Sales cycle timelines have increased. Here's how you can use LinkedIn and social selling to stay in touch during the buying process.
I’m sitting in the Pittsburgh airport, reading the CEB article on increased sales cycle lengths on my Feed.ly App. I’m literally participating in the reasons CEB wrote the article, and is DEAD RIGHT.
The reasons your timeline to closing the deal has steadily increased are:
1. The client isn’t getting in front of you earlier in the process, so they’re collecting data in the background and making informed decisions, before popping out to talk about money. This is pushing opportunities deep, deep, deep into the “Deadzone”.
2. The buyer is no longer one person sitting in the ivory tower. The buyer is cross-functional collaboration of people, all putting the pieces together to make a purchase. In our world as an example, we typically have the VP Sales, Directors of Sales Units, VP Marketing, VP Sales Enablement, and Social Media – all part of the decision-making process.
What does this mean for you?
This means everyone accountable for sales needs to revise their expectations on closing timelines, and fight FIRE-WITH-FIRE.
How can LinkedIn be your FLAME THROWER?
Fact: CEB is telling you that buyers are learning, with our without you.
So, if the world’s largest networking event was going on in a giant hotel (LinkedIn) would you:
1. Stay home and complain
2. Get on your best outfit, hit the lobby, and start networking?
This is an opportunity for you to contribute to the learning, and be the teacher. You can be the “Professor” to your solution and the best practices surrounding it.
Staying in touch during the buying process
Crush that “Deadzone” that your competitors try to cold call through. Start sharing content such as market trends, research, infographics, videos and anything else that’s relevant to the buyer. You might not think they’re noticing, but they are!
The buyer is also more than 1 person. How can you add these people to your network? How can you get on their network by sharing their content?
A company got on my radar today doing this. They shared an article I wrote, then included a link to an additional article as a further resource. I spent 3 minutes on their site, even though we use a competitive product. They got on my radar.
To learn more about how your sales team can use social selling to help buyers during the decision making process, contact me using the button below.