Too many companies are completely lost when it comes
to optimizing their sales cycle.
Most people realize that an optimal sales cycle can be
critical to success in the business world and especially in the B2B world.
That’s why we want to help you sharpen your focus, so you
can concentrate on what really makes a difference and help you increase your
Given that a typical B2B sales cycle takes about 102
days, anything you can do to optimize the cycle and lower that number is
So what is the solution?
A good customer relationship management (CRM) tool is
the key to successful optimization of the sales cycle.
In this article, we tell you how by implementing a
powerful and at the same time easy-to-use CRM, you can positively influence
The sales cycle deconstructed
We don’t want to sound condescending and talk too much
about the basic mechanics of a sales cycle, if you’re here you probably already
know most of it.
We want to give you a quick overview of a typical
sales journey and then go straight into how a CRM can help you optimize the
The basic flow in the sales cycle is usually as
Prospecting > Initial Contact > Qualifying Leads
> Nurturing Leads > Offer > Negotiations > Closing the Sale/Deal
The cycle is then completed by existing customers or
clients referring your product or service to others, which means the process
starts all over again.
Customer retention is another phase, but it is usually
considered separate from the sales cycle. Customer retention is more related to
customer service and support, which is another area where a CRM comes in handy.
57.3% of sales departments state that they use some form of Lead Intelligence
tool, e.g. a CRM, for their prospecting needs.
Using a CRM to optimize your sales cycle
Now let’s look at the relevant steps in the sales
cycle individually and how a CRM, combined with a well-thought-out sales
strategy, can help improve the productivity of your sales team and shorten the
average time it takes to close a deal.
A good CRM platform gives you a 360° overview of your
leads and prospects. The type of data you receive includes demographic
information, location information and behavioral information. All of this data
can be analyzed to help you target your prospecting efforts much more
A CRM gives you a single, centralized place to store
information about all your potential customers. You can then use your CRM to
build detailed customer profiles, add sales manuals, and create communication
templates that are easy for your sales team to access and help them succeed the
first time they make contact.
Qualifying of leads
Some CRM platforms for sales, e.g. Efficy, enables
integration with third-party applications that enable salespeople to qualify
leads more efficiently. It’s quick and easy to add an API that allows for
automatic tracking of email opens and other behavioral metrics.
Care of leads
Nurturing a lead is all about good and focused
communication. A CRM helps you automate tasks like email sending and also gives
you tons of information about your leads so you can create tailored and
value-driven email communication sequences.
The information you receive from your CRM helps you
present attractive and personalized offers to your leads. A CRM also helps your
sales team to streamline the process of sending out offers to multiple leads
The negotiation stage of the sales cycle is about
answering questions and meeting objections. This step can be facilitated by
implementing a CRM platform that automates communication and includes features
such as automatic dialing and automatic display of customer or lead data.
Complete the sale or deal The last step in the sales cycle is to complete the
deal. The entire process leads up to this point and each step has been aided by
CRM data, sales materials, communication and task automation.
The biggest advantage of a CRM is that it saves a lot
of time on everyday tasks in the sales cycle, e.g. data entry, data analysis
and searching for information about potential customers. This means that sales
staff can spend more time talking to leads and driving them to a sale. Learn
more about Lead Management by downloading our free guide where we reveal all
Develop a CRM-enhanced strategy for the sales cycle
Now that you know how a CRM can be used to strengthen
each stepin the sales cycle, the next step is to create a strategy that has a
high probability of success.
You can use the data tracked and generated by your CRM
to take specific actions within an overall framework or sales strategy. For
Create an optimal customer profile or avatar: Search
your CRM data to find information about existing and past customers or clients
with the biggest deals, fastest conversion times and highest recurring revenue.
You can analyze the data further to find out what these customers have in common,
e.g. location, company size and how fast their business is growing. Once you
have this information, you can create an optimal customer profile that can help
you design your marketing and lead generation campaigns.
Use a scoring system to qualify leads: Qualifying
leads is an important part of the sales cycle and should not be overlooked. You
can use data from CRM to assign leads a score, based on how well they match
your optimal customer profile. You can also segment your lead lists into different
categories based on their score.
Attract leads towards a sale: A CRM is the perfect
tool to help you identify leads that have stalled in the sales funnel and are
likely to drop off, or leads that are moving slower than desired. Once you
identify them, you can focus on your sales team and use nurturing techniques to
Create case studies or success stories: Once you have
built a good database of customers, you can analyze the data to find those who
have been successful and use their stories to create case studies. Case studies
serve as great social proof for other leads, helping to convince them that your
solution is right for them and can convince them to buy it.
If you want to find out how Efficy CRM can help you
optimize your sales cycle in more detail, contact us today to schedule a demo.