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Aberdeen White Paper: Best In Class Paths To Shorten The Sales Cycle

Ext Slma-recommended-187Title:  Best In Class Paths To Shorten The Sales Cycle

190Published by:  Aberdeen Group – Peter Ostrow, VP/.Research Group Director, Customer Management, Sales Effectiveness

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Authors: Aberdeen Group

Brought to our attention and offered by:  Alyssa Trenkamp from Velocify

Length: 19 Pages


There is a lot of information packed in this paper, as is usually done by the Aberdeen Group.  They spend time talking about the importance of process aligned content by best in class companies.    Six figures and lots of conclusions; I pulled direct quotes on some, but not all of the important issues.

“It's easier said than done to standardize processes and implement best practices, but companies successful in doing so out-perform those who fail to adapt.”

  • Lengthening sales cycles is the number one concern of sales leaders by a 41% margin over all

other pressures. “As we see in Figure 1, the leading cause of stress among business-to-business (B2B) sales managers is the friction that builds up in managing their pipeline, and extends sales cycles beyond predicted norms. This results in both missed quotas and poor customer experiences. The sum of these outcomes is, with an unfortunate level of consistency across all industry sectors and company sizes, lost revenue for the enterprise.”

  • One of the top three business goals stated by survey respondents (45%) is to “improve our ability to differentiate our offerings from the competition, and better articulate our value proposition.”
  • Do you know what percentage of “sure thing sales deals actually leak out of the current month 24%. “Here is a sobering data point uncovered in Sales Playbooks: Taking the Guesswork out of Sales Enablement (June 2015): on average, 24% of all “sure-thing” sales deals — current customer relationship management (CRM) opportunities deemed 80% or more likely to close in the current month — eventually slip out of the real-time forecast into subsequent selling windows…or actually don’t ever close at all.”
  • Best in Class sales organizations report a 16% shorter average sales cycle than under performing companies.
  • “ If “lead” is not considered a four-letter word in the always-combustible sales / marketing relationship, then the four-word phrase, “what is a lead?” is sure to stir up plenty of animated conversation. While the majority of all survey respondents regularly collaborate around lead qualification, Best-in-Class companies lead under performers in actively adopting such a policy. “
  • “Better lead management leads to better identification of possible choke points as well, and informs both marketing and sales teams around "knowing when to hold ‘em, and when to fold ‘em.”
  • “With faster and more focused lead response mechanisms in place, Best-in-Class companies are then 38% more likely than All Others (55% vs. 40%) to provide their sales team with always-on availability of relevant sales content.”
  • “Finally, we know from Lead Scoring: The Fundamentals & Factors in Best-in-Class Programs (December 2014) that, while plenty of companies apply basic marketing automation solutions to developing and ranking the leads they hope to pass to sales, top performers are 74% more likely than All Others (68% vs. 39%) to actively score leads beyond the first buyer touch.”

Conclusion and Recommendations:

  • Scoring about marketing generated leads in a self-learning environment
  • Prioritize leads and activities
  • Distribute a road map of how the seller should approach buyers
  • Guide sells around messaging, calling cadence, content and volume

Recommended for: 

  • C-Level General
  • VP Sales
  • VP Marketing
  • CFO
  • Director of Marketing
  • Lead Generation

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Disclaimer:  This review was conducted independently without the advice or consent of the publisher.    Velocify a long time SLMA Sponsor brought this white paper to our attention.

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