How to accelerate your sales cycle

We’ve been advocates of Account Based Marketing (ABM) for a while, mainly because in a world where brands are fighting to have their messages heard, Account Based Marketing rejects a broad, ‘spray and pray’ approached for specific, targeted campaigns that speak directly to customer accounts and even individuals within those accounts.

It sounds like a higher investment if you’re creating a new marketing campaign for each customer account, but data reveals that not only is the return on investment of ABM campaigns far higher because you begin by identifying high value customers, but ABM actually accelerates the sales cycle, which is what this blog post is focusing on.

Accelerated sales cycles mean you close deals sooner, but they also mean you’re able to target more customers.

ABM done right also encourages higher customer loyalty and reduces churn – which of course means you’re keeping those top-tier customers and don’t need to focus as much on new sales.

More results in less time, using fewer resources

But let’s get back to speed. In our State of ABM 2019 Survey, one of the key areas our respondents are focusing on for 2019 is pipeline acceleration (46% rated this as highly important).

Deals that take too long to move through a sales pipeline have a far higher chance of stalling, or the cost of the sale is just too high.

More and more, organisations are realizing that they need to qualify leads faster and then move them through the different buying stages at a greater rate of velocity – or they’re lost.

With ABM, your goal is to achieve more results in less time and using fewer resources.

This is accomplished when you’re able to:

  • Establish why and when an account wanted to buy (a sales function)
  • Plan specific campaigns for key accounts (a marketing function)
  • Integrate your sales and marketing processes by ensuring all client information is available to everyone across the organization.

The key is to establish ideal customer profiles based on who buys, when they buy, and what an account is worth.

Once you’ve determined your ideal customer, you can engage with prospects earlier in the sales process, focusing specifically on higher-value opportunities. This early engagement not only speeds up your sales cycle, but because you’ve identified the best person to speaking to, your should move the account through the sales funnel faster.

Technology businesses and the need for speed

Why is speed so important? I’ve already touched on the fact that sales stall when they take too long to move through the sales funnel, but we believe there’s another key factor, particularly for tech companies.

Technology moves quickly – what’s available changes daily. In our experience, this is a key challenge that tech businesses face: Operations are fast and focused, speed to market is impressive – and yet marketing lags behind.

ABM helps tech businesses align sales and marketing and focus on getting their message into market quickly and effectively. What you say in that message  is important, but so is how fast you say it. You also need to be able to test and tweak what you’re saying to ensure your message is hitting home.

Getting started

If we consider how much time is spent on lead generation – both generating and qualifying them – it makes sense to bring sales directly into the marketing loop to shorten this cycle.

Sales understands your customers because they’re in front of them every day – in a way that your marketing department isn’t.

When you eliminate unqualified prospects early in the game, you can start directing your company resources to the right customers, but more importantly, the right conversations with the right prospects will naturally speed up your sales cycle – no more time wasted on leads that will just stall down the pipeline after you’ve expended valuable time and resources on them.

Ultimately, your goal is for sales and marketing to collectively focus their energy on leads that are most likely to convert into sales.

Increased sales is your ultimate goal

When you embark on an ABM campaign keep this in mind: It’s a highly-focused strategy that treats individual prospects and customers as their very own market. This means content and even entire campaigns can be dedicated to people associated with specific accounts, rather than an industry as a whole.

This individual focus speaks directly to specific customer needs, challenges and concerns, and we’ve seen the increased sales for our tech-based clients as a result.

To find out more, read How Account Based Marketing Attracts Customers Who Are Ready To Buy From You

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