Extend Your Sales Cycle for Better ROI

sales cycle

In a post for Eye on Sales, Kendra Lee explains why a short sales cycle can adversely affect return on investment.

“It’s an issue we see with many of our clients,” she writes. “In their haste to close a sale, they try to gather all the information needed to write a proposal in just one meeting. Then they send the proposal and try to close.”

Lee says this approach is ineffective for a variety of reasons, particularly in high-stakes sales, as is the case with this client who sells IT services.

(See Secret sauce of the greatest salespeople)

She suggests stretching out the sales cycle by creating reasons for more than one meeting, using the following ideas:

Use two or three meetings to gather background information and understand needs.

Set up a meeting to review the proposal with the prospect. Don’t just send it. Go through it together in detail.

Schedule a proposal follow-up meeting to answer any lingering questions, which would be another time to try and close the opportunity.

Email the prospect between meetings to remain top-of-mind and continue building a relationship. You can simply remind the prospect about your next appointment or you might include an article, customer success story or other useful content related to his or her issue.

(See Is Your Sales Incentive Structure Fulfilling Its Purpose?)

“Not only is it likely to increase your win rate, it may actually speed up the sales cycle because you make it easier for your prospects to say “yes,” when you’ve earned their trust,” she writes.

For more on the sales cycle, read Lee’s full post here.

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