The B2B sales cycle should reflect the process the buyer or buying team goes through, in order to improve conversions and reduce cost and effort.
The Wurlwind sales funnel framework works on a 5 step sales cycle:
- Attract – use various techniques so prospects find you
- Engage – where you gain permission to communicate
- Nurture – develop a simple interest into a qualified opportunity
- Transact – the actual selling process
- Deliver – where you fulfill the order and the customer gets value
- Recycle – collaborating with customers to feed the sales funnel
The first 4 stages are covered elsewhere on this website and need less introduction than the last two.
The B2B sales cycle from Wurlwind
Deliver – providing value to clients
The Delivery stage is included in the sales cycle for several reasons.
- Customer expectations have been set through the early stages, and it’s essential to at least meet these.
- Thinking through ways to deliver value to customers quickly after they sign up will help to meet and exceed expectations.
Social Media has given customers a route to express their feelings in a way previously not possible.
- Positive customers can share their praise and high opinion of your company and its products or services.
- Dis-satisfied customers also have a channel to vent their unhappiness.
Recycle – turbocharging your sales funnel
In addition, there is a sixth activity that does not follow the linear progression, but has an impact on all five stages.
This activity could feed back into any stage through the sales cycle.
- It may be triggered because a potential customer has not responded to some of your messages or offers and has not chosen to move to ‘the next step’. Therefore it’s appropriate to recycle through a sequence and try again.
- They may have taken action, bought something, and now be receptive to remarketing, as an upsell or cross-sell.
- Or they may have shown commitment at any or all stages above and be prepared to endorse and support your efforts in one or many ways that are now possible, particularly by providing you with content to share, or by sharing content with their connections.
Designing these options to recycle into your own sales funnel will create considerable returns. It may not be such a high volume activity as customer acquisition, but it can have such a powerful capability to accelerate sales other activities and results that it justifies the effort, even for lower volumes.