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Depending on the size and complexity of the program you are selling into your prospect, agency sales cycles can vary from 1 to 12 months. I’ve been involved in several deals which have been in my pipeline for over 18 months!
Reducing the length of the sales cycle and speeding up the buying process can have a dramatic effect on your closed new business and your ability to hit business and revenue goals.
Here I provide 3 ways to speed up your agency’s buying process. However I am not talking about pushing your customers to buy before they are ready. These approaches are all about helping your client to drive unnecessary time out of their selection and buying process so they can more quickly realise the desired business results they are looking for.
- Sell higher
One of the main reasons sales cycles take as long as they do in the agency world is because we are selling too low in the organisation. The senior decision makers in your prospects business want to get the desired results they are looking for as soon as they can. The middle managers we usually get stuck with, don’t.
Senior decision makers want to see their business achieve their desired outcomes, in fact that’s what they are paid for and measured against. These people are much more likely to embrace change if it makes their job easier, more efficient and more effective ect.
Middle management on the other hand are paid to avoid risks. They are not recognised if the company achieve their wider strategic initiatives but they are blamed if an initiative does go wrong. So it’s often in their interest to slow things down and involve buying committees and not give you access to key decision makers.
They normally don’t have access to the wider strategic business objectives for their organisation and as such arent compelled by the same business case a senior decision maker would.
So whenever you find yourself speaking to middle management, try and get as high in the business as possible.
- Neutralise competition
One of the things that adds a lot of time to your customers buying process is when they have to evaluate several other agencies also. Use your strengths against their weaknesses. Learn their functional capabilities and find out if there are business issues your prospect faces which can be addressed by your competition.
You can also neutralise the competition by differentiating yourself in the buying process. I.e. doing things that make you stand out from the competition and make you more memorable. Your goal is to create an experience in the buying process that is separate and distinct from your service but that still adds value to your offering.
- Visualise how your customer can get from A to C
One of the reasons deals stall is because your prospect doesn’t know how they will get from point A (their current state) to point B (your solution) to point C (their desired future state) .There could be a long implementation process and the time to value could be lengthy. Help your prospect by visualizing on paper how they can get from A to C.
They can then share this information with their wider team to get buying and help you get access to those who can help you make the buying decision.
Have a great week