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Shortening Sales Cycles B2B

If you’ve been experiencing longer sales cycles when selling B2B you are not alone. A recent Harvard Business Review article tells us why and provides a solution. Read the Harvard Business Review Article: The New Sales Imperative:

Business to business sales cycles have gotten longer, now we know why and we have a solution. Business to business selling and marketing has always been a challenge, always. You had to find a guy in pain and you had to convince the guy in pain that you were the right solution for them, and then you had to convince the guy who signed the checks that you were worth the value, and they were all the busybodies came into the sale and you had to position with them so they wouldn’t put the Kibosh on the sale. Well, the internet changed a lot of that, and very famously people started pre-shopping, and there was a famous statistic that people were 70% of the way through the sales cycle before they even called you, and a lot of folks in the business to business environment are starting to beefing up their web presence, this was the right thing to do to start getting your website to sell for you 24/7 365 and position with everyone in the buying committee, so that they could pre-shop and make a decision about whether to speak with you further, they could also make a decision not to speak with you further. So, your website and your market positioning really had to work very hard for you.

But then something else happened, and it’s been written about in a recent article in a Harvard Business Review, that article is linked below, I strongly recommend that you read it. Here’s what happened; the buying committees were from about five and a half people to nearly seven people, they got larger, and all that fabulous information on the internet just bogged them down because there were more people now wringing their hands risk-averse trying to get to the right decision. Meanwhile the guy in pain is suffering and you there have the solution, but you can’t get the committee to by.

So, how do you solve it? Here’s what you need to do; your salesperson needs to have a different set of skills, they need to sell prescriptively, really amp up the consult of selling. You need to act in many ways like Maitre D’ at a very fancy restaurant calling over the wine steward, your subject matter expert to explain the wines, and then perhaps bringing up a sous chef to explain the hor d’oeuvres. So, your salesperson really has to be orchestrating, getting the right people in front of that selling committee, and having conversations with all of the members of that committee throughout the entire process. Every action you take now has to move the committee to action, it has to make it easier for them to act. Your marketing messaging and your marketing materials have to speak to everyone, this has been the case for a long time, but now it’s super important that you really explain and broaden out what you do, make it understandable to a broader group of people.

Just think about it, especially if you’re selling in a tech space complex technical product, finance guy is just not going to understand what it is that you’re selling and why it’s a value to the organization. If you provide that information on your website, and in sales materials, and in PowerPoint presentations, that person will be grateful to you and more likely to trust you than other folks.

[03:56] Okay. So, larger sales committee in the weeds, get them moving forward with better marketing communications and prescriptive selling, and you will begin to shorten sales cycles. I hope you like this video, please subscribe, please ring the bell so you’re notified of the next video, and please download that Harvard Business Review article, it’s so worth the read, and please put your comments below, I’ll respond to them with videos in the upcoming weeks. Okay, until next time, have a great business day.

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