Every sales rep wants to crush their goals, but hardly any actually are. A recent study by Sales Insights Lab found that only 24.3% of salespeople exceeded their quota last year. More than half of these study participants (61%) also felt sales was getting harder.
There are many factors constraining sales, and longer sales cycles are one of the biggest culprits. Some sales cycles are long because they have to be, but that doesn’t mean things can’t be improved.
While you may not be able to turn an 8 month sales process into 8 days, you may at least be able to shorten it to 4 or 5 months.
To do it, data and automated processes must become your best friend. Sales teams that aren’t fully capitalizing on their data are finding themselves bogged down with administrative work and distracted from real opportunities. The sales cycle is challenged by factors like:
- Scattered data that takes time to find and analyze
- Inefficient processes that slow down the sales cycle
- Inconsistent sales experiences that deter potential leads
- A lack of transparency in the MQL to SQL handoff process
- The inability to identify the best fitting leads quickly
The iPaaS Angle
One of the simplest ways to gain better access to data and automate more processes is to integrate applications. An iPaaS (integration platform as a solution) is a popular way to create those connections.
This is because iPaaS solutions are capable of integrating any types of applications, and that dynamic capability lets businesses unite data on whatever platforms are most crucial to their sales goals with minimal friction.
iPaaS can support integrations from more common connections like CRM and marketing automation or more specialized connections between something like BI and analytics solutions.
As an iPaaS solution, StarfishETL gets requests that span the board. Here are just a few of the ways we’ve seen businesses shorten the sales cycle using iPaaS.
Identifying and Qualifying Leads Faster
CRM and marketing automation integration is popular for a reason. Sales and marketing teams alike love the powerful analytics and cross-functional workflows that result from this connection. For sales reps looking to shorten the sales cycle, this connection makes identifying and qualifying the right leads much faster. Because sales can actually see how their leads are connected to campaigns and what they’re responding to, they can prioritize hot leads more effectively based on that engagement.
In addition, if sales wants to do more outreach with less work, the CRM and marketing automation integration makes that possible. Marketing can trigger email messages or promotions based on sales qualifying events for a more automated sales cycle.
Uncovering Cross-Sell and Upsell Opportunities Sooner
Many businesses utilize eCommerce solutions, but few take full advantage of the data that comes out of them. Sales teams integrating CRM and eCommerce gain access to order histories and other customer details that inform smarter upsell and cross-sell actions. Sales uses this information to engage at the right time and close more deals.
If you’re sending out contracts on the regular, integrating an e-signature solution with the CRM just makes sense. Many sales teams rely on the automation this integration provides to cut down on administrative work and prevent errors. The iPaaS integrates key data and allows sales to automate the sending and approval of contracts associated with an opportunity. Workflow automation initiated by the iPaaS can trigger events and accomplish tasks based on set sales criteria.
Quoting Faster & With Less Errors
LinkedIn found that 65% of sales teams’ time was spent on non-sales-related tasks. Administrative tasks make up 14.8% of that chunk.
Administrative and manual tasks slow down the sales cycle. Integrations that connect sales quotes as part of a CRM and CPQ workflow automate the process of quoting while leaving less room for errors. Data is filled into the quotes directly from the software so there is no manual searching or inputting of data. Everything moves faster and the sales cycle is condensed as a result.
Enjoying Immediate Pipeline Analysis
We’ve seen many sales teams use Business Intelligence (BI) solutions to monitor stages of the sales cycle and strategically organize relationships based on that info. Visual representations of that data help them quickly understand patterns and make more consistent and objective decisions about their pipeline.
By adding BI dashboards to the CRM with iPaaS, these teams get up-to-the-minute analysis in a system they already use every day. Not only is it more convenient but having that data front-and-center helps them better predict future sales and accelerate the sales cycle.
With an iPaaS providing flexible and scalable connections between business systems, sales cycles can be significantly reduced. The automation of contracts, quotes, and data analysis help eliminate many of the manual, administrative tasks that can clog up the sales process and distract reps from their real goal: closing more sales. iPaaS isn’t just important for shortening the sales cycle, it’s a logical step for aligning the entire business towards better decision making and fewer slowdowns.