In this article, we’ll discuss five reasons your sales process is slower than it needs to be and without rushing the steps that need time.
It pays to take your time with some parts of your sales process–indeed, it’s increasingly common for modern salespeople to rush their sales process and end up with wasted time due to sloppy lead generation and poor follow through. But ‘slow and steady’ isn’t the end-all of sales process discussions. Chances are, you’re going too slowly, too. There are places in the sales process where swift, decisive action will beat or equal shuffling your feet for days on end. In this article, we’ll discuss five reasons your sales process is slower than it needs to be, and how you can trim the fat without rushing the steps that need time.
One of the leading causes of a slow sales cycle has nothing to do with the details of the cycle–rather, the problem is how quickly you complete tasks you can complete at your leisure. When you sit down to research prospects, or analyze metrics, or perform any other boring task that you can do ‘whenever’, do you get things done then and their without distraction? Do you take days going over data that should take you hours–delaying any sale associated with that data for that long?
There are a few things you can do to sharpen your focus. Learn to keep a schedule, do hard tasks early in the morning (it sets the tone!), and know when you need to get away from your desk and reset your focus with a real break. Trying to focus for hours and getting distracted constantly because you need a break is far worse than taking a ten minute cool down walk every few hours!
One of the easiest ways to speed up the sales process without sacrificing quality of work is provoking ‘investment’ from the prospect. If your prospect isn’t investing time or resources from early in the sales process, you’re probably working too slow. An invested prospect will pay more attention to what you have to say and be more willing to move forward at every stage of the sales process.
Investment doesn’t have to be big to have a psychological effect on the prospect; just convincing someone to clear an hour in their schedule for a follow-up meeting is more than enough.
This is one of those problems that develops from going too fast in the wrong areas. Rushing through lead generation will slow your overall sales process, because you’ll be caught up in go-nowhere leads. Bad leads aren’t just those that will never result in a sale–a lead that takes three or four times as long to close hurts your bottom line too. It might even hurt it worse, if you could have closed multiple deals in that time.
When it comes to leads, ‘slow is steady, steady is fast’ should be your rule of thumb.
Using unsuitable tools can turn your sales process into a slog. Perhaps you’re using software with too little information, or with too many frills for your process. Maybe your communications are delayed and you’re always waiting to hear back from someone else.
Give your tool set a harsh review and cut out the time-wasters. Then figure out what problems you REALLY need solved and find precise solutions to those problems; you should be good at this, you’re in sales!
It’s easy to waste days and weeks working your way up company hierarchy if you’re not careful. Nothing slows the sales process more than having to ‘close’ multiple people in a row as you work your way up to an actual decision-maker. Do your research and find your shortest route to the movers and shakers. It may take a little longer than picking up a phone, but in the end you’ll close more often and more quickly.
Rhys is a tenacious, top performing Senior Sales Recruiter with 11+ years of focused experience in the Digital Media, Mobile, Software, Technology and B2B verticals. He has a successful track record of headhunting top performing sales candidates for some of the most exciting brands in North America. He is a Certified Recruitment Specialist (CRS) and has expert experience in prospecting new business, client retention/renewals and managing top performing sales and recruitment teams. Rhys enjoys spending quality time with his wife, son, and two daughters, BBQing on a hot summer day, tropical vacations and cottaging.