Long Sales Cycles

Do your deals keep pushing into next month?

01 | Understanding the Problem

We see it all the time. Deals get pushed month after month, quarter after quarter. What was supposed to be a 3-month sales cycle, turns into a 6-month sales cycle and that’s if you’re lucky to close it at all. Long sales cycles happen because:

  1. Salespeople don’t understand where the buyer is and why they should buy.  
  2. There is no sense of urgency for the buyer to change
  3. The salesperson doesn’t understand the buyers buying process

When a buyer keeps pushing out a deal, they are signaling they are comfortable with the status quo and therefore don’t have a sense of urgency.  Too often salespeople miss this clear sign and are unable to get control of the sales cycle.  In addition to little to no urgency, too many salespeople are unaware of their buyer’s buying process and don’t properly calculate the steps and effort required to close a deal after the buyer verbally agrees.

02 | Diagnosing the Root Cause

 

When a salesperson pushes out a deal, ask them if they know what the buyer’s buying process is. Ask them if they know how long each stage in that buying process is. Push for details, it’s not enough for high-level information. Can they be specific? In addition, to understanding the buying process, can the salesperson articulate why the buyer should buy and describe the sense of urgency? When salespeople are unable to articulate a buyer’s urgency to change in specific, measurable terms, deals are exposed to slipping into future months and quarters. When salespeople don’t know the customer’s buying process, they are unable to manage it, and thus they become victims of the process, as deals drag on and on.

03 | How To Fix It

 
Shortening sales cycles has always been difficult. Salespeople are notorious for just pushing deals out, until they miraculously close or close lost, because . . . (insert a lame salesperson excuse). Fixing long sales cycles starts with discipline from leadership to hold the sales team accountable for identifying and highlighting the buyer’s urgency to change and why waiting is more costly than moving forward. Getting your sales team to focus on the existing business problem that is motivating the buyer to change is critical. By honing in on the real problems wrecking havoc in the buyer organization is key to creating urgency and driving deals to close faster. Expect your team to be able to articulate the cost to the buy of not moving forward and indecision. In addition, before opportunities can be moved to later stages in the pipeline, expect salespeople to have asked the buyer for their buying process, who needs to be involved, how long does it traditionally take, what are the steps, etc. Doing this early allows the sales team to manage the steps proactively, cutting days, weeks and sometimes months from the process.

Need more help with this problem?

Or do you think you’re dealing with other scenarios as well?

Low Average Sale Price

When it comes to converting opportunities, the root causes can be extensive. The primary reasons a deal doesn’t convert to a client is simply the salesperson.

Team Not Converting

When it comes to converting opportunities, the root causes can be extensive. The primary reasons a deal doesn’t convert to a client is simply the salesperson.

Poor Pipeline Development

When it comes to converting opportunities, the root causes can be extensive. The primary reasons a deal doesn’t convert to a client is simply the salesperson.

Low Average Sale Price

When it comes to converting opportunities, the root causes can be extensive. The primary reasons a deal doesn’t convert to a client is simply the salesperson.
Tell Me More!

Team Not Converting

When it comes to converting opportunities, the root causes can be extensive. The primary reasons a deal doesn’t convert to a client is simply the salesperson.
Tell Me More!

Poor Pipeline Development

When it comes to converting opportunities, the root causes can be extensive. The primary reasons a deal doesn’t convert to a client is simply the salesperson.
Tell Me More!

All The Way Down Here?

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