In a recent online article for HubSpot, 5 Powerful Ways to Get Prospects to Buy Faster, author Aja Frost shares great insights to effectively speed up the sales cycle. He writes, “Helping prospects speed up their buying decisions faster is good for everyone. The prospect starts profiting from the product days, weeks, or even months earlier. The salesperson’s time is freed up to work on additional deals, helping them exceed quota and boost their company’s revenue. And everyone gets to spend fewer hours on the phone, in meetings, and writing emails.”
But expediting the purchase process isn’t easy—particularly when your customer is dragging his/her feet. Here is a recap of Frost’s most powerful tips:
No “Short Cuts”
Some salespeople attempt to reach the negotiation stage more quickly by cutting corners in their sales process. But in most cases, taking shortcuts will actually elongate decision making. For example, if the rep doesn’t delve into her prospect’s objectives and needs during discovery, her presentation will lack the detail and customization it needs to be truly effective. Instead of deciding to buy that day, the prospect might request a week to think it over.
Or perhaps the salesperson doesn’t take the time to research and connect with other members of the buying committee besides her point of contact. While she might save time upfront, it’ll be more difficult for her prospect to get buy-in from his peers. They may slow down or even block the decision.
Communicate What Happens Next
Buyers often feel overwhelmed by the scope, length, and complexity of a purchasing decision. Salespeople should put prospects at ease and create momentum by making the process seem more manageable and always providing a clear, relatively simple next step. Take a look at the right and wrong way to frame a next step:
Wrong: “If you’re interested in learning more, please let me know when you have the chance.”
Right: “I have some suggestions on how you can implement [strategy]. Are you free tomorrow at 11 a.m. to discuss them?
Think Quality, Not Quantity of Information
Instead of presenting six different ways their offering will improve their prospects’ lives, they should pick the three most relevant or compelling. Rather than sending buyers several testimonials or case studies, salespeople should look for the testimonial or case study featuring the company or situation most similar to the specific prospect.
If offering two use cases is good, reps might assume offering four use cases is better. But throwing tons of information at prospects is a bad idea— even if every detail in isolation might convince them to buy.
The buyer can’t fully appreciate a benefit or feature of the product without time to absorb and digest what the salesperson is saying. The rep’s messaging loses its impact when it’s presented all at once, and the buyer takes longer to decide whether to move forward while he sorts through the flood of facts he’s just learned.
There is no way to completely control the pace of the sales process, but applying these practices can help sales professionals avoid delays in the purchase decision.