Your sales process is the key to revenue generation, with a faster sales cycle leading to increased revenue.
Having a fast sales cycle means that your sales people can concentrate on generating and closing leads without spending too much time on administration.
One of the many ways in which you can speed up your sales cycle is to automate steps that can otherwise be repetitive and time consuming. The best way to decide which of the processes in your sales cycle to automate is to follow these steps:
Understand your sales process
The sales process can be viewed as a funnel, with a top, middle and a bottom. These funnel stages follow the buyer's journey from stranger to customer. Each one of these stages has a different function and can be automated differently.
- The top of the funnel is where you capture leads that may or may not really be interested in your product. They don’t want to buy (yet) but are interested in your services or product. Here you can automate newsletters to be sent out monthly to a wide mailing list, or generate leads using online advertising.
- The middle of the funnel is where you nurture these leads until they are ready to purchase your product. This is the longest step in your sales process, and one which should be done by your sales team. Allocate as much time as possible to this process by automating the other two steps in the sales process.
- The bottom of the funnel is where the client purchases your service or product. Again, much of this can be automated by having automated purchase orders and an automated quoting system.
Create automated offers and calls to action
The simplest way to get new leads into your sales cycle is to create tempting offers for each step in the buyer's journey. First, entice them to view your website, then provide them with dynamic content that aligns with their wants and need. Finally, give them additional offers, such as eBooks, whitepapers, and templates, to push them further down the funnel.
Once you’ve decided what you are going to offer you need to figure out how and when to present this offer. This is where the call to action comes in. The simplest way to get a potential customer’s email address is to put the information of the offer on one page of your website, and create a squeeze page to capture email addresses and keep the offer separate from the rest of your business website. You can also create multiple landing pages for multiple customer profiles.
Many of these steps can be automated with smart website design and a robust marketing automation software..
Once a potential lead has expressed a desire to buy your product, or service make their experience as painless as possible. Consider having an automated quote generator that can provide your sales team with reliable and correct quotes in a short amount of time.