You probably don’t need me to tell you that the B2B sales process is rather involved - and quite lengthy, too.
Of course, the more time, energy, and resources you invest into making each sale, the lower your overall ROI will be. Additionally, an elongated sales cycle also costs you in potential gains, as well.
Looking at things from another perspective, the less time and energy it takes your company to make a sale, the more you stand to gain. Not only will your ROI increase, but you’ll also be able to reinvest the time and energy you’ve saved into making even more sales.
With that said, it’s clear that streamlining your sales pipeline can enable your company to operate at maximum capacity, and to reach its true potential.
In this article, we’ll discuss four ways to accelerate your B2B sales pipeline, allowing you to sell more, and close sales faster, in the process.
4 Simple Ways to Accelerate Your B2B Sales Pipeline
Before we dive into the following strategies, it’s important to understand that these aren’t “hacks” intended to force your prospective customers through the sales process faster than they’re comfortable with.
On the contrary, the strategies we’ll focus on are meant to enhance your clients’ experiences with your organization even before they officially lock into an agreement with you. Essentially, by implementing the following strategies, you’ll be creating a scenario in which both sides of the situation benefit greatly.
With this in mind, let’s now dive in.
Focus Heavily on High-Probability Leads
Naturally, you want to put the most effort into working with leads that show a high probability of converting.
But this doesn’t mean just focusing on prospects who are in dire need of the solution you provide - that’s a given. It also means narrowing your focus onto those who have the ability and capacity to utilize your services effectively - and who can afford it, too.
Say, for example, your company offers software aimed at helping enterprise companies track spending. While the software would also benefit smaller companies as well, it likely includes features that are superfluous to the current needs of said smaller companies - meaning they wouldn’t be able to use the software to its fullest potential, anyway. Not only that, but these smaller companies probably wouldn’t be able to afford the software, either.
Needless to say, any time and energy spent entertaining a smaller company’s request for more information (knowing full well they won’t end up converting) would be wasted on your end. As we said earlier, not only does this equate to lost resources up front, but it also means you’ll have lost out on potential gains had these resources been better allocated in the first place.
At any rate, by becoming laser-focused on highly-qualified leads, you’ll all but ensure that the prospects you engage with will move through the sales cycle with relative ease.
Individualize the Process for Each Prospect
Your potential customers are used to being sold to. They’ve heard every generic sales pitch under the sun, and they know all the tricks of the trade, so to speak.
As we mentioned earlier, your goal shouldn’t just be to make a sale - it should be to make your prospects confident that they’re making the right decision in making the purchase.
So, rather than relying on boilerplate explanations and descriptions of how your offer solves a “typical” problem for your “typical” client, take the time to truly understand how your offer will help each individual prospect you engage with.
Dig deep into your prospects’ specific pain points and problems. Not only will this allow them to gain a better understanding of how your offer will benefit their company, but it will also prove to them that you truly care about helping them overcome a specific issue.
It’s also important to address your potential customers’ objections and hesitations openly and honestly. Rather than downplaying their worries, focus on alleviating them. Again, this will show them that your main goal is to help them solve a problem - not just make a sale.
To support your claims that a given prospect will benefit from your solution, you can provide them with case studies focusing on former clients who faced a similar scenario in the past. Once more, rather than peddling a generic solution, this will allow you to prove the value of your service in a way that will matter to a specific prospect - and get them closer to making a purchase in the process.
Be Transparent From the Get-Go
In the interest of, again, providing value to your prospective customers at all times, you want to be open and honest with them when discussing any and all aspects of your future business relationship.
Despite the fact that this seems pretty obvious when written out, it’s not unheard of for service providers to withhold certain information (e.g., pricing, terms of service, etc.) until a prospect is all but locked into a deal. The thought process here is that customers might be more likely to accept certain disappointments after they’ve been overloaded with positive information about a given service.
However, this is rarely how things play out in reality. Typically, withholding information until the last moment will lead to one of two things happening:
- The customer feels pressured to make the purchase, and does so - but quickly decides to never do business with the company again
- The customer feels as if the company was trying to trick them into making a purchase, and decides not to convert
Obviously, neither situation is a best-case scenario. Not only do they both equate to a loss of future business for the service provider, but, once more, the provider will have wasted a ton of resources that end up never paying off.
Now, the reason some service providers are afraid of implementing such immediate transparency is because they believe that they’ll scare prospects away in the process. For example, if a company makes it clear that their services cost $5,000 from the get-go, some prospects won’t take any steps further.
The truth is: these same customers probably wouldn’t end up converting anyway. In other words, being less-than-transparent simply delays the inevitable.
On the other hand, being immediately transparent allows companies to determine whether a specific prospect is worth following up with in the first place - allowing them to hit the ground running with their sales efforts.
Use Technology to Simplify the Process
It’s not just the act of selling that takes time during the sales process; it’s also the logistics of the process, as well.
As is the case in many areas of business, the use of technology can make the logistical aspects of the sales process much easier - both for the service provider and the customer.
For instance, CRMs can allow sales teams to track customer profiles, log communications, and more with relative ease. As all individuals within the team have access to this centralized database of information at all times, using a CRM can cut down on instances of miscommunication, redundant communications, and other missteps that can hinder the sales process.
Another way in which technology can speed up your sales pipeline is by providing prospects with access to a variety of information regarding your company’s services and offerings. By setting up a customer portal, for example, you can enable prospects to immediately find the information they need - in turn getting them closer to making a purchase with much less overall effort.
Lastly, you can utilize electronic signature software to make it incredibly easy for prospects to officially become customers. Rather than needing to send physical documentation back and forth numerous times, your new customers can simply submit an electronic form immediately - allowing you to get a jump on your new business relationship right away.