Accelerating Sales Cycles

Paul O'Donohue

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

Begin slow

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%.

Often, the secret to accelerating sales cycles is counter-intuitive: slow down to speed up.
Paul O'Donohue

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.

Paul O'Donohue
Published June 24, 2018, written by

Paul O'Donohue

The CEO of SalesStar, New Zealand's leading sales development company. Are you looking for Paul? You'll find him at the battle front. He loves getting out to see new prospects learn about their sales challenges and helping them fix their problems and win new business. He works with helping CEO's who are frustrated with their sales results. Who know they can be doing better, but just don't know how!

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