How to overcome the eight most common barriers to accelerating your sales cycle

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No matter if your sales cycle is one week or 2 years, we all feel that the sales cycle is too long. The sales cycle has a direct impact on revenue and this becomes even more visible during a down economy. Many times, those of us in Product Management and Product Marketing roles blame the sales team for poor execution. While part of that is true, there are actions that Product Management and Product Marketing can take to help reduce the sales cycle and accelerate sales revenue. In this session, we’ll review the eight most common reasons for lengthening sales cycles and will propose ways to overcome these barriers in order to accelerate that sales cycle, accelerate sales revenue and make sales your Best Friend.

Published in: Business, Technology

How to overcome the eight most common barriers to accelerating your sales cycle

  1. 1. Copyright 2011 - LÛCRUM MARKETING<br />Make Sales Your Best Friend: What Product Marketing Can Do to Overcome the Eight Most Common Barriers to Accelerating Sales Revenue<br />Session Leader:<br />Tom Evans<br />Lûcrum Marketing<br />January 15, 2011<br />
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  3. 3. Typical sales cycle issues<br />Lack of sales methodology<br />Sales team (channel) has not been properly enabled<br />Solution does not address a significant (or top of mind) pain for the economic buyer<br />Your message doesn’t communicate compelling value<br />You’re selling to the wrong level of buyer<br />Sales leads not well qualified<br />Sales tools don’t help advance the sale<br />No system to track sales process (lack of visibility)<br />Copyright 2011 - LÛCRUM MARKETING<br />
  4. 4. Lack of Sales Methodology<br />Issue<br />Sales team does not have disciplined process to create, manage and track the sales opportunities<br />Steps to Overcome<br />Choose a methodology that best matches needs.<br />Train the full sales team (plus marketing and executives)<br />Build sales tools to support the methodology<br />Copyright 2011 - LÛCRUM MARKETING<br />
  5. 5. Sales team not enabled<br />Issue<br />Sales is selling everything to everyone with little effectiveness<br />Steps to Overcome<br />Create well defined market plan (target segments, buyer pains, messages, etc.)<br />Create core set of sales enablement tools<br />Presentation, Product Backgrounder, Questioning Prompters, etc.<br />Train the sales team (plus marketing and executives)<br />Copyright 2011 - LÛCRUM MARKETING<br />
  6. 6. Solution does not address a significant (or top of mind) pain for the economic buyer<br />Issue<br />Solutions solves problem, but not a big one.<br />Steps to Overcome<br />Discover key issues for buyers in your market<br />Market trends, business drivers, strategies, challenges, goals<br />Can you identify a need that you can add to your solution that increases the importance to the economic buyer?<br />Copyright 2011 - LÛCRUM MARKETING<br />
  7. 7. Message not communicating compelling value<br />Issue<br />Message does not cause buyers to want your solution.<br />Steps to Overcome<br />Discover key issues for buyers in your market<br />Market trends, business drivers, strategies, challenges, goals<br />Develop message(s) that speak to these<br />Focus on the top 2 – 3 messages that have the highest impact (value & differentiation)<br />Copyright 2011 - LÛCRUM MARKETING<br />
  8. 8. Selling to wrong level of buyer<br />Issue<br />Selling to the user, technical buyer or middle manager who has no authority to buy and maybe little influence.<br />Steps to Overcome<br />Sales training and/or sales enablement problem <br />Or maybe a hiring problem<br />Product doesn’t address an executive level problem<br />Copyright 2011 - LÛCRUM MARKETING<br />
  9. 9. Sales leads not well qualified<br />Issue<br />Bad sales leads waste time of the sales team, results in low conversion/close rates & long sales cycles<br />Steps to Overcome<br />Develop a well defined target market (Market Plan)<br />Specific segments & buyers<br />Define qualification criteria (work with sales on this)<br />E.g., revenue, employees, project budgeted, company profile, buyer role, order size, urgency<br />Copyright 2011 - LÛCRUM MARKETING<br />
  10. 10. Sales tools don’t help advance sale<br />Issue<br />Many bottlenecks in funnel, low conversion rates, sales don’t use tools, etc.<br />Steps to Overcome<br />Ask the sales team<br />Understand the typical buying process (and players)<br />Understand the key concerns, roadblocks for each buyer type at each phase of the sale<br />E.g., Cost (TCO), Needs Assessment, Business Case, Risk, ROI, References, Approval<br />Copyright 2011 - LÛCRUM MARKETING<br />
  11. 11. No system to track sales process<br />Issue<br />If you can’t track sales opportunities, you can’t manage them<br />Steps to Overcome<br />Implement a Sales Force Automation (SFA)/Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system<br />Manage sales funnel<br />Sales projections<br />Sales team performance<br />Copyright 2011 - LÛCRUM MARKETING<br />
  12. 12. Copyright 2011 - LÛCRUM MARKETING<br />Thank You!<br />Tom Evans<br />Lûcrum Marketing<br />tevans@lucrum-marketing.com<br />+1.512.961.5267<br />

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