A lightning-fast sales cycle is the gold standard for all salespeople. Think about it: If you could move your prospects through your sales pipeline faster than ever before, what would it mean for your bottom line? Not only would your sales numbers skyrocket, but you’d also have more time to close more sales throughout the year.
What does that look like in practice? It all comes down to qualifying your prospects and focusing on the urgency of each selling situation.
Here are four tips to help you do just that. Implement these strategies and you’ll dominate your competition in sales by moving prospects through your sales pipeline faster than ever before:
1. Make sure you’re selling to the right decision maker.
You’ve likely heard this countless times before, but it should be your first focus. Is your prospect the one who makes the decisions? If not, there’s no need to continue selling until you get in front of the right decision maker.
Especially for business-to-business (B2B) sales, the decision maker could be a committee of five or more people. In that case, if you’ve been pitching to only one person, you’ve been spinning your wheels needlessly. You need to get past the gatekeepers and in front of the right committee — or at least determine who has the final say on the committee’s recommendations. Then, you’ll know where to focus your attention and move the sale along at a faster pace.
2. Discover what keeps your prospect up at night.
You need to have a full understanding of your prospects’ most concerning challenges and near-term objectives. Dig deep to discover what your prospects fear will happen if their challenges aren’t resolved. Then find out how they’ll feel once they achieve their objectives.
This is your discovery mode. Your only focus should be to learn as much as possible about what your prospects want and need and how committed they are to achieving their goals and resolving issues. Ask “what” and “how” questions to discover these key insights about your prospects, and say “tell me more” liberally.
3. Confirm that your solution fits the prospect’s problem.
Ultimately, all salespeople want to close deals. But, sometimes it’s better to walk away from a prospective deal because it simply wouldn’t be a good fit for you or the prospect. Forcing a deal that’s not a good fit never ends well.
In this case, your objective shouldn’t be to get to “yes,” but rather to get to “no” faster. This releases you to pursue other prospects who are better positioned to buy from you. In this way, you’ll move prospects more quickly through your sales pipeline, giving you more time to spend closing qualified prospects who are more likely to say “yes” in the end.
To ensure your product or service would solve a problem or help prospects meet a goal, ask pointed questions and listen well to determine whether your solution will actually solve the prospect’s biggest challenges. This approach helps you position your product as the best solution should you discover that the prospect is a good fit after all.
4. Find out how serious your prospect is about taking action.
Is there a pressing need for your prospect to take action? You need to know if the desire and the drive is there. Ask leading questions that help you pinpoint if a prospect is ready to close the deal within days, weeks or several months. This helps you order the prospects in your pipeline appropriately.
You also need to determine if the prospect has the budget to move now. It could potentially take months to get the budget set up, so find out if you should continue to pursue the sale now or come back later.
If you use these four tips to move prospects through your sales pipelines faster, you’ll see a dramatic uptick in the number of sales you close each year.