One of the biggest hurdles that sales reps face when it comes to meeting quotas is the sheer length of the sales cycle. In fact, for many big ticket goods, the cycle extends to several months making make it particularly disheartening when a deal falls through. The key to overcoming this problem is to boost the speed at which sales are initiated and closed, thereby shortening the entire cycle. 

And here are few tips that’ll help you do just that.
  • Ensure that the USP that your brand uses isn’t weak or stale. By weak, I mean that it should have more than a mere vestige of credibility and shouldn’t rely too much on a gimmicky approach. And by stale, I mean that you shouldn’t simply mirror what everyone else in the industry is touting. Plus, when prospects see a clear and attractive benefit, they’re likely to buy at a faster pace.
  • Figuring out the appropriate target audience often seems like the easiest part of your job, but in reality it can prove to be quite a difficult task. There are plenty of companies that have folded and gone under purely because they failed to find the right target audience. Take a good look around you and at your industry, understand the intricacies of how it works and then go ahead and narrow down your market.
  • Web optimization is an absolute essential. Ensure that your website contains as much sales information as possible so that when prospects actually contact you, they’re already more than half-way through the active sales process. By allowing the prospect to find out almost everything about your product by themselves, you essentially create a flow of highly qualified prospects moving towards your sales portals, significantly reducing the length of each cycle. 
  • Many businesses don’t understand that customers often view a purchasing decision as opening themselves up to risk – hence the dawdling over contracts and the extensive interrogation concerning aspects of your business that don’t concern the sale. This is especially true for high-value B2B commodities, like service contracts and cutting-edge machinery. But if you reduce the amount of risk that a customer perceives, you can speed along the sales cycle substantially.
  • One of the many ways you can do this is by setting up a portfolio, case studies and testimonials. Set your logo up everywhere to ensure that your positive mentions are immediately co-related with your brand. And finally, ensure that you publicize fail-safes (for the client) and guarantees that ensure your clients don’t lose their investment if things go wrong.
  • Special deals and offers make a massive difference to the amount of interest prospects show to your offerings. Now most B2B websites don’t usually offer deals up front, preferring to custom-craft their discounts and perks during actual negotiations. However, B2B clients are still human, and as humans they still like to take an advantage of what seems like a good deal. So don’t be shy or calculating, and always remember to advertise the big and little breaks that you hand out to clients.
  • You may think that you can improve the entire sales cycle on the fly and you probably can, but nothing delivers that kind of results that metrics backed up by strong, intuitive action do. So what I’m asking you to do, is to set up a measurement system that takes into account everything from prospects to conversions to time of conversion to date of contact and the million other metrics that every marketing department begs for. This will not only help you streamline your lead qualification process, but will also allow you to identify unpromising leads and reduce the proportion of time spent following them up.