I have been working with many organizations on their sales cycle lately. By optimizing the sales cycle, a business can drastically improve overall revenue. By shortening the sales cycle a firm can improve products faster, respond quicker to clients needs and improve overall client satisfaction.
First, we should really clarify what we mean by the sales cycle. I classify the sales cycle as the portion of the sales process that starts with a qualified lead and ends with a closed sale. Now the reason the sales cycle uses the term cycle (and one key to improving overall sales and revenue) are in the realization that a cycle is circular and that it should not end. This has two distinct applications in business; therefore, I like to ride the bi-sales-cycle (insert awkward lol here).
The first application is that if you move a qualified prospect through your sales cycle and they do not buy – then simply let them go around again. Too often sales people put the brakes on the wheels and simply try repeatedly to close this prospect. It is often much better to let them start back at the qualified prospect stage and go through the whole process again (but I never said you could not speed up the wheel if needed – just pedal faster).
The second application of the sales cycle is for when the client does buy your product. It should not end there. Do not simply kick them out of the sales cycle and let them free ride in your basket. Instead move them on to the next wheel where they enter another sales cycle to up-sell or cross-sell them on to a new product.