Sales cycle management

A well developed, well managed sales cycle is critical to the health of any business. It gives you clear visibility of what deals you have at each stage of the process – and where the hold ups are.

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What is a sales cycle and why is it important?

A sales cycle is the series of predictable phases required to sell a product or a service. Sales cycles can vary depending on your organization, products and services, and no one sale will be exactly the same.

However, identifying the key steps and stages improves sales efficiency, help salespeople sell more, and speed up the process of on-boarding new sales hires.

Identifying the right sales cycle for your business

Although all sales cycles vary, most will have the following common elements:

Close a sale

In this phase, you will have to drive the deal to close and get the prospect’s signature on the dotted line. Mastering the different techniques for closing takes both training and experience.

Manage objections

Understanding the likely objections, such as price and timing, and equipping your sales team to handle them appropriately will increase your win rate and speed up your sales process.

Present offer

This phase of the sales cycle is critical. You need to present your offering as a solution to your prospect’s needs. Tailor your proposal to the information you have gathered in the previous phases of the sales cycle.

Identify needs

You can only determine whether your solution is a good fit if you truly understand your prospect’s needs. Equip yourself and your sales reps with the questions and resources they need to uncover the right information.

Initiate contact

Different approaches work better for different industries. Often times, the first contact is either a phone call, an email or even physical mail. Offering help, support, and information is more likely to be successful than a hard sell.


Finding new prospects to fill the hopper is a vital first step. A good start to prospecting is to define what a good prospect is like for your business and think about how you could approach such a prospect.

Ultimately, repeat sales and collect referrals

Put a follow-up process in place to make sure your customers are happy. This will earn you repeat sales, as well as get you referrals for new leads that you can start driving through the sales cycle.

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Four tips to improve your sales processes

Sales team

Look at your most consistent salespeople, and see what exactly they are doing. Capture the knowledge, turn it into a process for other salespeople and replicate success.

Build a cycle

Define the sales cycle for your own business. For each of the phases, create easily accessible templates, checklists, and questions that your sales reps could use.

Set goals

Set targets for the number of deals you want to have at each stage of the sales process at any time, and track the figures meticulously.

Always on top

Set targets for how long a deal should stay at a sales cycle stage. If you see that a deal has no activity for longer than that period, immediately follow up to avoid the deal falling through the cracks.

One final tip

Use a sales cycle management software.

It’s not overly easy to measure all these things. It takes some effort to gather the data on a regular basis, and sales cycle software such as Pipedrive will help you do that.

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Pipedrive is a sales tool for small to medium teams with big ambitions

We’ve built a CRM-replacing sales management tool that’s not great for just salespeople, but for anyone wanting to get super organized and close deals in less time. About half of our customers liked us so much they switched from their existing CRM. The other half? Well they didn’t even know they needed Pipedrive until they tried it.

Why our customers love Pipedrive

Love this program. It is the only CRM that I actually want to use. Having a CRM that you don't want to use leads to your team not using it. What's the point of that. Pipedrive is built by sales people, for sales people.
Rick Feineis,
Managing Partner & Senior Trainer, CAD Training Online
We use Pipedrive at Mixergy to book interviewees. Even though it's meant for managing sales, it's helpful for any process where you have lots of prospects and a process for getting as many of them as possible to convert.
Andrew Warner,
Founder, Mixergy
Easy to use, great visual layout and I love how it automatically pops up to enter a follow-up task when I'm done. It's really changed how we handle leads.
Jessica Reed,
Web Designer, MedForward

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Sales cycle management | Pipedrive
Sales cycle management | Pipedrive
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