Today’s case covers the topic of how to accelerate sales cycles and improve cash flow. Many companies think that sales cycles have to be as long as they are because of the complexity of the sale, but in most cases targeted coaching can greatly improve the length of the sales cycle.
Often, the secret to accelerating sales cycles is counterintuitive: slow down to speed up. Follow these steps to identify where you can slow down to speed up your sales cycle.
Symptom: Tight Cash Flow
In this real example, the company was experiencing cash flow challenges due to rapid organizational growth. Taking a look at their sales cycle, they felt that they could probably improve on their 66 day cycle, and increase cash flow as a result.
They knew that what you measure you improve, so they began to focus on measuring sales cycles and coaching on the activities that accelerate them.
Diagnosis: Slow Down to Speed Up
For this company, the initial exploratory meeting is the “epi-center” of selling. Asking the right tension questions, finding pain, understanding the impact of the pain, and verbalizing the solution during this stage increases buyer motivation by 400%.
A powerful combo
To help salespeople improve their exploratory meetings, the company used Membrain to embed their own Salesstar methodology into the salespeople’s workflow, offering up training videos at each stage.
Prescription: Better Questions Sooner
In order to improve sales cycles, salespeople needed to ask the right questions early in the process. These questions need to focus on:
- Finding tension and pain
- Understanding the impact of the pain
- Qualifying on budget and other factors
- Verbalizing the solution
Once the salespeople understood the importance of this stage and were provided resources to improve their skills via Membrain’s interface, sales cycles improved dramatically. In a matter of months, sales cycles were halved from 66 days to 32 days on average.