Sales cycle is designed to establish an outreach to leads and convert them into customers through a series of planned steps. As a startup you would be interested in getting tips to boost your sales cycle and effective ways to improve the sales cycle. So here in this article we lay emphasis on top four things which must be considered for a startup’s sales cycle. Let’s start with the first and the most basic one:
1. Prepare a compelling content
You can have many leads and may be most of them are the qualifying leads but if your content is not compelling and excellent, they will not believe in the product. A good content is required to create a sense of need and trust in a lead’s mind. Your content should be able to convince a person why he needs your product and what special features it offers. It should distinguish your product among other competitors and be catchy too. Throughout a sales cycle, the lead needs assurance and confidence that he is not investing his money on a wrong product. Thus your content should be technically fit to give description of outlining features of your product as well as well written to resonate with your lead’s thought process.
2. Shorten the sales cycle
The giant companies can afford to have a long sales cycle because they have sufficient capital and thus leverage over the duration. The big companies can strategically plan their sales cycle to be long and effective. In process they do end up many leads but establish good rapport with customers they connect and build up their brand value. This takes time and huge money. For a startup sales cycle the advice would be to keep the sales cycle short and effective. Short sales cycle will ensure you don’t end up eating too much money and don’t lose many potential leads during the cycle. How to shorten your startup’s sales cycle though? How to make sure your plans don’t fall apart and alienate your leads from you due to quick sales cycle? The answer brings us to the third point and a very significant one.
3. Invest in data
In this digital age, data is the new currency! There are many analytics available out there in market using which you can know thoroughly about your customers and also about results of your applied action at each stage of the sales cycle. For example, you can know about the age, demographic, likes and turnoffs, through the content outreach and engagement.
You can very easily reduce a huge amount of unwanted people who don’t qualify to become your potential leads. This disqualification will leave you with funneled set of leads and working on them would be easier and less time consuming. Let’s say you have applied a new strategy, you should then have some KPI to measure how effective the strategy is in bringing the closure. Using data you can define those KPIs and it has become easier than ever these days. Returns that you get by investment on data and analytics is worth the cost of investment done in data. Every startup sales cycle should consider using data in every stage of a complex sales cycle!
4. Research and analyze
One question which you should not leave unsettled is that why your potential leads are not becoming your customers. After carefully crafting all the content, hard work done by teams in each department if you still lose out on sales then you should not leave the bottleneck unidentified. Thus you should research and analyze the cause behind the failure of conversion. This includes and is not limited to feedback from leads and customers who turned away. A strong research on the purchasing capacity and willingness to buy for the people you worked upon. Perhaps you are wasting your time on wrong set of people? Is your closure strategy lacking the assurance and guarantee that a buyer needs? Identify at what stage of the sales cycle you lost most of the prospects and work upon that.
In the end, above four things must be considered in the startup’s sales cycle. One thing to be noted is that the above points apply to all stages of the sales cycle right from outreach to leads to closure and review.