How do you keep track of your relationships with your ideal clients and effectively nourish these relationships from lead to customer? Establish a solid sales cycle that maps out the different stages your ideal client will encounter, which then determines what information you’ll need to provide to move them along the process.
Understanding what is this process and how to create it is crucial in implementing one effectively. Below, you’ll find a clear definition of what it in, insight on how to create one, and how putting one into practice will help your business.
What Is a Sales Cycle?
Also referred to as a sales process, it’s a model of repeatable steps you, or your sales team, follow to nourish a relationship with a prospect from initial contact to a closed customer. It is made of stages defined by how your ideal client will interact with your business.
They’ll differ in length and number of stages based on the type of business and the products or services being offered. According to Hubspot.com, typical stages include: (1) prospect; (2) connect; (3) research; (4) present; and (5) close.
How to Create a Sales Cycle
Creating one begins with observing your last closed deals. Ask yourself what major steps were taken, determine points of contact with customers, and assess how long the process took. Then map out a generic example of how that process looks. From there, define the actions your client took to move to the next stage.
Yours should never be a one and done deal. They are analyzed, tested for effectiveness, and tweaked based on feedback and results. You’ll remove stages that don’t work, add additional stages, improve upon information, and measure regularly.
Why a Sales Cycle Is Helpful
Besides aiding in organizing the different stages of your relationship with leads, it’ll also help in increasing the likelihood of closing a deal or selling your services and products. Knowing what information to provide depending upon the stage your lead is in ensures you provide the right type of information your lead needs to move forward.
They also help keep your team on track and monitor their activities by clearly defining stages. Stages indicate what actions are being taken and what information needs to be provided.
7 Ways in Which A Good Sales Cycle Can Help your Business
1. Improves conversion rates
More accurately determine what information your lead needs to make a purchase or become a client and when your lead will need this information. Providing the wrong information, or not enough information, too soon or too late can break a sale and lose a potential client.
2. Establishes trust and authority with leads
The process stages that allow you to gradually build a valuable relationship with your lead on their way to paid customer. These stages are opportunities to establish trust and authority as you answer their questions and consistently show up to accurately address their needs.
Think of stages as different levels of opportunities to prove yourself to your lead.
3. Tests the effectiveness of your campaigns
If your campaign isn’t moving a lead to the next stage, or getting your lead into the process to begin with, then it’s time analyze your campaign, determine its weak points, and tweak it accordingly.
4. Helps improve and measure the performance of your sales team
Measure how well a sales team member did throughout the entire process. Were they able to deliver the right messages at the right stages effectively enough to move your lead to the next level? How well were they able to carry out the process?
During the different stages, weaknesses and strengths in your sales team will make themselves visible. Using it to determine where a sales person needs help, or where a sales person did exceptionally well, is extremely helpful to business.
5. Keeps everyone on the same page
By establishing common terminology, the cycle’s stages helps everyone understand where everyone is with a lead. Everyone being your sales managers, marketing team, sales team, and anyone involved in the process of converting leads into customers. When everyone is on the same page, you’re able to better serve.
6. Monitors progress towards sales quotas and revenue targets
Without clearly defined stages, it’s difficult to determine how well you are doing in meeting goals for the month. You’re left to only find out if you’ve made it at the end of the month.
You’re the opportunity to measure if you’re going to make your target and adjust accordingly if needed. It gives you a real-time view of your progress, which is extremely helpful in ensuring your goals are met.
7. Ensures your business provides what leads need exactly when they need it
Lastly, they help your business provide the information your lead needs to make a decision. A lead will have different questions and needs at various stages of your sales cycle. Tailoring information to what stage your lead is in improves the chances of your lead becoming a customer.
A good sales cycle will keep your team on track, test the effectiveness of your campaigns, manage your relationships with potential clients, as well as increase your sales and client acquisition. If used correctly, it’ll take your business to a whole new level. It’s pretty powerful stuff.
Currently working through a sales cycle? How has utilizing one helped your business? Please leave your thoughts in the comment section below.
Image sources: depositphotos.com.