Do you have three months to devote to making a single sale?
That’s about how long it takes to progress through the typical B2B sales funnel. The average time elapsed from lead to opportunity is 84 days.
It takes about another 18 days to convert opportunities to sales.
That is 102 days from prospect to payday. So, how can you shorten that sales cycle?
Let’s find out.
Accelerating Through the B2B Sales Funnel
Accelerating the sales process is primarily a matter of proper planning and organization. These four steps will help you streamline your approach to the B2B sales funnel.
1. Talk to decision makers by learning to recognize the roles in the buying process:
- Initiators – Those who start the buying process
- Influencers – Those who persuade others they need the product
- Deciders – Those who make the final purchasing decisions
- Buyers – Those who write the checks
- Users – Those who use the product every day
Having this knowledge allows your sales team to create qualifying questions targeting the specific persona they are communicating with and to recognize when and if they need to talk to someone else.
2. Ask probing questions to gain an understanding of your prospects’ major concerns, and focus your pitch on their problem, not what you perceive as their problem:
- Situation Questions – Get the facts, “Tell me about your current equipment/technology/etc.”
- Problem Questions – Identify what they like and don’t like about the current situation, “How satisfied are you with your existing equipment/technology/etc.?”
- Implication Questions – Find out the consequences they have experienced because of the current situation, “Have you lost money/productivity/etc. because of this?”
- Need Questions – “Would it help if your equipment/technology/etc. was more reliable?”
Prepare by making a list of common problems and creating questions for each category. Tailor the questions to individual prospects and really listen to their responses.
3. Use solution-oriented sales:
- Make sure your presentation really does solve the prospect’s problem
- Clearly communicate HOW your product meets their needs
- Show them it’s an effective solution through demos, testimonials and case studies
4. Incorporate leading questions to close the sale: Ask them what they need, don’t tell them. Ask, “Do you have any other concerns that might keep us from going forward?”
This is a good way to find out if the prospect is ready to move to the purchasing stage of the B2B sales funnel.
Improve Your Sales Process
If you’re interested in streamlining your B2B sales funnel, Joe Morone can help. You can submit an online contact form, or call/email him:
Phone: (585) 732-5666
Posted on: June 10, 2018