Time to Close

The average time it takes to close a deal with a key account.

In sales, time is money. The longer it takes to close a deal, the more resources are consumed, and the less profitable the deal becomes. This is where the Time to Close Key Performance Indicator (KPI) comes in. Time to Close measures the average time it takes to close a deal with a key account. It is an important metric that every sales team should track, analyze, and improve upon. In this article, we will decode the elusive Time to Close KPI and provide insights for sales success.

Decoding the Elusive Time to Close KPI

Time to Close is a complex metric that is influenced by a myriad of factors, such as the complexity of the sales process, the size of the deal, the number of stakeholders involved, and the readiness of the customer to buy. To improve this KPI, sales teams need to break it down into its components and understand each one.

The first step is to define what a “key account” is. A key account is a customer that is strategically important to the business. They typically have a higher revenue potential, a longer sales cycle, and a higher level of complexity. It is important to identify these accounts and prioritize them in the sales process.

Next, sales teams need to map out the sales process and identify the bottlenecks. This could be anything from delays in responding to customer inquiries, lengthy contract negotiations, or difficulty in getting buy-in from decision-makers. Once these bottlenecks are identified, sales teams can work to streamline the process and remove unnecessary steps.

Another key factor in Time to Close is the level of engagement with the customer. Sales teams need to establish a strong relationship with the key account and understand their needs and pain points. This requires active listening, effective communication, and a willingness to go above and beyond to provide value to the customer.

Mastering Time to Close: Insights for Sales Success

To improve Time to Close, sales teams need to focus on three key areas: process, people, and technology.

Process: Streamlining the sales process is crucial to reducing Time to Close. This involves identifying and eliminating bottlenecks, simplifying the process where possible, and establishing clear communication channels with the customer.

People: Sales teams need to be empowered to make decisions and take action to move the deal forward. This requires strong leadership, effective training, and a culture of accountability.

Technology: Invest in tools that can automate the sales process, provide real-time data and insights, and improve collaboration between the sales team and the customer. This could include a CRM system, marketing automation software, or sales enablement tools.

In addition to these three areas, there are some best practices that sales teams can follow to improve Time to Close. These include:

  • Setting realistic timelines and expectations with the customer
  • Building strong relationships with key stakeholders
  • Providing value at every touchpoint in the sales process
  • Leveraging data to make informed decisions
  • Continuously evaluating and optimizing the sales process

By following these best practices and focusing on process, people, and technology, sales teams can improve their Time to Close KPI and increase profitability.

In conclusion, Time to Close is an important KPI that every sales team should track. By breaking it down into its components and focusing on process, people, and technology, sales teams can improve this metric and achieve sales success. Remember to set realistic timelines, build strong relationships with customers, provide value, leverage data, and continuously evaluate and optimize the sales process. With these insights, sales teams can master Time to Close and win more deals.