Using CRM to Shorten the Sales Cycle

Clock Work ManOne of the biggest dangers in sales is letting a prospect hang out there too long.  Most sales people will tell you that time is traditionally your enemy and not your friend.  The longer a prospect waits to move forward; the risk of losing the deal greatly increases.

Today’s sales professionals are constantly in a race against the clock. Not only are they trying to close deals as quickly as possible but they are often racing against monthly and quarterly quotas.  The good news is that there are now very good sales management tools available to help shorten the sales cycle. One tool that many sales professionals utilize to help shorten the sales cycle is CRM software.

Sales Management Software

Most CRM systems include the ability to manage the sales cycle from introduction to closure and create alerts along the way if a deal is not moving in the right direction.  There are a couple key features however that some CRM systems offer that will help shorten the sales cycle.

Salesforce Automation

A CRM with a customizable sales process management tool is very valuable to sales professionals.  Tracking potential deals throughout a sales process helps sales professionals track the amount of time it takes to close a deal, forecast when they expect the deal to close and communicate effective messages to prospects based on where they are in the buying cycle. Some CRM programs also offer sales analytics making it easy for a sales professional to get an overview of his or her entire business.

sales-process-pipeline-by-stage
Sales Process Management

Organizational Structure & Decision Making

A CRM with an organizational chart can really help shorten the sales cycle as well. One of the first things a sales professional learns is to get to the key decision maker as quickly as possible. Identifying key decision makers is a huge challenge in sales. An organizational chart makes it easier to see who the executives are in the company and who may be making the final decisions.

OrgChart Reporting Structure
Use an Organizational Chart to identify Decision Makers

Shortening the sales cycle is the key to success for many sales professionals. Tools like CRM software are helping sales professionals better manage the sales process and remain focused on the most promising opportunities.

Image “Clock Work Man” by Sean MacEntee on Flickr under Creative Commons license.

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