You can cut your sales cycle by half if your buyers are familiar with you or have purchased something in the past.
Today new technologies, new vendors and solution providers and new business models are driving disruptions with organizations. According to the recent IDG study, the average number of IT decision makers and influencers in an enterprise IT purchase has increased to 16 people. These influencers include both the IT and Line of Business (LOB) professionals. The mix of IT and LOB also changes based on the technology they are purchasing. Newer technologies purchases are increasingly influenced by LOB. This has led to increase in the sales cycle.
In the past, the sales person was the primary educator. In the digital transition, the buyer education role is moved to the cloud where “content is king”. IT decision makers now use the web and social as their primary tool for solution discovery, finding the new industry trends and analysis. There has been a continued evolution from “content is king” to the newest iteration of “context is king”. It is no longer impactful to simply provide content. Relevancy by meeting the buyer at their stage of need is proving to build lasting digital relationships and accelerate revenue decisions. In this new world, it is the buyer perspective that matter the most. This shift from seller perspective to buyer perspective is a huge leap forward.
Today, it is critical to understand the key influencers and the best way to engage them. They have increased need to educate themselves on their own and are all hungry for relevant information tailored to their stage of buyer journey.
Also check out: The Trust Equation for IT Resellers: Five elements of becoming a trusted IT Provider.
The Familiarity Factor
As part of IDG research study, here is a very interesting outcome that you can use to your advantage to fuel your revenue growth. You can cut your sales cycle by half if your buyers are familiar with you or have purchased something in the past.
As you can see in this chart, the sales cycle for enterprise IT purchases is reduced from 7.6 months to 4.1 by the Familiarity Factory. Where as in SMB, Familiarity Factor works even better – reduced sales cycle from 6.5 months to 3.1 months.
How to become familiar to IT buyers and the ROI of digital marketing and seller enablement
How can you become familiar to new buyers or increase the awareness of your full portfolio of solutions to your existing customers? Do your buyers recognize your name and logo? Have they built some digital trust in you?
It takes time and cohesive approach. It requires tighter alignment between marketing, sales and your subject matter experts. It requires a unified approach to digital marketing, social selling and seller enablement. It requires your go to market story that is aligned the way IT buyers educate themselves. They prefer to get educated by the solution topics and platforms they have already deployed in the organizations and content tailored for their industry and stage. Relevant content delivered at the right time and relevant context builds trust. To increase your Familiarity Factor, have a systematic mechanism to provide relevant content via social media, website, newsletters, and events to stay in front of the buyers to become familiar.
Your marketing, sales and subject matter experts alignment to tell a cohesive story is critical to become familiar and stay relevant.
As we all agree, cutting your sales cycle by half is a great ROI.
May “Familiarity Factor” be with you!