How to Accelerate Sales Conversions?
We all have our ways, but I'd like to have you share some of your insights. One of our services is built off of a longer (and therefore higher-cost) solution. I've noticed my pipeline extend on closing the deals I have prospected.
I welcome your thoughts and expertise!
I guess I'm not 100% clear on your question. When you say "accelerate sales conversations" are you asking how to cut down how much time you're spending on them?
I sell a long term, high ticket program. My sales closing ratio is 33%. The time it takes me for the sales conversation is from 30-90 minutes, with most falling in the 45-60 minute range.
I have a heart centered, non-salesy process I use and teach to my clients. It is about looking for a fit, not a sale. If you go to my profile, I have responded to other related questions with some tips on how to have an authentic sales conversation. I did not post the process, but just some pointers.
If you need more support with this, I'd be happy to hop on the phone.
The best solution I found was (may be its a clichéd sentence) prepare your self in advance. I use to go over clients business their current requirements, build up all kind of scenarios on what all changes in requirement he/she can have on end moment. This helped me have a smooth conversation with client leading to impress the client and finalize the project.
there are several ways to increase your website conversions, but before stating that a method is worth more than another, there should be some questions asked first.
In order to maximize the profit I would first check the followings:
- Is my SEO well done and my copy coherent with the contents?
- Did I make the check out easy to find and quick to get completed?
- Have I respected all the best and most common user experience practices?
- Am I offering a good price point against my competitors?
- Am I fulfilling orders as fast as my customer expectations?
If you answered YES to each question, then it's time to improve your CR % with some "vitamins"
But, one more thing, in my opinion the most important: how much budget I want to put on it, if I have one of course :)
Well, if the budget is little, let's say less than 1% of your Yr/income, I wouldn't waste it on third parties services, I would use it to optimize even more my website, maybe hiring an expert to let him A/B test all the possible things, until you get your CR incresed by a +30% (for example if you have a 3% CR today, you may push it up to a 4% or more with an obsessive A/B testing)
If you have some more budget instead, then you should go catch the conversions one by one.
If your organic traffic is already strong then you should look around for a retargeting/remarketing service such as Criteo, MyThings or Google. In the short term you'll see a quick boost to your CR, but it'll decrease slowly as the time passes, then you'll need to diversify your campaigns anyway.
If your organic traffic isn't that strong, then you may want to use your money for a well done keyword campaign. In this case it's really important to control continuosly your campaign and to fine tune it, in order to take your cost per conversion under strict control.
Great question Brendan!
We all need to move deals through the pipeline as fast as possible.
I believe that most sales organizations under estimate the effect of the Internet on even very complex, long term, B2B sales processes.
Customers do a LOT of research online and essentially try to avoid a sales person until the last possible moment.
What this means to traditional sales teams is that if it's crucial for a sales person to give the prospect a presentation or educate them in any way, the customer is going to be trying to find that information online. If its not there, things get stuck or they go elsewhere.
That's why a good lead nurturing campaign via email can be very helpful. Take the things you need your customers to know so that they'll select you and break that into a series of emails. Then automate it.
It's funny, when you talk to top sales people and ask them whether or not they follow a prescribed sales process they say no. The reason for this is that customers don't follow our sales processes. In fact the customers' buying process can be quite complex and for complex solutions, the process between investigation and decision to move forward with a project can be upwards of six months. All that aside, I would recommend three things:
1. Get more prospects into the funnel.
2. Continually create context for moving towards the solution v the status quo.
3. Coach the buyer to drive consensus across his or her organization
- What tools will he or she need to sell to the financial buyer, the marketing buyer, the IT buyer?
- What objections might he or she come across by the buyer types?
Make sure you are on the right customer with the right product......research them thoroughly. Going in prepared obviously makes sense. From there, every time you reach out, make sure you have a compelling reason for them to either return the call, email, or what ever. A clear working knowledge of your customers needs and desires and a good approach with you having a clear mastery of the subject will get their attention. Write a script if need be, but make sure you believe what you are saying and know it on the tip of your tongue. Make sure what you ask them to do make sense. If it does, they will jump. If they don't, they were not ready to begin with.
Practical & tactical response here. I'm amazed at how complex so many selling solutions are. We don't need a 50,000 foot view with jargon and vision-casting. We need to know EXACTLY what our sales pros should do, to close more sales, faster. So 3 steps...
#1 Did you qualify or disqualify the buyer, as quickly as possible? This means you know they're worth pursuing or you run away. Qualifying criteria is set by the company (do they have the $, is this the true decision-maker, is there urgency or a time-frame to make a buying decision?).
#2 Focus on OPENING well or you don't get to close. Do all your sales dialogues set expectations for what happens at the end of our conversation? If you don't do this (and most don't), you will get to the end of your time together and receive the dreaded "Thanks, we'll think about this and..." Set an outcome, gain agreement to it and then start the sales chat.
#3 Know every possible objection and prepare to move past it. There should be no surprises and that means you have several ways to smoothly move beyond buyer resistance.
Do these three things well and all you sales cycles will be shorter.
I have a two fold answer to this question and depending on your sales environment will determine if accelerating your conversion or building your pipeline faster is really the issue.
The reality is a prospect's timeline is a prospect's timeline when it comes right down to it. I have a set selling process that starts with defining the company profile that best fits my business model then research that company, I make my prospecting call/email/linkedin invite etc, if that connection is made and I feel we have an opportunity with the potential client, I schedule a future 30-60 minute call for a full needs assessment within 72hrs unless the client has a legitimate reason that it needs to be extended.
If they don't accept the invite or are a no show, it's already time to move on. If the needs assessment comes to fruition I schedule a proposal call within 72hrs with the client, and again if they are a no show, or just asks you to send them a quote, your wasting your time pushing any farther. Once you have gone over the proposal with the client regardless of the level of interest they say they have I always ask them what their timeline is. This puts it on them to play their hand if they are interested in your products and services. It doesn't matter if its 1 week, 1 month, 6 months or next year. It is important to have that expectation set. If they say "ASAP" ask what that means, because some people think ASAP means tomorrow others think a year from now.
If they the timeline is lengthy ask why, if they can't provide a legitimate answer and obviously if they haven't signed in time to meet their deadline they set with you, they are still not buying. If you have these questions and build a large pipeline through prospecting the concern of turn around time goes away.
If it's a consultative sales approach, I'd recommend taking a look at a book called "The Challenger Sale: Taking Control of the Customer Conversation". Building a consensus and leveraging interest amongst multiple departments is helpful. The buying model has shifted over the years away from a single person making decisions on more complex opportunities, especially if it will affect multiple business groups within the org.
Brendan: My preference is always to start engaging with the ultimate decision maker. If I don't know who that is I always start as high up in an organization as possible and have the executive refer me to the correct individual. This does several things including elevate my offering in the mind of the decision maker since it is being referred from above.
Have a very clear sales process in place that you can articulate to your prospects. I like to keep the process between 3-5 easily identifiable steps.
Step 1 should always include a qualification process of your prospects to identify their needs, problems they are facing, budget, time for execution and any other key areas that are important to your business. Once you have qualified your prospect and have given them a brief overview of your business, explain the process to them.
Obtain a commitment from them to work with you as you move through the process. Let them know that at any step in the process, they can tell you 'no' - they are in control. The only thing that you ask is that they let you know how they are feeling at the end of each step. Try using a 1-10 scale with 1 representing no interest and 10 being ready to move forward. Make sure you ask at the end of each step. Low numbers or a drop in numbers will tell you that they have concerns that you have not addressed, so ask about these concerns.
At the end of each step, agree on what each of you will do before the next step, then set a time and date for a follow-up. I like to let the prospect lead the way on this. They are more likely to show up and stay invested in the process.
Use their timetable (established in step 1) to keep the process moving forward. If they want to implement in 3 months, let them know what needs to happen at each step and when those steps need to occur in order for them to meet their deadline.
Having a clear process that your prospects agree to help you to keep the sale on track. Be ready to address concerns at each step in the process. If a prospect has an objection that you have not resolved, you cannot move them forward. If you are finding that your process continues to extend, this could be one of the reasons.
Much of my career and coaching has centered around products and services with a long sales process and these types of sales require additional skills. The tips I'm offering are at a high level. Please feel free to reach out to me if you would like me to discuss them in more detail.
by intruding the business interest of the clients, discussing their merits and area of problems by showing a genuine appraiser. Most of the time Clients wants to be heard than to take the blabbering from the sales executive.
If you want to increase your sales conversion rate and close sales faster then spend more time at the beginning making sure the prospect is ready to buy. If the prospect does not see the problem you can solve, or does not have the budget or is not in a position to make a decision, the odds are they are not buying in the near future. Put them aside and keep in touch by various means. Move on to better qualified prospects. This will not work if there are only a few buyers in the world or your terrirtory for your product. Generally that is not the case. Screen prospect well and spend your time and effort on those ready to buy.
Hi Mr. Walker,
This is a valid question, especially when the sales "contact-to-contract [c2c]" cycle time is longer than traditional cycles. Wonder what is traditional and so I will assume that it runs into weeks or even months to start with in your case.
What we did in situations of sales of large ticket items in the renewable industry is to look at what we term as Process Cycle Efficiency (PCE) and then map the process to assess areas of opportunities to create a breakthrough in PCE of this c2c process. PCE in general terms is defined as the ration of [Value Added Efforts] to the [Total Efforts Invested] expressed as a percentage.
Once you execute those changes and create a breakthrough, you can then set up your systems and structure to sustain the reduced cycle time for your c2c process.
if you wish to speak and engage us to the operational levels, please feel free to contact me offline.