It’s no secret that the sales cycle has changed a lot over the past few decades. Some may even say that sales reps that are new to the game have a bit of an advantage when it comes to learning and onboarding; they are typically tech-savvy, have fresh and mold-able minds that aren’t bogged down by old methodology, and can adapt quickly to new sales models and techniques. But what about sales reps and leaders who have not recognized the shift in technology and have not yet adapted to today’s sales cycle? After all, it’s changing every day and it can be hard to keep up. We have a few tips to help you understand what has changed and how you can modernize your approach to today’s sales cycle.
How B2B buying has changed
Here’s what changed. Sales used to own the sales cycle. No more. Buyers have grabbed control. Gartner says that they get 57% of the information they need on their own before engaging to sales.
Sellers today need to beat their numbers. And every day is an absolute grind. That’s because buyers want more: more value, more insight, more. Everyone is struggling to give buyers what they want.
When buyers come to salespeople, they expect sales to build off the research they’ve done, to provide them expertise, and give them what they think they need to make a decision.
The buyer is now in control
To elaborate on today’s buyers, it’s important to understand that they are in control of the sales cycle now, not the sales rep. Thanks to the Internet and increased brand presence on social media, it is very easy for buyers to find product information, read customer reviews, and avoid interacting with a salesperson altogether while in the buying process. Sales reps do not like hearing that their prospects are able to avoid interacting with them for a portion of the sales cycle. But in order to modernize their approach to today’s sales cycle, they must change how they interact with buyers and when. Buyers need to be guided by sales reps to a mutually favorable decision, but in a way that isn’t intrusive or excessive. This includes tailoring your sales pitch to each potential buyer and sharing contextually-appropriate sales content with buyers depending on where they are in the sales cycle.
Sales cycles go beyond the sale
Gone are the days of transactional selling when a customer relationship ends after the purchase is made. Since customers and buyers have access to other customers, reviews and experiences, it’s important to keep existing customers happy. Making sure the customer remains engaged and supported after the sale is now essential to ensure a positive company image and minimize churn. Sales organizations should make sure that customers have access their sales rep and support content whenever they need it. Sales reps should also check in periodically with their existing customers, both to uncover upsell and cross-sell opportunities and ensure that the customer is optimizing your product. Working closely with marketing teams can streamline these interactions so sales reps don’t need to spend a large chunk of time manually checking in with each and every customer.
For more ways that the sales cycle has changed and how you can modernize your approach to it, check out our free guide below!