A sales cycle is a system or process a customer goes through from point of contact with a business to the final sale.
This is different from a sales funnel and focuses on detailed interactions with a business to close a sale.
Every business has its own unique variable that defines its sales cycle. There are numerous variables and factors that exist between each business that lead a customer toward the final purchase. Some may define their sales cycle based on the amount of time it takes to make a sale while others might evaluate the acquisition of a qualified lead to new customer.
Why is a Sales Cycle Important?
Regardless of how you define your sales cycle, it will allow you to understand the core steps that take a customer to make a purchase. Once you understand the detailed steps they take, they can be reduced and optimized to improve performance.
Longer sales cycles may be necessary to nurture leads into customers. These are most common for businesses that require additional information before considering you instead of a competitor.
Alternatively, if your sales cycle is longer than your competitors, this could be because your competitor has an efficient system in place. The more time you spend analyzing your sales cycle the better you can reduce the number of steps and processes to get your customers to buy from you.