Buyer Enablement

How to Shorten the B2B Sales Cycle – Top 6 Secret Hacks for Faster Sales

Discover how to shorten the sales cycle with our top 6 SaaS strategies. Unveil the meaning behind the term & get real-world examples for faster sales!

Rory Sadler
October 27, 2023
February 24, 2024
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Discover how to shorten the sales cycle with our top 6 SaaS strategies. Unveil the meaning behind the term & get real-world examples for faster sales!

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Did you know that the B2B sales cycle is getting longer? According to a 2020 Demand Gen report, 68% of respondents said their B2B sales cycle had increased year-on-year.

For around three-quarters of sales reps, it takes at least 4 months to close with a new customer – around half of the deals take 7 months or more.

Learning how to shorten sales cycles doesn't just save you time, but it means you close more deals in a year. That's more sales, more time, more profit.

But what does 'shorten the sales cycle' mean? How do you shorten the sales cycle in SaaS? And what are the best strategies for making faster sales? Read on to find out.

In this article:

  • What Does 'Shorten the Sale Cycle' Mean?
  • How Do You Shorten Sales Cycles in SaaS?
  • Shorten Sales Cycle Examples
  • How Does Trumpet Shorten the Sales Cycle

What Does 'Shorten the Sale Cycle' Mean?

'Shorten the sales cycle' refers to the time it takes to convert a prospect into a customer. The sales cycle, or sales funnel, covers everything from a prospect's first interaction with a brand to their first purchase (and even goes beyond).

During the sales cycle, a prospect learns more about your brand (and about their requirements). Streamlining this process can increase efficiency, boost revenue, and improve customer satisfaction.

Strategies to shorten the sales cycle include qualifying leads more effectively, creating a content hub to educate prospects, and using tech tools (like digital sales rooms) to speed up and automate the process (see more below).

Most of all, it's critical to eliminate any unnecessary steps – mapping your sales cycle from start to finish can help you identify where you're going wrong.

How Do You Shorten Sales Cycles in B2B SaaS?

First up: why is it taking so long? It didn't used to take months and months to convert clients. What's changed?

There are two primary answers:

  1. Companies prefer to do more research now than ever. Daniel Priestly coined the '7, 11, 4' rule – the average buyer consumes 7 hours of content, connects over 11 touchpoints, and expects 4 channels for interaction.
  2. Businesses are also wasting time on pointless activities. Sales reps only spend 22% of their week selling. Some 'waste of time' activities include unproductive prospecting or searching for content.

Providing more information and focusing on funnelling customers toward a sale is key to shortening your sales cycle. Try these 6 proven strategies:

1. Automate Your Sales Cycle

To free up your sales team, automate as much of your sales cycle as possible. For example, introducing a customer relationship manager (CRM) can streamline your sales process. Through these platforms, you can set an email workflow to automatically follow up on leads or to help identify the leads most likely to convert.

By automating your sales cycle, your team can prioritise high-level tasks like building relationships or closing deals – not completing admin.

2. Boost Your Lead Scoring

Don't waste your time pursuing a prospect who will never convert. Lead scoring helps you identify the most promising prospects, ensuring you see a higher conversion rate.

Numerous platforms now use AI to assist in lead scoring. They use factors like lead behaviour, engagement level, and demographic information to assign a complex score to a lead, ranking them within your database.

The more likely a lead is to convert, the less effort it takes to do so – thereby shortening your sales cycle. It's a no-brainer!

3. Create a Digital Sales Room

A digital sales room is a virtual space tailored to a specific prospect. It's fast becoming a go-to tool among sales teams, designed to educate, engage, and convert a lead from their first interaction to the final sale.

You can customise your digital sales room, or DSR, with key information, videos, content, competitor analysis, and even mutual action plans. Some platforms, like trumpet, let you auto-personalise the space (drawing on info in your CRM) as well as tracking prospect behaviour within the DSR.

Providing everything the lead needs to know in a single location makes it easier for prospects to make an informed decision quickly.

4. Build a Content Hub

What's holding your prospect back? Most likely, unanswered questions. Building a sizeable content hub is a simple way to answer whatever questions your prospect has. That could include product information, FAQs, case studies, blog posts, videos, podcasts, testimonials, and other relevant content.

Ensure your hub is searchable and organised to help your prospect find what they're looking for. You can also add content to an email marketing campaign, digital sales room, or other platforms to help further shorten the sales cycle (and improve your customer experience).

5. Devise a Mutual Action Plan

Struggling to get a B2B buyer to reply or provide you with the relevant information? You're not alone. It's a frequent problem for B2B sales teams.

The solution is the mutual action plan. Rather than going through the sales cycle piecemeal, you should establish a MAP right at the beginning. In the plan, list precisely what's needed to guarantee the sale. That includes required information, who's responsible, timelines, and more.

Creating a clear and mutually agreed-upon plan ensures both parties are on the same page and working toward the same goal.

Trumpet includes MAPs as a standard in every digital sales funnel. It's a fundamental tool to help speed up the sales process and keep either side engaged.

6. Utilise Customer Feedback and Analytics

Regularly gather and analyse feedback to speed up your sales cycle. Identify the points in the cycle that slow down the overall process or where customers drop off. Focus your efforts on streamlining these points speaking to customers about their frustrations and concerns.

Tools like customer surveys, feedback forms, and analytics platforms can help identify patterns and common obstacles prospects encounter during their journey.

Look for patterns in the feedback and data to understand where customers are getting stuck or losing interest. Improvements could include clearer messaging, more relevant information, or a streamlined onboarding process.

Additionally, this continuous improvement process will contribute to a better customer experience, further increasing the likelihood of conversions and repeat business.

Shorten Sales Cycle Examples

Shortening the sales cycle isn't just for small brands. Companies, big and small, use these techniques to try to supercharge their company's performance.

Here are some real-world examples of shortening the sales cycle:

Dropbox's Referral Program

Dropbox wanted to increase its user base without lengthening its sales cycle. They implemented a referral program that rewarded existing users with more storage space if they referred friends. This strategy leveraged user satisfaction and shortened the cycle for new user acquisition.

Salesforce's Live Demos

Salesforce, a leading CRM platform, offers live demos. This direct engagement tactic lets potential customers see the software in action, ask questions, and understand its utility, all of which can significantly reduce decision-making time.

HubSpot's Content Marketing

HubSpot is renowned for its inbound marketing strategy. Providing valuable content – from blogs to webinars – attracts businesses looking for marketing solutions. This informative approach shortens the sales cycle by addressing potential customers' questions and concerns upfront.

Adobe's Switch from Licensing to Subscription

Adobe transitioned its product offerings from one-time licensing to a cloud-based subscription model (Adobe Creative Cloud). This shift made it easier and more affordable for users to get started, thus quickening the purchase decision.

Zappos' Customer Service

Zappos, an online shoe and clothing retailer, focuses on exceptional customer service, including easy returns and fast shipping. By eliminating common eCommerce pain points and uncertainties, they reduced customers' hesitation before purchasing.

How Does trumpet Shorten the Sales Cycle

Part of the problem is that the sales cycle is scattered across numerous platforms and communication channels.

Trumpet works to centralise the complete sales cycle into a single digital sales room or 'pod.' This virtual space covers everything from cold outreach all the way to onboarding.

Best of all, it integrates seamlessly with other tools like CRMs. That means you can auto-personalise the pod, tailoring the content to the customer. Answer customer queries, introduce your product or service, and even create a mutual action plan within a single microsite.

Simple. Easy. Effective. There's a reason sales, customer success, and marketing teams love trumpet!

Moreover, as prospects browse the pod, we'll track everything they do – providing valuable buying intent data that lets you know who's ready to buy. Oh, and your centralised content library will answer any and all questions your customer will have – helping to speed up the early stages of the buyer's journey.

Want to learn more? Book a FREE demo with Trumpet to get started.

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