Sales velocity series: Part 2 of 4
Accelerating the sales decision-making process is a key part of increasing your sales velocity.
The speed of your sales cycle has a direct impact on business growth. Faster decision making allows you to turn your attention to new clients and win more deals; slow decision making eats up valuable time and limits progress.
Speeding up decision making is a topic that comes up frequently in our sales coaching sessions. This article will give you six ideas to start with, from building urgency to winning over multiple stakeholders.
Visit the other articles in our sales velocity series here:
- How to improve your conversion rates
- Increasing the number of sales opportunities
- How to increase average order value
1. Explain what’s in it personally
The first step in speeding up decision making is to show clients what’s in it for them personally.
It’s normal to focus on the benefits for the wider business in your sales pitch. But if your main stakeholder isn’t personally invested, deals can slow and eventually stagnate.
Make sure your client sees how your solution will affect them as an individual. You can do this by focusing on one question: why is it worth their time?
Ideally, you want to reach the point where your client feels a sense of ownership over your offering. It’s no longer just your solution: it’s their solution. Once they reach that point, they’ll be more likely to:
- Advocate internally and externally
- Put you into consideration stage
- Pay a premium
- Reach a decision faster
2. Interact with other stakeholders
The majority of deals are single threaded, where the rep has one core point of contact. But there are more decision makers than ever – an average of 11.2 stakeholders are now involved in the process.
It doesn’t marry up. Focusing on one champion puts the deal at risk, because they could easily leave or be overridden by others. So how do you mitigate this risk?
You need to take everyone on the journey. Reach out to different stakeholders to understand:
- Do they want to do something different?
- Are they seeing a compelling reason to change?
- How strong of an influencer are they?
- Are they aligned with your solution?
3. Show there’s a compelling reason to change
Over 50% of deals end up in no decision.
The biggest reason why? The stakeholder group can’t decide whether to change from the status quo or how to make the decision. This is a rut you don’t want to fall into, because it’s difficult to climb back out.
Make a case for change from the start. Your first interactions have a huge impact on the speed of the sales cycle later on, so create urgency from the beginning. Don’t wait for your main pitch to be delivered.
4. Understand your client’s priorities
It’s important to understand your client’s problems, but also how they’re prioritised.
Learn where the challenge you’re solving sits in their priorities. Show them what will happen if they don’t act now. If it feels like a significant problem, they’re more likely to prioritise it and commit to change. This makes it much easier to speed up the sale.
- What will happen if they don’t change
- What they could miss out on
- The long-term consequences of not changing
You can also bring these implications to life by sharing stories from other companies you have helped before.
5. Create collateral for stakeholders
Many stakeholders’ first connection with your business is via a proposal or presentation. At this stage, it’s late in the sales cycle – but there’s still work to be done.
Remember, you need to:
- Get the whole stakeholder group on board
- Take them on a journey that leads them to prioritise change
To speed up the process, create collateral that factors in the perspective of the stakeholders. Your collateral should answer these questions:
- Why do we need to change now?
- Why do we need to choose you?
- What impact is this going to have?
If the documents you send don’t answer these questions, your deal is at risk of losing priority to something else.
6. Collaborate to help your client sell it on
Even with the best sales collateral, it’s still on your champion to get the deal over the line. You need to help them fend off objections from other stakeholders.
Be collaborative. Work with them to:
- Explain why it’s the right time for your solution
- Understand the decision-making process
- Predict potential objections in advance
Want more expert tips on how to increase sales velocity and drive business growth? Download our free Sales Velocity whitepaper, follow us on LinkedIn for updates or sign up to our newsletter at the bottom of this page.