5 Ways to Shorten Your Deal Cycle in SMB Sales

Sean Lund-Brown

In the world of small business, the sales cycle seems even more challenging because you’re trying to keep up with those who have more resources and bigger budgets. However, if you take the time to come up with an effective sales strategy, regardless of the size of your SMB, you’ll be able to streamline deals and shorten the cycle so that you can make more deals and spend less time on each one. 

There are a lot of different tools and resources out there that can help you shorten your deal cycle, even if you’re working with a limited budget or means. We may never be able to perfect the system, but when done correctly, you can make your deal cycles more predictable, streamlined, and shorter and still ensure that everyone has the ideal experience. 

1. Automate repetitive tasks

Automation is the key to success in any small business. What’s better than being able to automate and streamline tasks that used to require your full attention? Or even worse, the payroll for employees? Now, there’s so much of the deal cycle that can be automated, from scheduling to follow-up and beyond, and it’s going to make the entire cycle easier and faster for everyone involved. 

Mind you, this isn’t a blanket statement saying you should automate everything—of course, that’s not a solution. We’re talking about automating the repetitive, tedious tasks that don’t really need the focus of human attention. For example, instead of sending all emails live, you could set up an autoresponder to schedule and deliver personalized emails for various occasions, from new members to conversions and even thank you’s after the fact. 

2. Make signing contracts or making conversions ridiculously easy on any device

When is the last time you tried to complete a transaction on your iPhone, only to find out that you have to be linked to the website, which only works in desktop view, or download the exact right PDF viewer to be able to view the documents? It’s tedious and tiresome and you probably give up unless it’s something essential like a rental agreement or mortgage paperwork. If you’re just working deals for sales, you need to make it simple. 

Whether you’ve got contracts or an e-commerce store, you need to make sure that your audience can work with them effectively whether they’re on a smartphone, tablet, or desktop computer. You’ll also want to include accessibility features and offer to do as much of the work for them as you can. 

3. Eliminate cold leads and scrub your CRM regularly 

Cold leads can eat up a lot of time and can create a huge time lag in your deal cycle. If you know that you’ve got a lot of cold leads or you haven’t checked your database lately, it might be time to clean house. The faster you get rid of those cold leads, the faster you can start focusing on the warm prospects and closing more deals in less time. 

When your CRM is clogged up with dead-end leads, old customer data that isn’t useful anymore, and other loose ends, you’re going to waste a lot of the time in the deal cycle just sifting through information that you don’t even need to have around anymore. Imagine how much less time it would take to follow up with your customers or prospects if your database was organized, optimized, and free of bad leads. 

4. Be transparent with pricing 

This is one that a lot of SMBs don’t think about, at least not in terms of shortening the deal cycle. Today’s audience appreciates a brand that is transparent with its pricing, both in the B2B and B2C markets. Even if you’ve got a situation where custom quotes are the most accurate, explain that and give people an idea of what to expect. Or, better yet, find a way to calculate hard prices that you can clearly display and discuss so that it doesn’t seem like the buyer is being misled with vague pricing information. 

The majority of buyers, before making a purchase, will research the cost of whatever they are buying. If your business doesn’t advertise its pricing clearly and openly, you’re not going to end up in their search results, let alone getting their business. Even if you can’t list every last possible expense, make sure that you are up-front about that and give people as much as you can. 

5. Utilize sales and marketing outsourcing where you can

Finally, one good way to shorten your deal cycle as an SMB is to outsource things that you can, such as scheduling or even cold prospecting, to a team like the dedicated virtual receptionists at Smith.ai. That way, you can focus on the existing customers and handle the people who are closer to (or ready for) conversion. Plus, outsourcing gives you access to dedicated, experienced professionals who understand how to handle every aspect of the sales cycle. 

Outsourcing companies and even individuals will be available at a fraction of the cost of hiring salespeople for your business. Plus, you won’t have to worry about any expenses or overhead, and will only pay for the services that you need. When you’re working with a small business-sized budget and you have enterprise-level goals, these companies can help you scale up and out quickly and effectively. 

And speaking of outsourcing, ask how a partnership with Smith.ai can help you close more deals in less time 

At Smith.ai, our 24/7 virtual receptionists offer dedicated expertise for all kinds of admin tasks, as well as outbound sales and support, and even outreach campaigns. We can take on all of your scheduling, lead intake and qualification, and even things like 24/7 phone answering and live website chat to ensure that your business never misses a beat. And we’ll start by working with you to craft the perfect strategy to manage it all. 

Schedule a consultation to discuss what the 24/7 virtual receptionists at Smith.ai can do for your deal cycle and more. You can also reach us at hello@smith.ai or (650) 727-6484. 

Sean Lund-Brown

Sean Lund-Brown is a current Marketing Assistant for Smith.ai. A graduate from Metropolitan State University of Denver, Sean graduated with a BA in Music and an individualized degree in Teaching Vocal Pedagogy.

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