Now and again, a sale can seem to fall right into your lap. Perhaps the client approached your sales team, accepted your first offer with little to no objections, and soon after signed on the dotted line. However, as you’ll likely know, sales like this are a rare occurrence.
Businesses are typically big buyers but move slow. B2B salespeople often have to engage in drawn-out negotiations before finally reaching a win-win agreement. In some industries, the sales process can take months or even years. So how can you close business contracts faster?
Sending every lead to a sales rep can cost your organization lots of time, money, and resources such as additional negotiation training. You can close more deals faster if you’re pitching to the right clients. It’s almost impossible to close deals with the wrong prospect.
According to HubSpot, gathering lead intelligence can cut down your sales cycle by 23% and increase the average client spend by 47%. To deliver value to your clients and to increase your speed of delivery, sell the right solutions to the right clients. To qualify your prospects, you can follow these five steps:
- Identify the prospect’s needs and what challenges they’re trying to find a solution for.
- Confirm that your solution is the right fit for the prospect’s challenges.
- Find out the prospect’s budget so you can either disqualify them or prepare your offers.
- Determine the prospect’s timeline. Do they need a solution in place urgently or are they in the initial stages of exploring options?
Understand Their Buying Process
Having a clear understanding of your prospect’s buying journey can save you time when working to close a deal. What are all the steps that go into engaging a new supplier and closing the deal? Who are the decision-making stakeholders at each step? Map the organization’s buying process from the initial contact to signing the deal and making the payments.
You can map the buyer’s journey by questioning your contact during the initial meetings. Ask probing questions such as “What does it take before your organization agrees to a deal? What are the steps we need to take together before your organization signs me up as their supplier?”
For example, if you’re offering contract negotiation training, your prospect may respond along the lines of, “Well, we first have to get approval from the HR department then the accounting department. We may then have to go over the training manual with the head of sales and gain a stakeholder buy-in for the training needs assessment.”
Clarifying the process and identifying potential challenges can assist you in figuring out ways to overcome any sales friction you may encounter.
Negotiate with the Right Decision Makers
In B2B sales, one of the main challenges is finding out who makes the buying decisions. What makes the contract negotiation process slow and difficult is that the buying decision usually involves more than one or two people or departments.
When mapping out the organization’s buying process, you can figure out where your offer lies within the matrix of cost and strategic value. For instance, if you’re offering office cleaning services, then you’re likely within the low strategic value bracket. The decision-maker may be an office manager or the purchasing department.
However, if you’re selling corporate management training, then your services may fall within the high strategic value bracket. You may have to negotiate with heads of several departments who are accountable to the company board.
To speed up the sales cycle, sell the right solutions to the right clients. Then understand their buying process and negotiate with the right people. These three tips not only shorten your sales process but also free up your reps to close more sales.