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Sales Engine, LLC | Alpharetta, GA

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Everybody wants to shorten their sales cycle. It's obvious that if you can take a three month time to close to two months, that's better for us. Less to think about, more accuracy in our forecast, it all makes sense. For many years, I didn't realize a significant, hidden benefit of shortening your sales cycle. Higher close rates!

Here's the deal. If you shorten your sales cycle by just 30 days, that's 30 days worth of opportunity of things that could go wrong. Think about all the bad things that could happen in a 30-day period of time on a project? Your key contact gets hired away or fired. Management comes up with a different strategic initiative that doesn't involve you. A new competitor enters the playing field. Shakeup in the organization. Turmoil in the stock market. Uncertainty in the economy. So many things can happen in that 30-day period that actually caused the project not to close at all. So, remember when you or your people shorten your sales cycle, you're also increasing your close rates.

There are many, many tools that we use in Sandler to help people shorten their sales cycle. Here's a simple one. At the end of your early meetings, simply just ask the question, "Who else needs to be at our next meeting?" Over and over, we find when we coach sales people, that they have a meeting with one person, only to find out that there's two others that need to be involved, whereas if we had those people involved early on, more than likely, we would shorten the sales cycle. Think about how many days it takes to get another meeting on the calendar.

I've asked this question consistently over the last 90 days of clients and I consistently hear, three to four weeks. Think about it. If you can turn a three-meeting decision into a two-meeting decision simply by involving more people early on by asking the question, "Should anybody else be in our meeting?" and it takes another three to four weeks to get that meeting on the calendar, that one question could potentially shorten your sales cycle by three to four weeks. I realize that's not quite black and white, but it's not far from the truth, either.

There are many other ways to shorten the sales cycle. If you want to know about some of them, reach out to us. We'll be happy to talk you through them. In the meantime, great selling and remember to always get decisions so we can increase our closing percentage and decrease sales cycle time.

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