How to Use Content to Shorten the Sales Cycle

shorten the sales cycle

Sellers need to shorten the sales cycle. For 75% of reps, a cycle lasts four months or longer. The cause? B2B sellers face increasingly complex processes. This, in turn, makes cycles take longer to complete. This not only takes up sellers’ time, but also risks losing prospects along the way. 

Shorten the sales cycle with content

But there are ways that sellers can cut down on the length of their sales cycles. One way to do so is to provide valuable content throughout the process. “Because it's an expensive, high-​stakes decision with multiple stakeholders, it's critical to find ways to maintain your customers' attention along the way,” Sheryl Seitz writes for Forbes. “That's where effective content comes in.”

But, just not any content will do. Sellers must provide relevant, timely and available content to drive engagement. To maintain customer engagement throughout the sales journey, ensure your content is relevant, timely and readily available to the sales team.

Seitz shares suggestions for using high-​value content to cut down on time needed to close the deal.

Use content that aligns with each stage

The sales process is made up of various stages, so it makes sense that the content aligns with each stage. The content you share will be most impactful when it coincides with where the buyer is at in their journey. 

It follows that first, sellers must be aware of their buyers’ journeys. As we reported, the buyer’s journey is defined as:

an engagement model that takes a customer through three stages of evaluation before making a purchase. This framework asks sales and marketing to work together to provide buyers with the content they need at the right time in the sales process.”

Once you understand, and have mapped, the buyer journey, you’ll have the knowledge needed to know which type of content works at each stage. For example, Seitz points out that in the early part of the journey, general information is most effective. Explainer videos, e‑books, social media posts, and other types can help the buyers in their research. At this top-​of-​funnel stage, buyers are just learning about the seller, so educational content is highly valued. 

By matching content to each stage, you can shorten the sales cycle by providing prospects with exactly what they need at exactly the right time. Essentially, you will be guiding prospects to “learn, evaluate, consider, and purchase” at a more efficient (and timely) rate.

Consider thought leadership for a credibility boost

Providing content that positions you as a credible expert, which is exactly what prospects want. SalesFuel’s Voice of the Buyer study revealed that top attributes that buyers seek in sellers include:

  • Knowledge of their products and how to use them to solve the prospect’s business problem or achieve their goal.
  • Knowledge of the prospect’s company and line of business.
  • Knowledge of the prospect’s customers.

Thought leadership content is a strategy companies can use to establish themselves as experts or authorities on information their audiences consider valuable,” Seitz explains. “It's a way that you can create differentiation across social media and other channels by delivering value to audiences.”

By sharing content that positions you as a thought leader, you can quickly establish trust and credibility. This can have a major impact on how long it takes the buyer to trust you – and be comfortable enough to buy. 

Shorter sales cycles not only keep you from losing prospects during a long, drawn out-​out process; they also get you closer to closing in a shorter time, allowing you to pursue other opportunities and new business sooner. 
Along with these tips, check out SalesFuel’s other professional tips to shorten the sales cycle for more efficiency and wins.

Photo by Ivan Samkov

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Jessica Helinski

Jessica Helinski

Jessica reports on sales tips and credibility for SalesFuel. She is a graduate of Ohio University.