You Can Own the Sales Cycle

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Uncertainty. Unpredictability. Unreliability. This is the life of many salespeople, and it’s a scramble to turn results out of chaos.

According to the experts, you can own the sales cycle and create constructive relationships that generate consistent results.

The Perpetual Sales Cycle

Todd Cohen, a professional speaker and author who works with companies to build sales culture, told ZoomInsights that his philosophy begins with the perpetual sales cycle.

According to Cohen, “Some people think the cycle ends when they begin to see revenue. But if you end a sales cycle, you end the potential to take that relationship with you throughout your career. Smart companies encourage people to retain good customers.”

Alice Heiman, “The Sales Connector”, shares this notion of an ongoing relationship. The sales strategist, author and speaker said, “The sales cycle doesn’t end with the close. It goes further to retaining the customer and growing them.”

To Own It, You Must Know It

Heiman recognizes that every sales cycle is a different length and full of variables such as price, development requirements, etc. She emphasized the importance of knowing your sales cycle. “You can’t own it if you don’t know what it is,” she said.

Cohen believes the entire organization must clearly understand the sales cycle so everyone can support it. While he emphasized that owning the cycle means taking personal responsibility, he said that an organization that silos the sales process will fail create a successful sales culture.

Proactive is Productive

Cohen and Heiman agreed that proactivity is essential for owning the sales cycle. For example, Cohen said it is fine to pick up the phone and call a customer with no other reason than to see how the customer is doing, as long as you are building a relationship. “Great sales happen because of great relationships and great sales culture,” said Cohen.

Heiman had advice to gain ownership early in the sales cycle. “Most people don’t ask the right questions in their first call, which slows the whole cycle down from the start. It may seem awkward, but to keep control, you have to ask the right questions.” Here are some tips:

  • Up front, make sure you understand your client’s needs and the results they are looking for.
  • Then find out who else will be involved in making the (purchase) decision, how will it be made.
  • Determine the budget.
  • Next, focus on helping your customers make good decisions and collaborate with them to consider all options.

Keep the relationship ongoing. “Remember,” said Heiman, “‘No’ might be ‘not now.’ Don’t assume it is ‘no, never.'”

When you do get a “yes,” both Cohen and Heiman agree that it is your job to make sure you have a satisfied customer to create a lasting relationship. As Heiman put it, “Only a satisfied customer will buy again and provide referrals. Once you have a satisfied customer, you have the opportunity to turn them into a loyal customer, which is a customer for a lifetime.”

If you have any questions about your sales cycle or want to decrease the length of your sales cycle, please contact me at answers@aliceheiman.com or call to schedule a free consultation 775-852-5020.

About the Author Alice Heiman

Alice Heiman has been helping companies increase sales for more than 20 years. Her innovative sales leadership programs, coupled with her top-down approach to creating long-term change, set up sales leaders and sales-managing business owners to get consistent and sustainable growth.

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