Professional selling is more complex than it has ever been. With multiple stakeholders and unknown buying processes, deals can drag on for months… Even years! With their potential payoff, they are certainly worth the investment of time. That said, wouldn’t it be nice if we could somehow shorten these cycles? Today I will share with you three tips on how to shorten complex sales cycles!
How to Shorten Complex Sales Cycles Tip #1: Sell Top-Down
Top-down selling means engaging with high-level decision makers first. While daunting, this strategy will serve you in the long-run. If the manager you seek isn’t the right person to speak to, they are often willing to refer you (provided you have a strong value proposition). You will be able to navigate stakeholders much faster with this approach. If they are the right person, you will accelerate the decision-making process.
How to Shorten Complex Sales Cycles Tip #2: Partner Bottom-Up
If the bottom-up approach is more appropriate, ask your contact in the first meeting “Who else will be involved in this decision?” If they see value in your offer, suggest a meeting with these other decision makers. Be careful not to belittle your contact by going around their back or implying that they are not important. Instead, partner with them. Let them know that you have their back, and want to help them succeed. Earn their trust, and they will help you speak to people who can speed up the sale.
How to Shorten Complex Sales Cycles Tip #3: Gently Insist on Including Key Decision Makers
Finally, remember that it is in everyone’s best interest to shorten sales cycles. Time is precious, and the fewer meetings you need to wrap up the sale, the more respectful you are being to your prospects and their colleagues. If a key decision maker cannot attend a meeting, gently insist on rescheduling it. Use the above rationale to justify your position. It’ll take a lot of courage, but if you speak with courtesy and conviction, the other contacts will respect you for it.
When approaching companies, sell top-down. When you can’t, partner with your contact. Finally, gently insist on including key stakeholders. You will shorten your sales cycles, but more importantly you’ll save your prospects’ time!
If you enjoyed this article, click ‘like,’ leave a comment, or share it with others!
Filmed in Chadstone, Melbourne