The speed at which you move leads through your B2B company's sales pipeline will inevitably affect your sales revenue. Most leads require nurturing. They typically won't buy make a purchase during the initial contact. You can nurture them, however, while simultaneously moving them through your B2B company's sales pipeline. When a lead reaches the end of your B2B company's sales pipeline, he or she will become a customer.
Fortunately, sales velocity offers a way to measure how quickly leads move through your B2B company's sales pipeline. It's calculated by multiplying your number of leads by the average order value, followed by multiplying this number by your average conversion rate. You must then divide this number by your average sales cycle (e.g. the number of days it takes to close a typical sale). The end result is your sales velocity. How can you improve your B2B company's sales velocity exactly?
Focus on Lead Quality, Not Lead Quantity
Generating leads is important when selling products or services in the B2B industry, but it shouldn't be your primary objective. If all or most of your leads are low quality, they won't bring many new sales. Instead, they'll consume your time and resources while also contributing to a lower sales velocity.
You can improve your sales velocity by generating higher-quality leads. The number of leads you generate is still important, but the quality of those leads is what really matters. Low-quality leads are more difficult to convert than high-quality leads. Therefore, they'll clog up your sales pipeline without yielding sales revenue. For a higher sales velocity, you must focus on generating high-quality leads consisting of targeted decision-makers to whom you can effectively pitch your B2B company's products or services.
Upsell to Buyers
Another way to improve your sales velocity is to upsell. As mentioned above, average order value is a factor in the formula for sales velocity. The more money a typical buyer spends, the higher your sales velocity will be. If buyers generally spend a minimal amount of money on their orders, your sales velocity will naturally drop.
Upselling, of course, is a sales tactic that involves pitching a higher-priced version of a product or service to a buyer. If a buyer expresses interest in a product or service, you can ask the buyer if he or she is interested in a higher-priced version. Assuming the higher-priced version is valuable -- and you convey to this added value to the buyer -- he or she may choose it over the lower-priced version. This will boost your average order amount and, therefore, improve your sales velocity.
Cross-Sell to Buyers
In addition to upselling, cross-selling can improve your sales velocity. Cross-selling isn't the same as upselling. With cross-selling, you pitch products or services that are related to those in which a buyer has expressed interest in purchasing. Pitching an optional warranty, for example, is a form of cross-selling. A buyer who's interested in an industrial commercial machine may also be interested in a warranty. The only way you'll know is by cross-selling the warranty.
Although they work differently, upselling and cross-selling can both lead to a higher sales velocity. They encourage buyers to spend more money on their orders. Upselling may result in a buyer choosing a higher-priced product or service, whereas cross-selling may result in a buyer adding optional products or services to his or her order. Regardless, both sales tactics can improve your sales velocity by encouraging buyers to spend more money on their orders.
Contact Leads More Quickly
Don't hesitate to contact leads after acquiring their information. The longer you wait to communicate with a lead, the lower your chances of moving him or her through your B2B company's sales pipeline.
According to HubSpot, nearly one in four B2B companies neglect to contact new leads within the first 24 hours. They allow their leads to stagnate, which ultimately hurts their chances of generating a sale. By contacting leads more quickly, you can move them through your B2B company's sales pipeline. In turn, you'll have a higher conversion rate and a shorter sales cycle. Both of these metrics will improve your B2B company's sales velocity.
Look for Decision-Makers
Be on the lookout for decision-makers when generating leads. Decision-makers are professionals who play a vital role in running their respective business. They don't have to seek permission to make purchases. Decision-makers can make purchasing decisions on their own. When you target your sales activities towards decision-makers, you'll benefit from a higher conversion rate that subsequently improves your B2B company's sales velocity.
You can still contact lower-level workers at a target business, but decision-makers offer the greatest value. They are easier and faster to convert, and they won't clog up your sales pipeline. Following the tips outlined here will allow you to improve your B2B company's sales velocity.