The B2B software technology sales cycle can last anywhere between a few weeks, to months, or even years. From sales experts we talk to in the industry, eight months is the standard. According to a current report by Demand Gen, cycles have become longer since there are more decision-makers in the B2B buying process. Additionally, these buyers are spending more time doing their own research before buying, which means less interaction with salespeople but the same amount of time.
Here are some great ways to reduce the B2B software technology sales cycle:
Align your content with the Buyer’s Journey
Your leads go through phases of the Buyer’s Journey. For that reason, you need to create content that is lined up with their corresponding phase. This will make it easier to inform them, move them to the next phase, and convert them into happy customers.
Awareness Phase: Here, your leads don’t really know what they need. They are trying to recognize their issues. For this phase, make sure you supply the prospect with informative content that solves their problems. This could be content on your website like blogs or infographics or longer content like ebooks or whitepapers. As you help them identify whether your B2B Tech service is right for them, you can also establish yourself and their concerns. This will help you concentrate on qualified leads.
Consideration Phase: Potential customers now know their issue and are ready to solve it. They are looking for different options. You can give them content that places you as an authority in the industry and offers remedies. Whitepapers, webinars, case studies, and overviews are helpful to promote your company over the competition. Your content should not focus on specific options from your B2B tech firm just yet, though. It should concentrate on informing them. Buzz Sumo’s professional webinar series where leads can get guidance, techniques, and pointers are great for this phase.
Decision Phase: Your leads have decided on an option. They are now contrasting the pros and cons of different B2B Tech firms to see which is best for them. Content like demo videos, contrast graphs, free trials, and product summaries are perfect for this phase. You can also leverage industry-specific case studies, blogs, and online calculators that help compute your B2B Tech firm’s ROI.
Use email automation to inform leads
According to the Salesforce State of Marketing report (2017), 67% of marketing and sales leaders use automation software. It also found that over the next two years, an additional 21% will start using it. You can reduce your software technology sales cycle dramatically by automating your work. For example, instead of manually posting social media articles and sending out lead nurturing emails, you can get software to do it automatically. The content in your automated emails and social media posts will help nurture your potential customers to make it easier to convert them to clients. Automating your sales initiatives will help reduce your sales cycle and how much you spend on each lead. Automation will also free up your time and let you spend more of it on other parts of your work as a sales rep.
Offer ways to request rates and show value
One of the first things a prospect will want to know is the cost of your product or service. If your B2B tech company is competitively priced, consider a “request a quote” button on your site. This could help you start the conversation to discover as much as you can about their needs (before giving the actual price), and then show value. This will help you be receptive to energetic leads in the Decision phase of the Buyer’s Journey and will shorten your software technology sales cycle.
Follow-up your content with regular calls
Blogs, social media posts, whitepapers, case studies, and reports are great ways to move your leads through the sales cycle. But, as a good salesperson who wants to decrease that cycle, phone calls are also good to move things along. Calls let you build a relationship with your potential customer. They also give you a chance to respond to any questions or concerns in real time. A report by the Marketing Donut found that 80% of sales requires five additional calls to meet the needs of the prospect. The function of these calls is not just to sell. Instead, use them to inform the prospect on the value of your offer. This means that a call can be useful in any phase of the Buyer’s Journey.
The big takeaways
B2B software technology sales cycles can be long, and it’s important to reduce them for all leads on your leads. The ideas above, part of the Inbound Sales Methodology, will help you plan your strategy throughout your sales process to make both you and your leads feel great and have their needs addressed throughout the software technology sales cycle.
It can be tough to do this all alone. We at Responsify work with B2B technology sales and business development pros to offer strategy, support, and help in applying these tasks. By working together, we help marketing and salespeople bring in new site visitors, convert them to qualified leads, and then accelerate the closing process.
We’ve helped many gifted salespeople integrate the Inbound Methodology into their sales process. Don’t hesitate to schedule your free strategy session to help review your methods and find ways to reduce the sales cycle!