One of the simplest ways to increase your bottom line is to shorten your sales cycle. With a shorter sales cycle, you can reach more prospects and be more productive with your time. Additionally, when your sales cycles are shorter, there's less time for things to go wrong with the transaction, increasing your chances of a successful close.
Although there are many things you can do to shorten sales cycles and reap the rewards of doing so, it's often best to focus on just one strategy at a time. This one simple trick can help you to get rid of longer sales.
Call High to Shorten Your Sales Cycle
"Calling high" means contacting the highest-positioned decision maker in a company who is willing to listen to your pitch. The reason calling high can be so effective at shortening the sales cycle is that you don't have to wait for your pitch to be discussed by multiple levels of people within an organization before approval can be earned.
When you start at the bottom (lowest level employees) of an organization, you might find very receptive listeners, but they don't have the authority to do anything about it. They're the ones who may ultimately be using your products and services, but they just don't have the influence to sway their mangers.
In a small to medium-sized business, you'll probably want to talk to the CEO, COO, or Senior Vice-President. In larger corporations, this probably won't be possible, but you'll still want to get in touch with high-level executives with decision-making power.
Let's look at the ways calling high can help you to shorten your sales cycle:
You Skip the Gatekeeper
Mid-level managers often act as gatekeepers for their bosses, filtering out sales reps themselves before executives ever get to hear what you have to say. If you can avoid the gatekeepers, you'll have a better chance of pitching your products and services to people who can make decisions.
You'll need to do a little research ahead of time if you want to avoid the gatekeepers. A company's website may not have up-to-date information about the people currently filling the high-level, decision-making positions. Social media sites like LinkedIn are helpful in this area, and you can always call an organization to find out the names and contact information of the CEO, COO, or Senior Vice-President.
You Don't Have to Work Your Way Up
Swimming upstream takes a lot of energy, and so does starting at the bottom of a corporate ladder with your sales pitch. When you start a sales cycle with a low man on the totem pole, first you have to convince him that your products and services are valuable to his organization. If you can manage to convince him, then you move up a rung and start again with the next person. This might happen three or four times before you finally reach someone who can make a decision, leaving you with a painfully long sales cycle.
This is time consuming and precarious. Any one of these people can throw you out, and they usually will because it's risky for them to make a recommendation to their bosses that may or may not turn out for the best.
Clearly, calling high can help you to shorten your sales cycle and increase your sales. You'll be more efficient with your time and experience far less frustration when you first contact decision makers rather than lower level employees. With your shorter sales cycle, you'll experience more success and earn more money.