A long sales cycle is the bane of any company that’s looking for rapid growth. Unfortunately, if you own a startup, that’s exactly what you should be looking for. After all, you won’t get very far without more revenue and for that you need more sales. Hence, the dilemma. Wondering how to shorten your startup sales cycle? The answer is quite obvious and yet very easy to neglect if you don’t know what you’re doing. Put simply, you need data and lots of it. More importantly, though, you need to know how to use the data to your advantage.

What is a Sales Cycle?

Before we delve into data usage it’s worth talking a bit about the sales cycles themselves. Regardless of what kind of startup you’re running, you’ll eventually come across this notion. And the notion is quite simple. In order to make a sale, you’ll need to go through a series of steps. The steps you’re taking may differ from the steps another company is taking. However, every profitable company must adhere to a certain sales cycle, which usually looks something like this:

  • Contact a potential customer
  • Find out if the lead is interested in your product or service
  • If the answer is yes, it’s time to pitch your product or service
  • Discuss any potential concerns your potential customer may have
  • Close the deal after reaching a mutually beneficial agreement
  • Ask the new customer about other potential leads

Rinse and repeat. It’s possible that you’re not following all of these steps but you’re definitely following at least some of them. Actionable data can help you speed up this process and allow you to make more sales in a shorter amount of time. Smart data management lets you skip the boring parts and jump straight to the good stuff.

Using Data to Your Advantage

People are becoming less and less impressed by sales pitches, which is not surprising. Regardless of how good you think your pitch is, chances are that your potential customer has heard it all before. Instead of improving their sales pitches, reps are better off helping potential customers in more tangible ways. Guiding them and offering useful insights for solving their problem goes a long way towards turning them into loyal customers. After all, anyone can find the information you’re pitching. However, competent guidance is a lot harder to come by.

It may seem tedious and unproductive to spend lots of time helping each potential customer. And it is, but only if you’re not using the correct tools. In order to speed things up you’re going to need reliable analytics software to help you out. Software like that can give you a lot of insight into what potential customers are looking for and the common problems they are facing.

However, if pitching your services is not the problem, you’ll still want to use the software during the research stage. The data can help you avoid wasting both your time and that of the customer. The chances of success are much higher when you contact people that are already looking for services like yours. Using analytical software, you’ll be able to find these people much faster.