The Secret to Shortening the Sales Cycle to Generate More Project ScopeSeptember 14, 2020 | By Wayne O'Neill
Every company wants to shorten the sales cycle, generate more project scope, and create more revenue opportunities. But, not every company is willing to embrace a major change in how they’re engaging clients or which clients they are engaging to achieve desired results.
The requirement starts with breaking out of your comfort zone that comes with the traditional sales cycle. It’s about running a new race to where months and years from now, you’ll look back and wonder why you didn’t enter this race sooner.
So, what’s the starting point of this new race? What’s the secret to a productive approach to client engagement? Here’s what you’re looking for: identify smart clients to pursue. It sounds simple, right? Perhaps even common sense. But, what goes into pursuing smart clients is a lot more involved than you think.
What I would like to explain to you is that this approach requires a mindset shift in client engagement. Once you and your team embrace this change, you will see how much shorter — and productive — the sales cycle can be.
What Does A “Smart Client” Look Like?
Identifying smart clients requires a reset in your thinking from the traditional sales cycle approach and thinking more about embracing authentic connection. So often in the traditional approach, companies get stuck in the procurement knothole waiting for the first round of cuts, then the second round of cuts, and possibly even a third round before the client selects a service provider. This means your revenue and growth is not predictable.
- If a target client wants companies to race to the bottom on price, they’re not a smart client.
- If a target client is not providing information on the timing of decision-making, they’re not a smart client.
- If a target client wants minimal interaction during the sales cycle, they’re not a smart client.
There is a big payoff when changing your thinking to eliminate these types of clients and only focus on smart clients. How do you identify the smart clients to pursue? These smart clients can be identified by their characteristics of actually wanting to engage with companies and leverage your solution for value and impact.
You want to find clients that have characteristics such as looking for solutions and impact, pursuing diverse lessons learned from multiple sources, looking for diverse teams that can bring together many different ideas, and not settling for big-name service providers just because it’s safe.
Essentially, you want to pursue smart clients that are looking for solutions and asking a bigger question. That’s the seed of a smart client. That’s who you may think about engaging.
And, if you want to shorten the sales cycle, you will save a lot of time by identifying smart clients at the beginning of the process. Comparatively, the traditional selling process leads to decision-making at the end of the sequence well after you’ve invested time and costs into responding to the RFP.
The payoff to taking a new approach of pursuing smart clients is long-term engagement, more sustainable revenue, and much higher efficiency with your sales activity.
What Happens When You Identify Smart Clients to Pursue?
When you start to pursue smart clients, your company will realize significant improvements in key areas of your business activity. While time is certainly the driving factor that allows you to accelerate project scope delivery, there are other key factors related to cost and quality. First, let’s look at time.
Wouldn’t it be nice for your team to spend more time on productive activity? So many companies get caught up in a numbers game of trying to respond to dozens of mediocre RFPs hoping to make a short list of candidates. Then, this inevitably leads to a wasted race to the bottom on price. No more.
Instead, you can quickly weed out clients that you know do not fit the characteristics of a smart client. Then, your team can focus on the clients that you actually want to pursue. This will give your team more time to spend resources on understanding the client better, talking to multiple levels of decision-makers in the client, and crafting a comprehensive solution that aligns with the company’s business and political issues.
Not only does your company realize time savings by zeroing in on a few select clients, but time is also optimized by making sure that every activity is productive, useful, and valuable for building authentic connection with target clients.
How many times have you thought that your company was the perfect fit to solve a client’s problem, only to find out too far in the sales cycle that the relationship is actually a terrible fit? No one wants to feel this, but it happens when you run the old race of playing the numbers game. The result is a tremendous cost to your company from spending critical employee time and resources pursuing poor leads. Now, you’re way behind.
Instead, when you pursue smart clients, you will realize immediate cost savings by ensuring that your team is only spending time pursuing the best opportunities that have the highest opportunity to convert and leverage your solution for value and impact.
When playing the numbers game of responding to as many RFPs as possible, you leave yourself no opportunity to evaluate the quality of the project and potential working relationship. Everything becomes a transaction. And, this transactional thinking is like an insidious disease that will wreak havoc on your company’s business development cycle.
When engaging smart clients, quality becomes built-in. The quality of the relationship is the differentiator that brings diverse companies together to develop a comprehensive solution, maximize project spend, and address underlying issues.
When your team is focused on the quality of the relationship, you can position your company for long-term growth as a trusted solution provider. Then, you can solve larger problems and future problems without having to go all the way back to the beginning, shortening the sales life cycle.
Talk to RESET About Shortening the Sales Life Cycle
Changing your thinking from the traditional sales cycle to building authentic connection with smart clients may require wholesale changes in how your company does business. Your team’s Monday through Friday activity may even completely change.
It’s absolutely worth it, though, to create more sustainable revenue with unlimited opportunities for revenue growth by generating more project scope. We can help facilitate this change in your company and your connection with smart clients.
Through our proprietary methodology, The Connection Process, we will help you identify smart clients and locate the leader within a smart client organization that understands the impact you will have on their business.
To get started on facilitating this change, reach out to our team today. We are ready to help you shorten the sales cycle length so that you can grow your business and differentiate your company from the competition that doesn’t know your secret to success.