Shortening Your Sales Cycle

by Dec 15, 2015Blog, Content | Social Media | Email

How does your sales cycle work?

People don’t become customers overnight. Typically a casual conversation at a networking event or a random visitor to your website may be the beginning of a business relationship. Your objective is to move those casual connections through your sales funnel, converting them to leads, customers, and ultimately raving fans.

That all sounds great, but who has the time to reach out to every lead as soon as they express even a casual interest, remind every prospect of what you proposed, and reconnect with every client for important updates and annual messages? I know you are short on time, but greasing the wheels of your sales cycle is what fuels your business.

The good news is you can do all that with auto response campaigns which deliver information while you focus on other aspects of your business. They do what YOU wish you had the time to do! With an auto response campaign you can shorten your sales cycle as you deliver relevant information to prospects, answering their questions, and helping them take the next step in a logical, simple manner.

To build the campaign you use information on your website, social media profiles, and email to answer questions before the customer even has a chance to ask. You present information in an informative, not salesy approach, helping a prospect see you as an expert, ready to share what you know. Using well timed emails you stay in touch throughout the sales process. And the information and automated touches shouldn’t stop once someone becomes a customer, these same tools can be used to simplify, up-sell, and reactivate campaigns for existing and former clients.

So how do you put together an effective auto response campaign? There are three main pieces to a comprehensive program. They are:

  • Web Content
  • The Offer
  • The Follow up

Web Content – Information Your Customers Want

The first step is to drive traffic to your website, but not just any traffic. You want to attract people who are most likely to become leads and ultimately happy customers. So who are the “right” people? To answer this you need to have a clear definition of your ideal customer. If you are still trying to sell to everyone, this process won’t work. 

Once you know who you are trying to reach, it is easy to think about the kind of information they might need to make a purchase decision. Even though we are talking about answering prospects’ questions, this “content” shouldn’t be overtly selling. Remember it’s not an ad, it’s not a hard sell. Instead, it’s impartial(ish) information designed to nudge a prospect further down your sales funnel.

The Offer – Something Worth Trading Contact Information For

This can be a white paper, a check list, exclusive video, or podcast.  It needs to be unique enough for someone to be willing to trade their email address for the information offered. Once you select the content be sure you make it easy for prospective customers to find your offer with clear calls to action, concise landing pages, and simple download forms.

The Follow Up – Making Mass Communication Feel Personal

Attracting visitors and converting them into prospects is a great first step. Now you need to transform those leads into customers and after the sale, stay in touch to keep them coming back, buying more and referring others to you.

Email is Your Best Employee

After a visitor clicks on your call-to-action, fills out a landing page, or downloads your whitepaper, the next step should be one or a series of emails focused on useful, relevant content. This “drip campaign” builds trust and moves the prospect easily to the next stage in the sales process. Sure there are the personal touches, a quick phone call or a handwritten note which marketing automation won’t replace, but a good email program guarantees a consistent response to every inquiry.


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