The sales cycle: can sales still be saved?

Quality means that the customer comes back and not the goods. The sentence is very old, but more relevant than ever. Anyone who struggles through the crisis, who struggles with groaning efforts to keep their business running, who wants or needs to reassure employees that things will get better again, deserves all the compassion on earth. One thing is certain: It has never been more important to question, rethink and optimize the sales cycle.
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What is important in the sales cycle and what urgently needs to be worked on

But let’s get back to the quality that keeps customers coming back. In B2B sales, it is not just whether the product meets the customer's requirements that is crucial, but the entire package: accessibility, supply chains, dunning and the sales process, the widely discussed “sales cycle” must be correct, i.e. all sales processes must be coordinated with one another .


Should you digitize everything that can be digitized?

NO, absolutely NO.

Many customer relationships are still based on a personal level. “Digitizing” these away is a fatal mistake. So I would like to consciously point out the distinction between existing customer business and new customer business, for now!

So let’s start with the sales cycle at the “new customer” level.

The sales cycle begins here with getting to know the potential lead. So far so good, but where do you get it from when trade fairs, network parties or similar formats can no longer take place simply because of a virus?

So step two is automatically obsolete. What should you find out about “Nobody”?

Why marketing must be part of the sales cycle today

Collaboration between marketing and sales has become immensely important, because in order to get leads, i.e. potential customers, marketing has to do a lot and perhaps even come up with crazy campaigns that no sales person understands or considers impossible to implement . So designing strategies together would make sense now, sales generally don't have a lot to do at the moment - keyword smarketing! (From our own experience, we can only emphasize again and again that it's not that difficult, we've been doing it for two years, #goFoxBase.)

How to find out the potential of a lead

Step three is more exciting. How do we find out the potential of the lead, whether it is suitable to become a customer, or more charmingly: Can the offered portfolio of products, systems or services meet the lead's needs?

The use of guided selling software is more than justified here. At this point I can highly recommend our software ;), it is really highly functional and I'm not just saying that because I have to (GF probably reads that too). But joking aside. This is where the first approach of massively shortening the already far too long sales cycle comes into play.

We call this a needs analysis, always coming from the application, without having already shown the customer 10,000 products. The customer is asked questions in customer language that define their needs or requirements and in the end is recommended the most suitable solution for their requirements, or sometimes none, but then the company knows that the interested party has no potential to become a customer. And all of this without tapping into sales resources. I call the whole thing quite simply: the Cinderella process.

Since we know “Amazonized” customer behavior from B2C, many people also want to see this adapted to their everyday working life:

But now we also know that in the B2C environment, quality is secondary. Conversion-oriented actions are the focus here, or to put it less charmingly, the CEO of Amazon doesn't give a damn whether the spray helps or not - not his problem.

But what happens if you give potential customers the wrong advice? RIGHT, he's gone. The competition is too great for that and the market is highly competitive. I doubt you'll get a second chance.

But now to the structure for existing customers. Imagine if there was a guided selling software that allowed the sales organization to devote more time to maintaining existing customers. “How?” asks the reader. Very easy:

Because new customers/prospects/customers qualify themselves via the implemented solution, the sales team saves time in the initial contact. This amount of time created is simply reallocated - whether in maintaining existing customers, acquiring new customers or in strategy workshops with marketing.

Of course, the wheel hasn't been reinvented here, but if you think about it carefully, there can be no other path you should take to sustainably save your sales.

And here the circle closes again - quality in sales brings the customer back and not the goods.

Do you agree with our Head of Sales on many points and want to find out more about the topic of “digitalization in B2B sales”? Then simply arrange a web conference with us with just a few clicks:

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