If there is one thing that aggravates the modern B2B organisation, it’s the ever-lengthening sales cycle. As the future of your company may very well depend on getting revenue through the door, a sluggish sales course is a growing concern for everyone from CEOs to sales reps.
So first, let’s look at the factors contributing to longer sales cycles:
– Tighter budgets: Overtime, we’ve seen more prudence when buying with inceased emphasis on ROI
– Decision apprehension:Corporate expenses are being analysed more closely, making buyers leery of making a hasty decision
– Increased options: Buyers have almost unlimited opportunity for options, and too much choice can confuse buyers, leading to procrastination
– Poor marketing and selling: If the message isn’t crystal clear and/or the selling process alignment is off, the sale will take longer, if it happens at all
These days, content marketing is the trending topic on every marketer, sales rep and business owner’s mind. We know that propagating fresh, relevant content is essential to a successful digital strategy, but perhaps the most important content marketing benefit is the impact on the sales cycle. A relevant piece of content available to the prospect at the right time in the sales cycle can help accelerate the purchase decision.
Now let’s explore what types of digital content can shorten the B2B sales cycle?
Product brochures and data sheets: Prospects will want to review your product or service literature before making a purchasing decision. It’s possible they’ve already made the emotional decision to buy and are now looking for some confirmation by matching features and functions against their needs. Prospects can also use brochures and data sheets to compare your benefits and features against competitor’s offerings. Whatever the reason, well-organised and complete product and services information can only benefit you.
Company and product reviews: Testimonials and independent reviews will only magnify the impact of your self-written information. These independent commentators provide credibility to your product and brand while alleviating the buyer’s fear of making a bad decision.
Case studies: Case studies are an excellent way to validate your offering and are a great tool to show how a product or service works. This specialised content can have a much greater impact on prospects than a generic product pitch.
“How to” guides: Potential buyers are interested in how they will install your product and use it on an ongoing basis. Assuming your product is not over complicated, providing this information will ease buyer reservation and motivate them to act quickly.
Order forms: The ultimate way to shorten the sales cycle, order forms compel the prospect to take action now. Even if you offer an expensive or complex product, order forms can be used to generate a minor close — perhaps a free trial offer, where you ask for a small commitment upfront, followed by a larger commitment later.
Website information: Think of your website as the Nerve Centre. All of the categories mentioned above should be accessible via your website. Your website is where you are going to be able to educate, motivate and convert prospects into customers.
Price List: B2B companies commonly make the mistake of not listing their prices online. They hesitate, thinking their prices will drive away prospects and give competitors access to their offers. But if you apply all of the above, the price will be weighed against all of the other benefits of the product or service. Don’t lose out on sales because a prospect doesn’t feel you are being upfront.
When it comes to shortening the B2B sales cycle, there is no right or wrong formula when it comes to content length. Different products, services and brands may need more explanation and information than others. But if you feel that your website is getting a little text-heavy, try presenting some of the aforementioned digital content in non-text formats, such as infographics, audio and/or video. Get the information to your reader in a quick, easily digestible manner with clear links and CTAs.
If you’re not sure you’re worried you’re not quite hitting the proverbial nail on the head when it comes to your content, let us take a look. We can help get your on the right path to more money in your pocket! Email firstname.lastname@example.org