How to manage your sales cycle

Close deals faster by identifying and streamlining the steps in your sales process

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What is a sales cycle exactly?

Every day in sales might look a bit different for you, but odds are there’s a pattern in how you turn prospects into loyal customers. Ask yourself, what are the steps I generally go through to close a deal? This is your sales cycle. By defining the steps, you demystify the process, which helps you identify roadblocks and know where to concentrate your efforts.

Key sales cycle stages

Although sales cycles vary by industry and business, most include some or all of the following elements:

Finding new prospects to fill your pipeline is a vital first step. Define potential customers for your business and think of the best way to approach them.
Initiate contact
Depending on the industry, the first contact is done via call, email, or even old-school post. Offering help, support, and information is more likely to be successful at this stage than a hard sell.
Identify needs
You can only know whether your product is a good fit if you truly understand your prospect’s needs. Equip your team with the questions and resources they need to get the right data.
Present offer
At this critical phase, you need to present your offering as a solution to your prospect’s needs. Tailor your proposal in line with the info you gathered in the previous phases of the sales cycle.
Manage objections
Understanding the possible objections like price and timing, as well as preparing your sales team to handle them appropriately, will boost your win rate and speed up your sales process.
Close a sale
Now’s the time to win this deal and get your customer’s signature on the dotted line. With training and experience, you’ll find your favourite techniques for closing.

Try sales cycle management software

Once you’ve defined your sales cycle stages, the next step is to monitor and measure metrics. This will uncover where your inefficiencies lie and where you’re excelling. Instead of adding this to your time-consuming pile of admin work, leave it to a sales cycle management software. Pipedrive gathers data, tracks goals, sends you activity reminders and much more.

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4 tips to improve your sales processes

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We’ve built a visual CRM that’s not only great for salespeople, but for anyone wanting to get super organised and close deals in less time. There’s no 200-page list of functions and no two-day training required. Just log in, fill up your pipeline and start selling with a product designed to make selling beautiful.

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We run a cloud-based business and Pipedrive is by far the best CRM in terms of usability, design and time to implement. Both the iOS and Android apps are great and there is total buy-in from all our users. Great job guys. Try it, you won't be disappointed.

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The workflow is perfect for our event management business, recording all booking information and giving reminder alerts. Being able to email clients via the app is great too.

Graeme SmithArea Manager, Wedding Jam
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As a social media agency who pride ourselves on communication, proactivity and results, it’s great that our sales support software shares this ethos. Since we started using Pipedrive we have never looked back, and our sales have increased as a result of being so organised.

Jodie CookManaging Director, JC Social Media Limited
Jodie Cook

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In our free 2-week email course Sales Pipeline Academy, Pipedrive co-founder Timo Rein teaches you how to make more sales with exclusive advice and insights in 11 revenue-boosting lessons. Join the 6,000+ salespeople who’ve already enrolled.

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