- Posted by Steve Gruber
- On October 24, 2017
- 0 Comments
6 to 18 months. I don’t work for the government so no, this is not the amount of vacation time I have accrued and can take off with pay when I retire. This is the answer I give to anyone who asks me how long it takes to close any new B2B business. There are instances where it can close faster but generally, for sales over $10,000 I typically find this to be the case.
There are a number of things that a salesperson can do for shortening the B2B sales cycle and these include:
Suggest a Small Pilot to Get Started
In some cases, there could be interest from the prospect but there is also risk. Offering a pilot can help, whether it be at no cost for a limited time with the expectation that if it goes well then it moves into a paying pilot and larger commercial rollout, or even better a paid pilot. A pilot gives the customer a feel for how the solution works, its impact, benefits and then this information can be used to help support a larger sale.
Provide Relevant Case Studies
People love stories and sharing case studies that are of relevance to the prospect can help. Buyers want to know you can provide them with a solution for their needs and that you understand their business pain in the first place. Having real-life stories of how you have helped other firms with similar challenges like saving money, increasing revenues, driving efficiencies or reducing risk all matters. The next step here is to have solid testimonials or reference clients that you can call upon when you need to speak to your prospect.
Reduce Purchase Risk
We have a client that is in the immersive technology space and this space has no proven track record of success both from a hardware sales or software sales standpoint. So far, no one in the market has been able to monetize this technology. So, what does one do? Well, in this case, our client offered both a hardware and software solution on a per play basis where the revenues were split 50/50 to remove the risk from the buyer. It worked, we are closing business with new installations happening monthly, revenues are coming in and the projected revenue is much higher than our original pricing plan for a pure rental.
Drive Support Horizontally
The more decision makers and influencers you can speak with while pitching the better. The sooner you can get all levels of an organization on board to proceed with your service, the faster you will get your PO. Sometimes one of the largest time suckers is having to continually resell your solution to each successive level of the organization. Also having a wider footprint in the organization gives you a bit of security in that if your main point of contact leaves then you have others to work with that already understand your product, saving time and hopefully keeping the deal moving in the right direction uninterrupted.
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