If you want to grow faster, you need to find a way to sell faster.
And you can only sell faster if you take step back to look at your sales cycle and find specific ways to optimize efficiency.
That could mean reducing the number of steps involved, automating time-consuming tasks, or targeting more qualified leads who are ready to buy ASAP. Whatever angle you approach it from, shortening your sales cycle is the key to closing faster, selling more, and accelerating your revenue.
Here are a few clever ways to increase your sales velocity so you can get to the finish line faster.
14 Ways to Hack Your Sales Cycle and Sell Faster
1. Focus on Your Ideal Customers
It’s vital that you know your ideal customers and know them well. They’re the ones who are most likely to buy from you, which means you should be able to move the deal along more quickly than an unqualified lead.
If you spend too much time pitching to low-quality leads who aren’t ready to buy or don’t have the budget, you’ll hit a lot more dead-ends and wind up with a longer sales cycle.
2. Trace Leads Back to Their Source
Do you know where your very best leads are coming from? Or which referral sources result in the biggest deals or the most consistent wins? Take a close look at your lead generation activities, identify your best sources, and then double down on your efforts to target those high-value, revenue-generating channels.
For instance, if you’re splitting up your sales reps’ time equally over three sales territories but only two of those are producing quality leads, you’re wasting one-third of your resources. Re-evaluate lead sources often and watch for any shifts or trends to ensure you’re putting your energy towards the most high-value channels or territories.
3. Identify and Address Bottlenecks
Study your sales pipeline to see where deals are most likely to slow down or get stuck. The more you know about how your leads move through the pipeline, the more likely you’ll notice a problem area before it’s too late. If you do see a bottleneck developing, home in on that sales cycle stage to find out what’s causing the holdup.
For instance, if your leads tend to get stuck at the proposal stage, you should look for ways to streamline that part of the process. Maybe that means collaborating with your prospect to draw up an agreement everyone is happy with or spending some more time researching the client before shooting over your proposal.
4. Pinpoint Decision-Makers
Every sales rep gets stuck talking to a gatekeeper once in a while. If you realize that your initial contact doesn’t have any decision-making power, your job becomes convincing them to connect you with someone who can make the deal happen.
Regardless to who you find yourself speaking with, always be respectful and professional. Just because someone doesn’t have the power to pull the trigger doesn’t mean they don’t have any influence. In fact, the impression you make on the gatekeepers of the world can directly impact how likely you are to get through to their bosses.
5. Create a Sense of Urgency
There’s nothing like a limited time offer to light a fire under your prospects. This could mean setting an expiry date on your offer, giving them an opportunity to be grandfathered in before your rates go up, or throwing in a freebie if they sign by a certain date.
Of course, you never want to make your prospects feel rushed or pressured – but you also don’t want to give them the impression that they can dawdle in their decision making. The goal here is to help them see added value in purchasing sooner rather than later.
6. Automate Repetitive Tasks
If you’re still wasting time on manual data entry and other repetitive tasks, you’re doing it wrong. That’s time that would be better spent selling or drumming up new leads.
Fortunately, there are plenty of AI-powered sales tools available to take care of tedious tasks like data capture and entry. For instance, Propeller CRM works seamlessly within Gmail, so you can add leads, take notes, and capture data right from your inbox.
7. Warm Up Leads with Social Proof
The faster you can earn someone’s trust, the faster you can sell to them. And one of the best ways to build trust quickly is through the power of social proof. That’s why warm leads tend to be easier to convert than cold leads – they’ve already heard great things about your company from an existing customer.
However, if you’re cold calling or cold emailing, you need to work a bit harder to build credibility and earn each lead’s trust. You can accelerate this process by sharing case studies that describe how your solution has helped customers who are similar to your prospect. Add social proof to your website in the form of customer testimonials and logos of notable companies you’ve worked with.
8. Ask for Customer Referrals
Referrals are awesome because they have social proof built right in. Not only are warm leads primed to trust and respect you (assuming they trust and respect whoever who referred them), but they also are more likely than your typical lead to have a need for your solution. Why else would the referral source bother to connect them to you in the first place?
9. Be Upfront About Costs
You should always be transparent about your pricing upfront. Explain exactly what you’re offering, the value you can provide, and how much it will cost. Not only does it help qualify leads based on their budget and provide some insight into the potential value of the deal, but it also has the added bonus of building trust.
If you’re worried that bringing up costs too early in the conversation will scare off potential customers, then you’re probably not targeting the right type of leads. As for tacking on extra fees at the last minute? There’s a good way to scare off customers.
10. Take Sales Objections Seriously
Listen carefully to your leads’ sales objections so that you can learn about your audience’s priorities and concerns. You can use this knowledge to refine your sales pitch going forward.
Plus, if you respond to sales objections just right, you can use them as a platform to propel the deal forward. Try to reframe questions and concerns as opportunities to educate the prospect about your product or service. Address each objection in a way that both provides a clear answer and demonstrates further value.
11. Try Incremental Closes
Sometimes it’s easier to sell the idea of making a purchase before you actually try to close the deal. For instance, if your prospect isn’t ready to buy quite yet, you can try to get them to agree to a smaller commitment. This type of incremental close works by getting prospects on board with your ideas and comfortable saying “yes” to your suggestions.
For instance, before attempting a hard sell, you can get your lead to agree to moving the deal forward little by little. Maybe that means confirming a follow-up call for a specific time before you hang up the phone or requesting an in-person meeting with any other decision-makers, so you can build a connection with everyone involved.
12. Use Your CRM to Gather Insights
When you have a tool as powerful as a CRM in your arsenal, it’d be silly not to take full advantage of it. Your CRM platform can do more than just keep track of leads it can also help you analyze data about your prospects and uncover insights that make it easier to sell to them.
With customizable reporting and dashboards, you can pinpoint new ways to optimize your sales process at every stage. You CRM can also help track and manage data related to your sales activities, so you always know how to make the best use of your time.
13. Put Stalled Deals on Hold
Don’t continue to burn time and energy on an opportunity that isn’t moving forward. Sometimes, your prospect simply can’t agree to a deal with their current budget or the timing just isn’t right. In this case, you should temporarily remove them from your pipeline and place them on hold.
Hitting the pause button on stalled deals allows you to keep your pipeline (and mind) clear, so you can focus completely on deals that are moving along nicely.
14. Simplify the Signing Stage
Don’t let paperwork slow you down when you’re this close to sealing the deal. Your prospects should be able to access the document on any device, so they can sign on-the-go. Use a mobile-friendly online contract that can be signed electronically to save time and effort (and paper).
It’s also a good idea to collaborate with the prospect while drafting the deal, to ensure they fully understand and agree to your terms. This prevents too much back-and-forth once the final document is drawn up, so it’s ready to be signed as soon as you send it over.
Close More Deals in Less Time
If you’re ready to kick your sales velocity into hyperdrive, a platform like Propeller CRM can help you take full control of your sales process and optimize every step. Try Propeller today for free to see just how much is possible.