A lengthy sales process is all too common in B2B IT and software sales, partly due to the highly technical products and services being sold. But a long cycle may also indicate inefficient lead generation and sales efforts.
Here are three tips for aligning your organization and achieving a more robust sales cycle:
1. Outsource Your Lead Generation
Every business benefits from a robust sales cycle and shorter ramp-up time for demand generation and lead development. To achieve this, many companies now rely on outsourced B2B demand and lead generation partners, who serve as efficiency catalysts between a company’s marketing and internal sales teams.
This efficiency is particularly valuable in the B2B sales process. When you have an outsourced sales partner delivering higher-quality warm appointments to your internal sales team, it reduces your follow-up time on initial leads. In addition, an outsourced lead generation team is already bought into your program, so they start kicking off your sales cycle on day one.
2. Use Training To Maximize Sales Effectiveness
Each sales process is unique, and often quite complex. Training is important for every sales rep, especially when working with an outsourced sales team. The quality of your training program from an outsourced sales provider determines how quickly and accurately the team is able to sell your brand, products and/or services. Therefore, it’s crucial that your sales team features skilled trainers and coaches who work alongside these reps.
The training program should ensure that the outsourced sales team is able to speak to your competition, hold meaningful conversations about the prospect’s business and be technically versed on your product. In the best-case scenario, an outsourced sales team becomes an extension of your company, providing seamless integration between their lead outreach and follow-up from your sales teams.
3. Use A Demand Generation Strategy To Unite Marketing And Sales
As you work to improve efficiency in lead generation or outsourced sales, it’s important to facilitate communication and collaboration across the sales cycle. If your marketing and sales specialists aren’t able to communicate clearly with each other about every prospect they handle, it’s going to have a negative impact on your business – and your bottom line.
In fact, a 2014 benchmarking study on B2B demand generation found that marketing teams need to interact more closely with sales in developing demand generation strategies and activities.
The study, conducted by ANNUITAS, was based on a survey of over 100 enterprises. Additional takeaways from the study include:
- The metrics and KPIs used by marketing teams often don’t reflect the organization’s true goals and objectives.
- Many demand generation tactics fail to truly connect with buyers, and require a more strategic approach to create effective buyer personas and content.
For efficient, effective sales cycles, consider developing a demand generation strategy that’s supported by today’s customer relationship management (CRM) and marketing automation software. This combination of strategy and technology helps ensure fluid internal communication throughout the sales process and a seamless customer experience.
Ready for efficient sales cycles that drive more revenue? Gain insider tips from Invenio Solutions® by downloading our free guide, The 7 Principles Of IT B2B Demand Generation.