Five ways to accelerate the B2B sales cycle to boost your revenue with more quality leads
To be able to craft a lucrative B2B sales cycle you need to reduce the complexity in the sales process so you can attract quality leads. Here are five ways you can do just that.
In a recent marketing charts survey, 46.6% of businesses questioned said that it takes seven months to sell to a new client. That’s a setback to most businesses, to say the least. It’s challenging to speed up the B2B sales cycle and make meaningful connections when many stakeholders are involved, but doing so can improve your bottom line considerably.
A longer sales cycle means your prospects have more chances of second thoughts. Shortening the time it takes to convert a prospect into a customer can do wonders for your profits because you’ll have more time to focus on a larger number of clients. Refining the sales cycle to make it shorter directly translates into greater revenue.
Businesses need to realise that they can accelerate the B2B sales process. Here are five ways to do it.
1. Focus on only qualified leads
Some of your leads aren’t worth your time. Not every prospect has the same importance. Businesses need to learn how to filter out leads that have a low chance of converting. The best way to do this is to identify your target market and buyer segments and concentrate your marketing efforts there.
Nurture leads that have problems you can solve. Target specific leads who match your customer profile. You can filter out those that are not from your key demographic, whose desires and pain points don’t match those of your current customers. This can help save time and money.
Your marketing efforts need to generate leads that will stick around. Consider a CRM software that can help you identify qualified leads from the rest. A CRM system can help you focus on leads that have a higher chance of becoming a customer, so you have more time for other stages of the B2B sales cycle.
2. Leverage social proof
The best strategy for building new connections is to use your established customer base. Referrals are a source of high-quality leads. If you have clients who can vouch for your product or service, use them to recommend you to their peers.
Use customer testimonials, case studies and reviews in your content marketing and cold email strategy. Have customer testimonials on your brochures and your website. The influence of social proof is powerful and you need to leverage it to win your prospects’ trust.
Social proof can help close the deal faster, when people see that their peers are satisfied with your product or service, they’re more likely to convert: 31% of customers are willing to spend more on a business with excellent reviews.
3. Consider digital and content marketing
The digital world is growing fast, and B2B marketers can take advantage of this. Digital marketing can be very targeted and help invite high-quality leads thanks to the number of tools out there.
Whether it is Google Ads or LinkedIn, you can use social listening to identify who’s a good fit for your products or services. LinkedIn is an excellent source for generating leads for B2B companies as with over 740 million professionals, making it an ideal medium for your B2B content strategy.
Social media can amplify your marketing efforts if you know how to use your content to engage with prospects. B2B brands can also utilise user generated content to boost marketing effectiveness. They can make videos about their experience or even speak about you on social media which can be shared with a wider market through digital marketing.
4. Automation is your best friend
Automate anything and everything that can be automated. We’ve mentioned the CRM software before. It can help store customer information, identify sales opportunities, manage marketing campaigns and support customer service teams. It saves your entire communication history with the customer as it connects with your email and enterprise VoIP system.
Manually entering all this data is not only a productivity killer it also wastes time. Other automation initiatives include:
- Automation of email prospecting using personalisation tools.
- Use a business virtual phone. A virtual phone system is cloud-based, connects to CRM software and allows your team to use their laptop or mobile device to contact customers.
- Implementation of lead tracking tools. These track your lead’s activities to determine if they’re likely to convert or not.
5. Align your sales and marketing teams
Marketing and sales teams need to work together. As is often the case in B2B or industrial marketing, the sales force works independently. Your marketing efforts have to be in sync with your sales strategies. Say a buyer has connected with you on LinkedIn because of your content and they then speak to a salesperson whose pitch isn’t consistent with your marketing message, they’ll leave confused.
The marketing team needs to partner with the sales team to share knowledge and insights about marketing tactics, marketing materials and the customer journey. The sales team works with the customer closely so they can provide game-changing insights for customer acquisition and for gaining the right leads. All parts of the customer journey are connected, which makes it important for all internal departments to have excellent alignment.
Optimising the B2B sales cycle will need time and energy. Every new prospect is a chance to improve the process. The B2B cycle is long and complex and making it simpler would require a look inwards at the gaps and weak links in the sales process.
The five tips shared above, can, however, considerably reduce the time it takes to win a customer because they help you with targeting your efforts towards qualified leads.
Why not check out Propolis, our exclusive community for B2B marketers to share insights, learn from industry leading marketers, and access our best content. Propolis includes a Hive (group) dedicated to strategy and evolution