Shorten Your Sales Cycle

4 Tips For Leveraging Technology To Close More Deals Before 2015

October 2014

 

With 2015 around the corner, it’s crunch time to hit annual sales goals. Starting today, there are a few things you can do to close more sales before the new year and avoid a holiday season sales slump.

Manage Your Time

Customer relationship management (CRM) platforms are great for segmenting your contacts based on relationship level. The more detailed you get, the more effective your sales approach to these contacts can be. According to Charles Bernard, founder and president of the New York City–based Criteria for Success, each salesperson’s territory can be divided into six levels of relationships: suspects, prospects, customers, clients, advocates, and partners. “Separate your contacts by all the different types of relationships that you have and make a decision about where you are going to focus your time,” says Bernard. “Then, look at the selling and marketing activities that you are going to develop for each one.”

Using your CRM platform to segment your contacts into these six levels, and planning your time and resources for the rest of the year, will help with time management as the clock on 2014 runs out.

Look to the Past

Another way to leverage your CRM system is to search for past prospects and customers. “Reach out to past prospects that you lost business to, but who already know you and who you have already qualified,” says Bernard. By reconnecting with contacts who may have gone cold, you can shorten the sales cycle because you can skip the introduction and qualifying steps.

Sort by Sender

Bernard also offers a simple solution for identifying missed opportunities sort your email by sender. “I’m always surprised when I sort my inbox by sender,” says Bernard. "I find people who I have communicated with but may have dropped from the radar because they get buried in my inbox". But when I sort by sender, I can see all the unread emails and all the people I need to talk to."

Picking up an email communication where you left off with a prospect or client can be a great way to jump-start a sale mid-cycle.

Seize Budget-Season Opportunities

For many companies, October/November is budget season, so if your company provides B2B products or services, now is a great time to think long term and speak with your clients about how your offerings will fit into their 2015 budget. Many companies allocate a large part of their budgets for the first quarter now is the time to get a piece of that.

Now is also the time to reach out to current advocates and partners to ask for referrals and build a pipeline for next year. “They are the people who can introduce you to more prospects or who will purchase additional products or services from your company,” he says.

As the end of November and early December roll around, many companies are looking to spend any remaining funds they have allocated for the year before the 2015 budget kicks in. Check in with clients and prospects to find out if they have surplus budget and how you can help them spend it.

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Topics: SMALL BUSINESS

 

 

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