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The Better Way to Speed Up the Sales Process

Do you ever watch NASCAR or Formula One racing?

Auto racing can seem deceptively simple — whoever goes fastest wins, right? So the obvious strategy is to make your car faster. For that, maybe you would invest a lot of money into researching a faster engine or building a more aerodynamic body. Or maybe you get an advanced computer system to analyze your driver’s lines and determine where it might be possible to shave off a few seconds. These things might very well help you get around the track faster, but they are going to take a lot of time, hard work, and money.

But what if there were another way?

Any long race requires some pit stops. At some point in racing history, smart teams realized that if they could shorten the time they spent in the pit, they would have a huge competitive advantage.

It’s easy to see the difference when you watch videos of old pit stops and today’s pit stops.

 

The pit stop in the first video really isn’t all that bad. They get the tires changed and car fueled up, windshield cleaned, and driver re-hydrated in 1:06. That’s a lot faster than I could do it.

 

But the second team shaves almost a full minute off that time. They get the car in and out of the pit in just 7 seconds. If the two teams were racing each other, it would be no contest — even if they were driving identical cars. The second team would finish minutes ahead of the first without having to drive around the track any faster at all.

Something similar happens when it comes to improving sales. Obviously, if you want to make more money, you’re going to have to sell more stuff. the next logical step is to assume that in order to sell more stuff you need to make a major change, like increasing your leads by 50% or re-vamping your entire sales process.

But what if there were another way?

A lot of sales teams don’t realize that they can effect huge changes on their sales by making relatively small tweaks that don’t seem that impressive or important. In essence, it’s like improving your pit stops.

For example, maybe you can remove a hurdle so that it’s easier for prospects to get a demo. Maybe just shoot for a small improvement, say 5% more demos per month. And just for fun, what if at the same time, you tweaked how quickly you follow up on another stage of the sales process. Maybe instead of a week between touches, you wait just five days, with the net result that your average sales process takes a day less than it used to. Those two very small changes can compound on each other, having a very dramatic impact on your net sales without requiring a lot of work or risk.

We explain this concept in more detail in the webinar on How to Optimize Your Sales Funnel. It shows how a systems view of your sales process can lead to dramatic results.

You can also check out How to Optimize Your Sales Funnel in Five Steps and How to Improve Your Sales Pipeline Analysis. These resources can give your team the inspiration it needs to move from being like the pit crew in the first video to being more like the pit crew in the second video. It won’t happen overnight, but with gradual improvements over time, your sales organization can begin to run like a well-oiled machine.

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