Posted On Friday, October 23, 2020 by Cherise Kennerley
Long sales cycles are a rollercoaster ride. Sometimes the sales lead is responsive and the situation moves forward, and sometimes it stalls. As sales and marketing professionals, we try to determine how to make the long sales cycle experience like a short trip on a flat road.
What is a Long Sales Cycle?
A long sales cycle is an opportunity. It allows us to get to know the prospect, build rapport and establish a level of trust. The challenge is multiplying that by X number of other prospects and determining what to consistently place in front of the contacts to keep you and your company’s solution top of mind.
Here are a few communication tools to consider:
- Case Studies or Use Cases: Case studies or use cases are a great way to prove that your solution works. Ask your marketing department for a case study that best represents the particular solution. Try to learn more about the case studies that best match your prospect. You can have a deeper conversation with the prospect which may result in gaining further details on their business.
- Customer Results: The prospect is interested in two areas: results and cost. Go back through the customers you’ve gained and find out what happened once the product or service was implemented. This will help you to create a ‘library’ of results that can be used to help close additional business. For instance, “a large company installed a new (fill in here) and received 50% improvement in…
- Articles: Press is viewed as credible information. Articles are generally written by a third-party publication, but it also may be an article your company has written and placed on the Internet or website. This can also be used as credible information. Articles may be used as support documentation during the sales cycle or waiting period for a decision. Be sure to use our News Alert feature to get the topics most relevant to you and your prospects.
- Video: Video is a very popular choice as it’s quick and easy to gain information fast. Video can be used to enhance the client experience by educating the viewer about your company’s product or service. A video can demonstrate how a product works, installation method or provide evidence that the product can solve a particular problem.
- Customer Visit: Customer visits are a great way to visually ‘see’ and therefore prove what you have been saying all along. It can be the final reason why the prospect should buy your product or service. But remember, customer visits require plenty of preparation. Many customer visits can be virtual done. As long as you have a lap top or a phone, log into Zoom, Go To Meeting and create the tour and question and answer session as if you both there live.
- White Paper: A white paper is an authoritative report or guide that addresses issues and discusses how to solve them. They are used to educate readers and provide information to make educated decisions. Find out if your company has any that they have written.
- Video Testimonials: A video testimonial allows prospects to watch and listen to your new customer share their experiences, kind words and excitement for your product and service. This is a powerful tool as more people turn to video to gain information. Whether it’s of professional quality or taken with your iPhone, prospects enjoy the reality of the conversation.
- Customer Survey: Be sure to send a follow up customer survey after the installation is complete. Ask questions, gain insights and keep track of the stats of incoming implementations.
Now that you have 9 different ways to communicate with the customer during the long sales cycle, it’s time to smooth out the curves which can help you to close the business faster and with purpose.