A few weeks ago, Marketing Sherpa posted a marketing research chart revealing changes in the average length of B2B sales cycles. The data shows that year-over-year, sales cycles are getting shorter. This goes hand-in-hand with their research that B2B deal sizes are also decreasing year over year.
It is obvious from these findings that smaller deal sizes typically lead to shorter sales cycles. But we’d argue that the reverse is also true. So…cheer up…it’s not all doom and gloom in 2012, especially if your company is using strategies that help you avoid the fate in the charts above.
Here are a few things you can do to ensure larger deal sizes and shrinking sales cycles at your company:
1. Establish Good Pipeline Processes
The larger the deal size, the more complex the buying process will be. There are more people to convince, more red tape to get through, and more attention to detail required on your end. Organizations that establish and develop well-defined lead generation, qualification, scoring and nurturing processes will be able to successfully navigate the longer buying cycles to get the large deals they strive for. As a bonus, technology tools, such as marketing automation platforms, CRM’s, and sales enablement platforms make managing and automating these processes even easier.
2. Leverage Customer References
In the B2B space, one of the strongest influencers in an organization’s buying decision is what their peers have to say. Thus, companies that play to this reality by employing the credible third party testimony of customer references early and often in the sales cycle have a tendency to speed up their prospect’s decision process and get the bigger deal.
3. Utilize Sales Enablement
Organizations can address the challenge of a long, complex sales cycle without resorting to slashing prices by increasing the efficiency of their sales team. Sales enablement tools make it easy and efficient to send the right message and marketing materials to the right prospect at the right time to increase effectiveness of sales activities. When done correctly, this shortens the sales cycle, increases closing percentages and leads to higher overall revenue.
In this economy, there is no magic wand for making revenues soar overnight. However, putting these three strategies in place will set your company up for more success in 2012. If you find yourself overwhelmed by the tasks at hand or overloaded with questions of how to start, don’t be afraid to consult an outside expert. Over the past decade, the team at RO Innovation has worked with companies of all shapes and sizes to increase deal sizes and speed up the sales cycle with technology solutions tailored for overcoming challenges just like these.