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Collapsing Cycles through Champion Enablement

Wanna grow faster? Three levers to pull:

  1. Add pipeline
  2. Increase win rate
  3. Reduce sales cycle

Today we’re talking about reducing cycle time.

Let’s start by looking at a typical B2B SaaS sales motion:

  • Your website CTA promises a demo to convert leads.
  • A week later, your AE informs the buyer it’s a discovery call (not a demo.)
  • One week after that, your prospect actually gets that demo; live- over Zoom.
  • Champion and Rep spend anywhere from 2 weeks to 6 months ‘socializing’ the idea by repeating the disco/demo calls to multiple stakeholders.
  • Another two weeks later, the prospect has gotten a trial or a proof of concept approved.
  • Four to six weeks is the average length of a SaaS trial for your prospects.
  • Finally, you negotiate for a week and close your deal.

But this is slow and dated. The world changed during Covid – so why are you running the classic sales play when your buyers have moved on from the classic buyer play?

Long sales cycles with lots of gatekeeping and “give to get” aren’t how buyers want to buy anymore.

Adapt to modern times instead and focus on champion enablement to shorten your sales cycle.

Try this on:

  • Host an interactive demo on your website (check Pendo.io for an example of what Reprise can help you build).
  • Prospects demo themselves and convert if they feel qualified – now you’re entering a stage 3 conversation instead of stage 1. This is called a Product Qualified Lead.
  • On the first call, PQLs show up having already seen your demo. This reduces friction and lets your sellers ask better questions that get to the root of the customer’s needs.
  • Immediately after this first call, email an interactive sandbox demo that highlights the specific use cases and needs your prospect revealed on your call.
  • Allow your prospects to socialize that clickable sandbox instead of asking for demos with power. Yes, you’re giving up some control with this approach, but you’ll reduce cycle times and increase conversion rates by not making yourself – and a meeting with you – become the blocker to converting.
  • If you do need a proof of concept with the customer’s data, you can now agree to focus the trial exclusively on that. You’ve already done user testing, you’ve already passed a business case. This part is simply about proving you can connect and showing how the data will flow.
  • If that 1-2 day technical proof of concept is successful, you’ve closed the deal.

These steps should reduce your sales cycle time by close to 60% – and should also increase your conversion rate throughout the engagement because you’ve removed much of the friction during the sales process. Also, you’ve built a much leaner revenue machine with fewer humans annoying your customers.

TLDR: stop putting yourself in the way of your customers. If you really do have amazing tech, it’s time to put it out there!

Photo by Yang Deng on Unsplash