When it comes to sales, nothing seems to happen fast enough. I’m sure if I asked all the CEOs I know and work with, they would agree.
But how do we speed up the sales process so we see quicker results?
Let’s look at four distinct areas that CEOs can focus on to speed up sales in their organization.
Check Your Mindset!
For starters, most CEOs need to check to see if they need to change their mindset or expectations.
So much of the sales success in your organization revolves around the mindset of your sales team. But it also revolves around your mindset and how you view the sales process.
Ask yourself the following:
Is your mindset preventing sales?
Do you have a negative mindset about sales?
Do you have a negative mindset about your sales leadership?
Do you have a negative mindset about your sales team?
If you have a negative mindset about any of the above, it’s time to change it.
Likewise, if you are thinking:
Our sales team never . . .
Our managers don’t . . .
Why can’t they just . . .
You need to look at the situation and adjust your thinking. Find and focus on all the positives rather than the negatives. Believe it or not, your attitude about sales may be preventing sales.
Check Your Expectations
Once you have the right mindset about sales, you need to check your expectations. I find company leaders and investors often have unrealistic expectations around sales, given the resources provided
When it comes to sales, you need to clearly understand your sales cycle and the time and resources it takes from prospect to close. Many companies don’t put enough resources into lead generation. This leads to a lack of leads to fill the pipeline and get the needed results.
To optimize the sales pipeline and speed up sales, you need to be realistic about how long it will take deals to close and understand how many qualified leads it takes to keep your sales funnel full.
You also need to recognize that it costs money to generate leads. Look at your budget. You may need to change it or reset your expectations based on it. Or. you may need to spend your budget differently. I see so much money wasted on tactics that are not generating leads.
Concentrate on Building Trust
There are many factors that can speed up sales, but in my opinion, the fastest way to speed up sales is through trust.
As Stephen M.R. Covey says, “When there is trust, things happen quickly.”
We all know that is true. The question is, what are your salespeople doing to build trust with each prospect? Are they involving subject matter experts? Are they positioning senior leadership properly?
As the CEO, you should be as concerned about customer retention as you are about new logos and the bottom line. If you want a customer for life, rather than a customer for now, you need to ensure that your sales leadership knows how to coach their sales teams to make that happen. There is no doubt that they can close some deals without trust. But is that the culture you want? Does that get you where you need to be in the end?
We used to say, “People need to know you, like you, and trust you before they will buy from you.”
It’s not about liking someone, although that doesn’t hurt. And too many salespeople are overly concerned about whether people like them. Your sales leaders need to learn to coach on that.
The saying now should be, “They need to know you and trust you before they will buy from you.”
Putting pressure on someone can decrease trust. When you, as CEO, put tremendous pressure on your sales leaders and sales teams, they do things they wouldn’t do under less pressured circumstances. Those things are usually not good for the customer or your company. Decreasing trust causes them to work from a place of fear. The pressure tells them, perform, or get fired.
Sometimes there is so much pressure to sell that they barely give the decision-makers a chance to buy. Again, is this the culture you want to perpetuate, or do you want a customer-focused approach that supports the customer through the buyer journey and gives you a customer for life?
Think about when you, as a CEO, are making a decision to buy. Are you going to buy from someone who pressures you and that you don’t trust?
The decision-makers your salespeople are selling to are not going to buy unless they trust your salespeople, your team, and your company. How can you expect them to trust if the time hasn’t been spent to get to know them, let them know your team, understand their situation, share insights and add value?
#SALESTIP: At times, there can be so much pressure to sell, we barely give the decision-makers a chance to buy. Click to tweet
Building trust takes time. It is part of the sales process. And if you are thinking that spending the time lengthens your sales cycle, in fact, it is the exact opposite.
“The speed of trust is fast.”
6 Resources to Help Speed up Sales
Here are some resources to share with your sales team to speed up your sales and close more deals.
- Turn Your Lists into Leads actions.
- Get Introductions – Have them find introductions to the people they need to meet!
- Get Social – Use Social Media throughout the entire sales process.
- Get Creative – Don’t do what everyone else is doing.
- Use Video email – Check out BombBomb , Vidyard or Dubb and tell them I sent you.
- Start a book club and read How to Get a Meeting with Anyone by my friend Stu Heinecke
Want more ideas on how you can support sales and speed things up. Watch this 40- minute conversation I had with Peter Strohkob called The CEO Imperative: Reboot your Sales Now.
Alice is nationally known for her expertise in elevating sales to increase valuation for companies with a B2B complex sale that have exceptional growth potential. She’s originally, from the widely known Miller Heiman Group. Spending her time strategizing with CEOs and their leadership teams to build the strategies that find new business and grow existing accounts is her passion. Her clients love her spirit and the way she energizes their sales organization.