“The average sales cycle length has increased 22% over the past five years due to more decision makers involved in the B2B buying process”, according to SiriusDecisions. With most B2B sales cycles taking three to more than 10 months to close, sales and marketing teams need to find ways to accelerate the sales process.
Here are five ideas to help accelerate your B2B sales cycle:
- Identify your buyers’ journeys and proactively support them with relevant and valuable interactions. If you know where they are going to solve which problems, then assist them in getting there faster. According to Pardot’s State of Demand Generation Report, “77% of buyers want different content at each stage of their research.” When you help your buyers gain the knowledge and confidence for identifying the right solution to solve their challenges, you’ll position your company as that solution.
- Test and monitor different messaging across your acquisition marketing programs. Buyer’s could be stalling due to inconsistencies or confusion with how you’re communicating your value and how it will solve their problems. Evaluate which messaging (and acquisition channels) generate the highest velocity through the pipeline.
- Identify your buyer segments and nurture each one specifically to their problems being solved and needs being addressed. Adding greater relevance, similar to above, can spend the sales process.
- You can’t manage (nor optimize and troubleshoot) what you don’t measure. Both in terms of technology and process, you have to collect the right data through defined marketing and sales stages. If you aren’t using marketing automation and CRM, then you can’t begin to effectively analyze your pipeline in order to accelerate it.
- Ensure alignment between marketing and sales on agreed-to lead qualifications and follow-up automation. Although it happens frequently, you can’t have marketing and sales working from two different playbooks. In the end, it only confuses the buyer and slows down the sales process. A study suggested that roughly 68% of buyers walk-away from a seller interaction confused. This tends to happen either when the buyer crosses over marketing channels or after engaging with marketing messages and then speaking to a salesperson for the first time. Message consistency is so important! Get marketing and sales on the same page.
Accelerating your sales pipeline requires gathering the right data and putting it into action to help your buyers buy.