A huge obstacle in the B2B software tech sales world is reducing the lengthy sales cycle. As you know, unlike B2C, the B2B sales process includes engaging with a variety of decision makers and informing them of the value of your option. It takes a long time to persuade them that your product or service will best meet their needs.
Since everyone has a different opinion about your option, and since there are many decision makers out there, the software tech sales cycle can be agonizingly long.
According to a current Demand Gen report, the buyer’s journey for many B2B buyers is getting longer and more difficult, which does not aid the already long sales process.
But, there is a solution. Here are 6 strategies to help reduce your B2B software tech sales cycle.
1. Understand your buyer personas
Don’t make the mistake of trying to engage people who are qualified. This could put you in a frustrating sales cycle that won’t generate any type of software tech sales in the long run. Before starting the process, take some time to identify just who you are targeting. Your buyer personas (also known as ideal buyers) can be ‘Physician Philip’, ‘Hospital Administrator Alice’ or ‘Medical Director Daniel.’
Your buyer personas need to be decision makers of the companies you are targeting, and also key influencers. After better understanding your personas, you can describe their top qualifies by answering these questions:
- What are their responsibilities?
- What are their goals?
- What obstacles do they face?
- What prompts them to buy?
- What stops them from buying?
- How do they get their information?
The answers to these questions will give you a better idea of how to approach them.
2. Send out a welcome video
Usually, leads find out what a salesperson looks like from their first meeting. To develop a connection before that first meeting, consider sending prospective customers an intro video that talks about why you are interested in them (flatter), something important to them (research you did), and a call-to-action (“let’s set up a time to talk further”). Then, when you talk to them by phone or in person, they are already comfortable with you.
Don’t think you need to spend a lot of money on this. A good smartphone camera and lighting will do. Our favorite app to use is called Soapbox by Wistia.
3. Give pre-sales meeting content
A huge error you can make is setting up a sales meeting with a potential customer who does not have any information to engage with. This means that you will have to have many visits before you can convince the prospect, which takes too much time.
Instead, you can send out lead nurturing emails with helpful content before your meeting. For example, if you want to sell an X-Ray machine to “Hospital Administrator Alice,” send her a link to a blog that shows data on how managers saved time with your modern device.
You can also send out comparison charts that show the benefits of your product over your competition. Keep strategically educating your potential customers throughout the process to make yourself a reliable source.
4. Offer post-sales meeting content
Once you have had that first meeting, the prospect probably has some questions. Your responsibilities as a salesperson for your B2B tech business is to answer these questions and address any concerns.
You can send out emails with reports, case studies, or videos that resolve any worries. This content can then be used to engage other potential customers. Getting over barriers using content will help reduce the sales cycle dramatically.
5. Be honest about pricing
One of the biggest issues for your potential customers is the prices of your service or product. Even still, many salespeople skirt the issue until late in the sales process. This just puts more time into the cycle, and you don’t want that. Also, not giving this information from the start could cause you to lose trust. Being upfront on pricing will help you stay away from issues later on.
So how do you do this without scaring potential customers away? Make sure to show the value of your product or service, so the cost is shown in context. You can also use terms like “starting at $” or “from $.”
6. Use social proof
Social proof can help with your prospect’s trust more quickly and close the sale faster. You can send them case studies showcasing the return on investment or impact of your product and services. Make sure the company featured resembles that of your prospect’s company.
You can also find common connections on LinkedIn that could help introduce you to a potential client. This strategy is more effective than an arbitrary email. According to the B2B News Network, 84% of B2B decision makers start their buying process with a recommendation. You can also invite the prospect to a live event where they can meet other customers. This could help them make a more quick buying decision.
7. The bottom line
As hard as it can be to think about anything but closing sales and meeting your goals, it’s important to take time to understand your potential customers in and out. Your software tech sales cycle should be aligned with the lead nurturing process where you can act as a consultant for your leads while building trust and informing them of your product and service.
But this can be a lot to do alone. Responsify works with B2B tech sales and business development pros to offer strategy, support, and help in carrying out these tasks. By working together, we help marketing and salespeople bring in new site visitors, convert them to leads, and then happy clients.
Don’t hesitate to schedule a free strategy session to get ideas on how to integrate Inbound into your sales process, keep the sales cycle from getting too long, and close more sales.