While CRM tools like Salesforce increase revenue by 17%, it does not necessarily shorten the sales cycle. To increase the number of sales that can be processed, it is absolutely necessary to accelerate the “assembly” line that moves each individual sale forward. This is where the concept of sales acceleration technology comes in: to shorten the sales cycle and to engage more customers in the same period of time, specific steps are undertaken to ensure that each deal is closed in the fastest or most optimal time without sacrificing the customer experience.
It is important to note that sales acceleration is not necessarily sales automation. Certain sales stages can be automated to speed up the sales component of a customer’s lifecycle, but the scope of sales acceleration can encompass the entire cycle. For example, market automation software can hand over qualified leads to an autodialer using predictive analytics, which automatically determines the best time and/or date to call the customer and to which agent to reroute the call upon answering.
Sales acceleration technology is often described as a bridge between the gap of marketing automation and CRM, and it’s not entirely difficult to see why. If sales are processed faster and deals are closed earlier, there is always more time to pursue leads while still being able to manage customers. In a lead-to-revenue management perspective, it can be said that the sales cycle is optimal in generating revenue for the time invested in pursuing and closing a lead.
It’s Not Just Technology, It’s Also Psychology
Part of accelerating the sales cycle is not only improving the tools used by sales reps, but also to change the mentality of all involved in pursuing any lead. In a study carried out by MIT professor James Oldroyd, calling a web lead within the first 5 minutes of creation is a hundred times more effective in qualifying the lead than if called after 90 minutes. This is a very alarming statistic, especially because most people view an hour or two as a short lead response time. An obvious takeaway from this research is that lower response time means faster qualification which eventually equates to a more rapid hand-off to quota-carrying sales agents, resulting to a shorter sales cycle overall.
Additionally, there is a massive effect if sales agents understand their roles fully and that part of their duty is to convince their customers that they need the company’s service right away. By assuming a state of urgency themselves, sales agents can understand the state of their customer earlier and offer a solution faster.
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