Buying Cycle: How to Shorten Your Customers Buying Cycle!
Buying Cycle: Written by Robert J. Weese, Managing Partner of B2B Sales Connections
I used to work in an industry where the summer was a dead time for the sales team. The customers would shut their production down for a week or two. Contacts were on vacation and nothing moved. Then late August and early September would come and sales would start happening. This resulted in the sales people moving too fast and mistakes happening. I effected both the sales person and the customer.
The problem was easy to fix and once we identified the solution and put it into action. We ended up with busy profitable summers and calmer fall selling seasons. The added benefit was not only did it help improve our sales results; in fact a few records were set in what used to be considered the worst selling months of the year. The technique also resulted in a shorter sales cycles and improved forecast accuracy throughout the rest of the year.
What was this miracle of miracles? It was a very simple concept that we trained every sales person to include in their sales process. The solution was to get the customer to focus on the operational date. This was when they determine they must be 100% operational with their new equipment. Over the years we have learned that this formula can be applied to just about any product or service and is not just for summer time selling.
The key is for your sales people to find out the date the customer must have the system in operation. From there they would work back the time lines to the date the customer had to sign the order if they wanted to meet their cutoff date. This was a powerful closing technique because it was the customer who determined the timelines not us and they would then commit to the process.
Here’s an example of how it can work.
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