One of the most sought after secrets is how a business can shorten their sales cycle. There are the traditional ways to shorten the sales cycle…have a friend that makes the decisions; have a product or service that no one else offers; sell at a price so low that customers look nowhere else, or a prospect’s impending event that forces them to act quickly.
When a company implements a mutual benefit leadership style in their company, they will be able to identify if any of the above “traditional” ways to shorten the sales cycle are in play. This is because your salespeople will have a relationship with their client/prospect, and as such, they all want to help you and your company.
Sales – Salespeople will be trained to discuss these potential situations with their client/prospect in a way that lets them know that it’s in their best interest to be open. The discussion between your salespeople and the client/prospect will also explain that it’s unproductive for the company and the salesperson to understand the correct time frame for the buying process. Once your client/prospect believes and embraces that you’re looking to have a mutually beneficial relationship with them, you can begin to work as a team and not as combatants! This allows your sales team to explain why it’s in the clients best interest to shorten the sales cycle. However, you must also be open about why it will help you and your vendors provide better quality and/or service to the client/prospect.
Operations – When your company has implemented a mutual benefit philosophy, your salespeople will not utilize internal sales support and operations resources on prospects that either don’t fit the company or opportunities that they have little to no chance of winning. The resources spent on deals your company is unlikely to win is extremely costly in time and dollars. When your people spend their time on unreal opportunities, they don’t have the time to spend on real, winnable opportunities. This is one of the major causes of time delay in getting pricing, configurations, contracts, and other pre-sale requirements accepted and able to be presented to the client/prospect. When you implement a mutual benefit philosophy, your operations people will understand that when the salespeople bring a deal to the operations group, it is winnable. This leads to the operations team doing whatever they can to shorten the sales cycle.
Management – When mutual benefit is fully integrated into your company, the sales, marketing, and operations management teams will understand how each of their departments are tied to each other. They will understand how each division is measured, and what they need to be successful. The management team will then work together to help everyone benefit, which leads to quicker response time and more flexibility, which will lead to a shorter sales cycle.
The Client/Prospect – When your prospect/client feels the energy from your sales, pre-sales, operations and management teams, they will feel that they are making a safe and prudent decision and will go out to bid less often. This positive energy and enthusiasm that comes from your employees will give the client comfort and trust that you are giving them the best value for the products and services you offer. Once they trust and respect your company and your employees, they will not have the need to go to bid, and will help you find ways to shorten the sales cycle because they understand how they will benefit.