Would you like to create the perfect sales cycle and then shorten it?
Absolutely! Who wouldn’t? We’re all obsessed with reducing inefficiencies in the sales cycle. You need urgency to push a prospect into purchasing mode. The longer your sales process, the more vulnerable you are to losing the sale. That’s because if they’re left to think about your offer for too long, your prospect may drift away from you and get sucked into your competitor’s funnel.
That’s not what you want, especially after you’ve spent days, weeks, or even longer nurturing the lead.
You’ve got to shorten the sale. But how?
In this post, we’ll discuss how to speed up your sales process so that you attract, build trust, and close in rapid succession. Let’s get started.
Rethink Your Sales Funnel
Here’s the problem with the traditional sales funnel: Prospects don’t always enter in at the top (which focuses on brand awareness and problem identification). Some prospects already know about your brand, and they’re already educated about their problem.
[tweetthis]How do you address the prospect who’s ready to buy but not sure if they should go with you or the other guys?[/tweetthis]
How do you address the prospect who’s ready to buy but not sure if they should go with you or the other guys?
Then there’s those prospects who were almost ready to pull the trigger and then the doubts came rushing in. Now they’re back up the funnel, wondering if there’s some other way to solve their problem.
Not providing adequate content for prospects who arrive at different stages in the funnel can slow down your sales cycle, especially if you force everyone to enter your funnel from the top.
You also must be prepared for prospects who bounce around in your sales funnel. Some may even bounce out of your funnel and into someone else’s.
Don’t worry. You can woo them back through a strong content marketing game (that includes remarketing). However, to do that, you also need to create content for every stage of the sales funnel, not just the top. Don’t assume that every prospect will flow naturally from awareness to interest to decision to action. Some prospects are ready to act but may need to know more about your SaaS before they feel comfortable buying from you.
Meet prospects at every stage of the funnel and create a shortcut that takes them directly to the point of sale. Some prospects will want to take the long, scenic route, but for those who are ready to buy now, don’t make them loop back to the beginning first.
Here’s a sample of what to include at every stage of the sales funnel:
Top of the funnel
Attract new leads and help them identify their problem with:
- Blog posts
Middle of the funnel
Nurture leads and help them build trust in your brand with:
- Email courses
- Free trials
- White papers
Bottom of the funnel
Convert leads by showing them the value that you bring with:
- Case studies
- Comparison guides
Quickly Address the “Why Us” Question
No matter at what stage of the funnel your prospective customer arrives, they’ll all have the same question, “Why should I go with this SaaS instead of that one?”
Start by identifying your target customer, including who they are (basic demographics), what their problem is, and what prevents them from purchasing.
Then, figure out how your uniqueness can benefit them.
Finally, connect the dots by showing why you offer the best option. It’s critical that you answer this question upfront, quickly, and often in every interaction.
Answer All Objections
Make a list of every potential objection. Why would your prospective customer decide not to buy from you? Popular objections are pricing and not wanting to get trapped into a contract. Those are easy objections to overcome, provided that you tackle them upfront.
Be transparent with your pricing. If you don’t want to break down where every dollar goes, you can explain how your service saves them money by highlighting its features and assigning a value to each.
If you require a contractual agreement as part of your service, close the deal faster with an incentive, such as an annual discount.
Finally, equip your sales team (including your live chat representatives, if applicable) with answers to the top objections.
Identify All Stakeholders
If you work with businesses, it’s likely that you must work with multiple stakeholders. Trying to get everyone on board is a challenge for several reasons. You’ll contend with multiple opinions, multiple personalities, and multiple schedules.
To shorten your sales cycle, you’ll need to identify these stakeholders upfront and figure out what each one needs to say “yes” to your SaaS. What are their goals? What are their key objections? What do they need to see from you?
You’ll need to set expectations with all stakeholders. Transparency and good communication are essential.
See the Problem From Your Prospect’s Perspective
The best way to get your prospective customer onboard quickly? See the problem and your solution from their perspective. What do they already know about the problem? What do they need to know about your solution to act quickly?
Address these issues repeatedly throughout your marketing content.
Also, focus on the prospective customer’s end goal. What does success look like for them? Paint that picture as the outcome of using your service (assuming that their goal is, in fact, achievable through your service).
Get Them to Commit to Something Easy
It’s easier to say “yes” the second time. In other words, if your prospective customer has already bought one thing from you, they’re more likely to buy something else.
The first thing they buy from you doesn’t have to cost money, either. “Buying” your free ebook or free trial can make it easier for them to buy your premium product. Trust comes easier after you’ve demonstrated value through the first “purchase.” So, be sure to pack lead magnets, like ebooks and free trials, with tons of value.
We don’t buy because we employ logic. We buy because of our emotions, then we use logic to rationalize our purchase.
This is why you need to build urgency into your sales cycle. Urgency, or the feeling that the prospective customer must act now or lose everything, is a powerful motivator because it uses the primal emotion of fear.
Here are a few ways to inject a sense of urgency into your sales:
- Announce a price increase, but offer to lock in the lower price if they buy immediately
- Attach a free feature upgrade offer to a countdown timer
- Limit access to your product (only sell to a specific group and then close sales for a period of time)
Help your prospective customer understand the urgency of the situation by discussing the worst case scenario if they don’t act right away.
Warning: Be careful about offering discounts. Discounts, price reductions, and promotions can effectively shorten your sales cycle, but can also accidentally devalue your service and bite you in the you-know-where when it’s time to renew. You don’t want your customers to expect ongoing discounts in the future. Instead of price discounts, offer other incentives, such as added features.
Speeding up your sales process will help you convert more of your prospects into customers. If you want them to act quickly, implement the above tips to improve your sales funnel.
Before you go, check out these related posts:
- 7 Closing Tactics You Need to Try
- Use These Tips to Increase Customer Satisfaction Without Spending a Fortune
- Implement These Customer Success Strategies in Your SaaS