buying motives of MUTE buyers.  Management is interested in how your product will increase their market value and share.  User is focused on how easy it is to learn and use your products.  Technology is concerned with how simple is to integrate or maintain.  Economic buyers are concerned on the cost – current and recurring.   These are the general guidelines.   Also find out have they have the budget and is it allocated?
  6. TECHNOLOGY: Use technology to shorten your sales cycle.  Conduct first meetings on skype or conference call.  Create professional presentation and upload it on YouTube,  Slideshare or your website.  www.Salesforce.com has cut down its sales cycle by as much as 80% by uploading sales collaterals on YouTube.  Hence when prospects wants to evaluate Salesforce he visits YouTube, confirms his requirements and for the balance 20% sales cycle calls Salesforce sales team.  Salesforce sales team visits to focus on high value engagement and closing the sales.
  7. SALES VISIT IS SALES CONTINUUM AND NOT AN ADVANCE:   Ensure your visit is a step forward and not a step backward or a repeat exercise.  Hence follow these principles
    1. Set and agree on the meeting agenda.
    2. Ensure that four types of buyers are present in the meeting.
    3. Have a short and long presentation for the MUTE buyers.
    4. Have a short and long presentation for every type of buyer.
    5. Carry testimonials including video, ROI, TCO and customer case studies
  8. EASY CUSTOMER ORDER PROCESSING: Get customer credit approval early in the sales cycle.  And also work with your internal department to simplify the order processing process.  Such as create a sales contract agreement ready for signature or a  purchase order format for customer to sign up.
  9. SIMPLIFY POST PURCHASE ORDER:  Arrange for a joint meeting between the customer and your internal delivery team to reiterate the delivery commitment that is time, place and training if applicable.
  10. A Study says that on an average …..
    • 2% of sales happen on first point of contact
    • 3% of sales happen on second point of contact
    • 5% of sales happen on third point of contact
    • 10% of sales happen on fourth point of contact
    • 80% of sale happens between fifth and twelfth point of contact

 You too can shorten your Sales Cycle between 2% through 5% provided you follow the above 9 principle.  So help yourself Shortening your Sales Cycle and earning 25% more than your current earnings.