Every business knows it takes time and effort to find customers, to lead them through various stages in the buying cycle, and to finally get them to make a purchase. And every business wants to shorten this cycle!
Stats show inbound marketing is one of the most effective methods companies can employ when they want to learn how to shorten the sales cycle. If you want to speed up the process even more, consider outsourcing your inbound marketing.
The Customer Comes to You
All marketing has the same end goal: Getting your product in front of the customer. More traditional methods require your sales team to likely spend a lot of time researching and hunting down leads, rather than doing any selling. Cold calling is probably the best example of this.
Inbound marketing works differently. Instead of hunting the customers down, you allow interested parties to come to you. An inbound marketing agency can help you create quality content to attract people to your website. The people who hit the site are there because they’re already interested.
Lead Generation and Tracking
By offering useful information and quality content, you can generate leads more quickly and easily. The people who are attracted by this content are already interested in your company, brand, or product. Now all you need to do is follow up.
Outsourcing inbound marketing can also shorten the sales cycle here too, as you can get expert advice and excellent tools to help you track your leads. The data collected will help your sales team determine which leads are worth following up on—limiting the number of “dead ends” they follow. It also helps them personalize their pitches.
Who’s the Buyer?
You’re probably familiar with the fact that many leads are dead ends; your sales reps are all too aware of this reality. As you wonder how to shorten the sales cycle, you’re likely concerned with weeding out “good” leads from the ones going nowhere.
Again, outsourcing your inbound marketing helps you in your quest. An agency can create various detailed buyer personas. These personas allow your sales people to typify the leads they come across; they can differentiate between a customer who is likely to buy and one who’s probably going to pass for the time being.
The agency can also help you craft a picture of the buyer’s journey, showing you where each persona will be located in your sales funnel. Your sales team can then make distinctions between customers who are ready to buy and those who will need some more time. They can concentrate their efforts on those customers who are ready to buy now, and use different methods to work with those who need some additional time.
What about Unresponsive Customers?
Not every lead will turn into a sale, no matter how well you track the customer and personalize the pitch. You can’t shorten the buying cycle for every customer; those unresponsive customers are still going to take their time in making purchases.
In the meantime, however, your outsourced inbound marketing is still at work, providing useful tools and content for these prospects. Most customers who say they need more time or simply can’t decide are hesitating because their questions haven’t been answered yet. Your content can provide detailed answers and information, which assists potential buyers in reaching a conclusion sooner, rather than later.
Even in the event the customers are still unresponsive, they’re still making use of your content, and when it does come time to buy, they’ll be able to make informed decisions in a shorter timeframe—and with your company as the first option that comes to mind.
Posted By Author Mike Lieberman, CEO and Chief Revenue Scientist
Mike is the CEO and Chief Revenue Scientist at Square 2. He is passionate about helping people turn their ordinary businesses into businesses people talk about. For more than 25 years, Mike has been working hand-in-hand with CEOs and marketing and sales executives to help them create strategic revenue growth plans, compelling marketing strategies and remarkable sales processes that shorten the sales cycle and increase close rates.