Over the past few years, the way people research and make purchase decisions in B2B technology has dramatically changed.
Understanding Why Sales Cycles Have Gotten Longer
Now that people do way more self-directed research on search engines, social media, and review websites before they’ll talk to a salesperson, there’s been a power shift away from sellers and into the hands of buyers.
As a result, most sales teams find that buyers have become more risk-averse -- so the decision-maker has morphed into a decision-making committee.
And at the same time, sales cycles take more time than ever to become closed-won deals.
So what can you do if you need to shorten your sales cycle length for your B2B technology prospects?
Improving Your Team’s Self-Awareness to Meet Prospects Where They Are
First, find some self-awareness. Why?
Because most of your best prospects don't want to speak with a salesperson until a considerable portion (typically 60% to 80%) of their research and decision-making is done.
Many sales organizations refuse to accept that reality and force prospects to audition for the privilege of talking to the real salesperson, for the privilege of learning about pricing and options. It's madness.
This outdated thinking is way beyond just an elongated sales cycle. The arrogance and refusal to adapt are flat-out, putting the company's survival at risk to more nimble, disruptive competitors.
(Maybe it's Jeff Bezos. Perhaps it's Elon Musk. But assume that someone somewhere is working 24 hours a day to drive your company into extinction -- even if that somebody lives on the other side of the planet. In a digitally-transformed world, location has become an asset more than a liability.)
Stop Allowing Your Sales Team to Dictate Marketing Strategy and Siphon the Market Budget
To support modern buyers, executives need to stop allowing their old-school sales organizations to control the marketing budget and marketing strategy.
The only way to speed up the sales cycle length is to rethink the entire go-to-market playbook to transfer the overinvestments out of the final 20%-40% of the buyer's journey and into the chronically underinvested, underpowered first 60% to 80% of the buyer's journey.
Encouraging More Team Collaboration to Improve Customer Experience and Shorten Sales Cycles
Many times, this will also require collaboration with the product and engineering team as core product/service offerings also need to be rethought -- for better customer experience and faster sales cycles.
What have you and your team done to shorten your sales cycle lengths on your B2B technology deals? Let me know in the comments.