A sales cycle is a set of steps taken by a sales representative or marketer that converts a lead into a paying customer.
The sales cycle begins with the first contact with a prospect and ends when they become loyal customers. Depending on various factors, such as the nature of the prospect and the type of industry you are in, your sales cycle’s length can vary.
The longer your sales cycle, the more resources (in terms of money, time, and effort) you will have to spend. So, as a small business, it’s crucial to optimize your sales cycle so you can convert new prospects into loyal customers as rapidly as possible.
In this post, we share four tips that’ll help you do just that.
1. Set the Right Expectations with Landing Pages
In the initial stages of the sales cycle, your prospects first become aware of your business and visit a landing page where they can register as a lead. A good landing page, in general, has four key components:
- Value proposition: This will highlight the value that the prospect can look forward to. It can be saving time or money, reducing their workload, or otherwise improving their lives.
- Benefits: The tangible benefits that they will see in their day-to-day life. For instance, less back pain, better performing ads, or more time to spend with loved ones.
- Social proof: Customers like to see how using your service has given others the value and benefits that you claim it provides.
- Call to action: The action the prospect needs to take to get the value advertised on the landing page.
If you optimize your landing pages with the above elements, you will set the correct expectations in the minds of your prospects and turn them into qualified leads. As a result, you will be spending less time and resources to convert the leads because they already know what you are offering and are interested.
By getting this fundamental step right, you will make your sales cycle much more efficient.
But it can be challenging for small businesses to build effective landing pages that relay their brand’s message well due to limited resources. Benchmark Email offers a no-code landing page builder with hundreds of templates.
It also generates conversion reports which will help you measure and manage your campaigns. What’s more, Benchmark Email integrates directly with CRM tools, making it easier for you to nurture the leads you capture on your landing pages.
2. Nurture with Targeted Messaging
Approximately 63% of leads don’t convert for at least three months.
For reasons beyond your control, most of your leads won’t buy from you immediately after they express interest in your offer. Some of these reasons are lack of immediate trust, budget constraints at the moment, and distractions.
This is why following up, or nurturing the leads, is one of the most important components of a sales cycle. Every follow-up message gives you an opportunity to nurture your leads, warming them up to you and bringing you one step closer to conversion.
To nurture your leads, you need to segment them based on how you earned them, their past interactions, and their level of interest in your business.
3. Respond Fast to Your Leads’ Queries
People have shorter attention spans nowadays, especially when browsing online. Your lead could be asking you a question related to your services or sales process while also shopping or watching a movie.
Keeping your lead response time low is crucial as it makes the difference between answering your lead’s query or disturbing them when they are doing something else. So, how fast should you respond to your leads? Statistics show that a one-minute response time results in 391% more conversions. That number drops to 160% if you respond to your lead within two minutes.
The challenge for small businesses is they cannot possibly provide round-the-clock sales support with limited resources and a lot of responsibilities. Even if you are always online, answering a lead satisfactorily within a minute can be challenging.
With a small business-friendly chatbot pricing, WotNot lets you provide round-the-clock chatbot support through your website, as well as messaging channels such as WhatsApp and Messenger, and SMS. With the help of curated templates and conditional branching, you can build chatbots for just about any purpose.
Furthermore, you can provide multilingual support to assist your website visitors from different parts of the world.
4. Avoid Conflicts and Confusion with Digital Contracts
By following the tips we mentioned above, you can avoid these undesirable situations a lot. But sometimes, a good landing page, nurturing campaign, and timely answers to your leads’ queries are not enough.
A roadblock that will elongate your sales cycle is disagreements with your leads on the terms of service. What makes roadblocks of this nature more challenging is that they show up much later and often right before everyone shakes hands to take things forward.
Bad experiences stemming from confusion and disagreements with leads will delay the conversions in the least and will affect your business’s reputation in the worst. Getting over these bumps will require concentrated efforts and will consume a lot of resources.
The ideal solution is to try to prevent the occurrence of situations like this by agreeing on the terms and conditions before moving forward.
To ensure that you and your leads agree on the terms of service, you can use a solution like DocuSign, where you can electronically sign legally binding contracts. The drag-and-drop contract builder of DocuSign makes the whole process fast as well.
An efficient sales cycle consumes fewer resources, in terms of time, money, and human resources, while converting a lead into a customer. As small businesses have limited resources, it is imperative that they make their sales cycle as efficient as possible.
The following four tips will help you make your sales cycle better enabling you to convert leads faster:
- Set the right expectations with your leads through well-designed landing pages that relay your value proposition correctly.
- Nurture them by continuing to add value via follow-ups through a CRM tool, warming them up in the process.
- Respond to their queries fast by using a chatbot on your website.
- Ensure clarity regarding the terms of service and avoid conflicts by signing digital agreements with your leads.
We hope that the above tips will help you make your sales cycle more efficient so that you can close more leads while spending fewer resources.
Gaurav Belani is a Senior SEO and Content Marketing Analyst at Growfusely, a SaaS content marketing agency specializing in content and data-driven SEO. He likes sharing his knowledge in a wide range of domains ranging from IT, eCommerce, startups, social media to human capital management, and much more. His work is featured in several authoritative business publications.
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