We have some science behind that and as part of the analysis we conduct on a sales force, we can determine whether they have the skills and sales DNA for that to become a reality.
There are 11 factors that contribute to determining whether a salesperson or sales force can shorten their sale cycle, not including the factors that determine whether or not a salesperson is trainable and/or coachable.
In the screen shot below, this real sales force (names have been changed) has, on average, only 3 of the factors.
One of the 11 factors, that has a great deal to do with the length of the sales cycle, is whether or not the sales force and/or the salespeople have an effective sales process. As you can see from the image above, nobody was following an effective sales process. Another really important factor is exactly what salespeople actually believe - what they think - relative to the sales cycle. In the next screen shot, you might be able to read some of the beliefs that this sales force had around the sales cycle:
Those two factors alone are enough to double the length of a sales cycle! There are still 9 more factors that have an impact; however, just from what we've discussed and reviewed so far, it's obvious that this company's sales cycle is M-U-C-H longer than it needs to be.
That gives you a sense for how we go about answering questions for companies. But there is an additional way!
At my sales consulting company, Kurlan & Associates, we use, love and strongly recommend Membrain as a sales pipeline tool. They have awesome pipeline analytics that are available right out of the box. Check out the next 2 screen shots that have to do with - you guessed it - sales cycle length!
This screen shot basically shows that this company has almost no chance of closing an opportunity beyond 51 days.
This screen shot shows that opportunities, that spend more than 10 days in any stage, rarely close.
Sales Science: When you combine the contributing factors to a long sales cycle and then provide salespeople with actual statistics that show what happens when they allow the sales cycle to extend, we can change behaviors. When we provide an effective sales process, milestones, qualifiers and effective sales strategies and tactics, we can change results.
Are you using all of the science that you can get your hands on to radically change the way your sales force performs?