6 Tips to Accelerate Sales Cycle by Reaching Out to Decision MakersMar 21, 2022
Commit to understanding the buyers' process and how you can help shortcut it.
The B2B sales cycle can be as long as a year. However, sales and marketing teams can find creative ways to accelerate their sales cycles and close sales much faster. This takes commitment to understanding who your buyer personas are, their needs, and their process during the buying process.
While it's impossible to have a perfect sales system that accelerates the cycle all the time, you can establish one that makes the process simpler and faster for your team and prospects most of the time.
Here are some of the tips to help you accelerate your sales cycle.
Do Your Research
Simplify the buying process for prospects
The first step in accelerating your sales cycle is by doing prospect research. This means identifying who the key decision-makers are at each step of the B2B buying process.
Here are some of the common personas involved in the B2B decision-making process:
Prospect research provides insights into your target market and industry. From these insights, you can develop your buyer persona, identify their pain points, and develop a personalized message targeting these prospects. Research also tells you where to find various key decision-makers.
Here are the factors to account for when researching:
- What industry is your prospect in? Be as specific as possible. For instance, "Accounting firms serving Fortune 500 companies."
- What is the organization's size with the most significant need for your product?
- What is the prospect’s budget? How much are you asking them to pay for your product?
- What location are your prospects in?
- What is the market position of the target prospect?
- What problem is your ideal customer-facing? What goals do they have?
- How does your product solve their problem or help them achieve their goals?
Use a Personalized Approach for Each Decision-Maker
Tailor content and messaging to each individual
All the personas involved in the B2B decision-making process have different interests and motivations that influence their choices. As the marketer, it is your job to identify and appeal to these interests and motivations.
A common mistake marketers make is lumping all these personas into one group and treating them as such. The problem is that today's buyers want to buy what they want when they want it and on their terms. Your job is to meet these terms.
You achieve this by adopting a personalized experience. This means that the message you send a user should resonate with their need to solve their problem, while the message you send to a decision-maker should tell them about the ROI from using your product.
Here are some of the factors to consider when personalizing your B2B experience:
- Personalize your website for each buyer persona
- Offer targeted lead magnets
- Adopt account-based marketing
- Use the channels where the target is more likely to spend their time
- Understand how each buyer persona navigates the buyer’s journey. What information are they looking for? What emotional decisions do they make in their buying journey? What are their interests?
Tailor Your Messaging Based on their Stage in the Buying Process
Eliminate generic messaging
Generic won’t cut it when it comes to accelerating your sales cycle. Your prospects do not want to feel as if they are being pushed to buy a product against their will. This doesn’t mean that you should eliminate your calls to action.
However, it means that you should understand where your prospect is in the buying journey and deliver messages that align with that stage.
The buyer’s journey can be grouped into three broad categories:
- Awareness (the buyer becomes aware of the problem)
- Consideration (the buyer becomes aware of the solution)
- Decision (the buyer evaluates solution providers and buys the solution)
Sales and marketing teams have their role to play in each of these stages. Marketers are responsible for attracting the buyer while sales engage and close the deal. .
In the awareness stage, you will encounter two types of buyers:
- Those who know they have a particular problem but they do not know the solution
- The buyer who does not know they have a problem
For the buyer who doesn't know they have a problem, your goal is to use content to highlight issues they may face when not using your product.
For buyers aware of their problem, your job is to show them that you understand the problem. In addition, you should provide information and resources to help them solve their problem.
Content marketing is an effective way to capture buyers aware of their problems as they could already be searching for their questions online. Use various research tools to identify the keywords and questions you should address to capture these leads.
Content that works well for the awareness stage includes e-books, blog posts, videos, industry reports, podcasts, social media ads, and whitepapers.
Buyers in the consideration stage are aware of your solution. They are now actively considering the product(s) that might solve their problem. At this stage, it is safe to expect that your prospect could be considering your competitors to see which brand or product stands out to them.
A positive user experience is critical. Make sure that your team is available to answer their questions. Case studies, product demos, webinars, and pricing guides are great content types for the consideration stage.
Finally, we have the decision stage. At this stage, the buyer is ready to make the sale. They have narrowed their options and could be looking at one or two winners. At this point, they may turn to customer reviews and testimonials to decide the product is the best product that offers the best value.
A free trial or a discount at this stage could nudge them in the right direction, as would a live demo for complicated products.
Connect with Decision Makers on Social Media
Increase your chances of getting in front of the right people at the right time
B2B decision-makers rely on social media to discover new products and services. In addition, many of the current B2B decision-makers are millennials who are more likely to turn to social media when making a decision.
Even B2B researchers use digital tools and social media as part of their research. B2B marketers who want to accelerate their sales cycles must also take their marketing to social media sites.
Here are some actionable tips for connecting with key decision-makers on social media:
- Set the right social media marketing goals.
- Choose the right social media platform.
- Research your target audience and how to appeal to them. Use a language that matches theirs.
- Prioritize content that increases brand awareness and builds trust and authority, yet educates prospects about your product.
- Include a call to action that furthers your prospects into the sales funnel. These calls to action may prompt prospects to ask for more information or watch a demo. Emotional-driven calls to action are not appealing to your B2B buyers.
- Be transparent – unlike in B2C sales, talking about your strengths and weaknesses as a brand can bring prospects closer to buying your products.
Follow Up After the Initial Contact
Use various follow-up methods for best results
B2B buyers rarely, if ever, make impulsive buying decisions. Once you've had your first point of contact, the next step is to follow up to encourage the prospect to take action. Most follow-ups are done through email or phone. Therefore, you must always collect the prospect's contact information to facilitate a follow-up. Here are follow-up tips to accelerate your sales cycle:
- Use various follow-up methods – email, telephone, social media.
- Space up your follow-ups so you don’t come across as nagging to your prospects (understanding your typical sales cycle helps you determine how often you can reach out).
- Provide value with each follow-up .
- Clearly define the next steps with a prospect at every follow-up .
- Keep communication brief. Whether it’s on email or telephone, your prospects are busy people – respect their time.
- Know when to stop – not all prospects close.
Keep Track of all Interactions on Your CRM
Gain a complete view of each prospect's journey
Your CRM should be your reliable companion at each stage of the B2B buying journey. Use your CRM to track every lead source, opportunity contact, and the types of content you used for each stage of the buying journey.
CRM systems are designed to help marketers track their prospects throughout the buyer journey. Through tracking, you learn about what marketing efforts generate sales, the time prospects take to move from one stage of the funnel to the next, and the customers that keep coming back.
Take advantage of the reporting tools that come with your Salesforce CRM to create data-driven strategies. These strategies will support your goal of accelerating the sales cycle.
Combining your Salesforce CRM with a tool like Kudoz ensures you attach contact and lead sources to every opportunity to have high-quality data and better marketing outcomes.
Get the most out of your CRM data
Effective marketing and sales strategies have a significant impact on your revenue. But accelerating your sales cycle can have an even more substantial impact on your revenues.
Accelerating your sales cycle is about understanding your prospects and providing them with the right tools and resources to make a buying decision faster and more accurately.
Your CRM and related data play a significant role in accelerating your sales cycle by letting you know where each decision-maker is currently at in the buying cycle.
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