If you are like us, a B2B business with a premium-level service and a price to match it, you might find yourself frustrated about just how long the sales cycle takes with your prospects. You may always be saying things like, “I think they’ll sign soon, but we’ll see.” Then, three months and seven meetings later, you finally see the email come through with a signed agreement. But for real, why in the world does it take so long to close these customers?
Here are a few of the main reasons why this happens:
More People Are Involved
Have you ever been challenged with getting a team of people to all agree on one thing? Especially when money is concerned? Well, in many cases of B2B sales, that’s what has to happen before you get that signed deal. A team of executives may need to see presentations, data reports, and market research to solidify the contract is something that will benefit the business over the long-term. This takes some time, especially considering executives calendars are pretty full.
The Price Tag
Although many buyers don't care as much about price anymore, it's still an important element as buyers want to know that the level of service will match the pricetag that comes along with it. Even if you are thinking about the B2C people who sell cars or boats, a B2B service will still typically cost more over the length of the relationship. When the prices are high, so are the stakes and expectations, so signers get gun-shy about signing anything too fast in fear they are making a rash or careless decision. Because of this, many execs wait to give the official go ahead until after they’ve had the time to do their own individual market research.
They Simply Might Not Be Ready Yet
The buyer's journey is a process that takes time. Yes, some may go through it faster than others, but if your buyer hasn't had enough time to get educated and move through the various stages, they aren't going to be comfortable just handing you thousands of dollars. That's why you need to identify what content you have available to help them along to the next step towards a signature.
Every Sale is Unique
You know you’ve said it, “our business is so unique!” and we know it is, but so is every other one, too. With B2B sales, you are finding a fit for your product or service into a variety of different businesses, taking the time to define what the partnership looks like given the circumstances. In many cases, changes need to be made to existing infrastructure or policies, and those adjustments need to be mapped out before moving forward with a new provider.
Why This Isn’t Such a Bad Thing
More time in evaluation and research is a good thing because it forces you to examine each step, evaluate the content you utilize to move the prospect further towards a purchase, as well as your follow-up tactics and strategies. Not only that, the time helps build an actual relationship between the businesses, creating a more humanistic element to the entire process.