A sales cycle is the time that passes from a company’s first contact with a customer to the moment a client purchases an offered product or service. The sales cycle time is calculated in days. The length of sales cycles is often an important metric for sales organizations, since shorter sales cycles mean more sales in a given period of time.
The 7 Sales Cycle Stages
The sales cycle also refers to the activities that make up the process of selling a product or service, usually divided into standard stages.
By identifying these steps, you outline a typical sales cycle that works within your company. Tools like Revenue Grid make it easier to track and analyze these steps for future sales cycle optimization.
Companies often use the following sales cycle model, which consists of seven steps:
1. Sales prospecting.
2. Initial contact.
3. Qualifying the lead.
4. Nurturing the lead.
5. Making an offer.
6. Handling objections.
7. Closing the sale.
The sales cycle model can vary slightly. In most cases, the differences aren’t significant: sales specialists just prefer to divide some stages into smaller or larger chunks. The core activities, however, remain the same regardless of the number of stages.
How to Optimize the Sales Cycle
- Analyze the work of your most active sales professionals and encourage the rest of the team to use the same methods.
- Outline your sales cycle and find out what makes it unique. Create templates, checklists, and questions the team can use.
- To simplify your analysis of the sales process, use sales software that tracks and analyzes sales software automatically, like Revenue Grid.
- Always set targets for each stage of the cycle. Track data carefully and make adjustments to the targets whenever needed to keep them realistic.