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Time Kills Deals

Customer Data Integration

If you’re trying to land customers and close deals, one of the biggest obstacles you face is a lengthy sales cycle. In the fast-paced world of business-to-business (B2B) transactions, time is of the essence. Whether you’re trying to close a sale or secure a new partnership, the longer it takes to finalize a deal, the greater the risk that something will go wrong. That’s why it’s crucial for businesses to move quickly when opportunities arise. In this blog post, we’ll explore why time is such a critical factor in B2B deals and what you can do to speed up the process.

One reason time is so important in B2B deals is that the longer a deal takes to close, the more likely it is that something will change. This could be anything from a change in market conditions to a shift in the other party’s priorities. In longer deal cycles, there’s more time there is for something to go wrong, and more time and more likelihood that the other party loses interest and backs out.

Here are just a few examples of how time kills deals:

  1. Macro-economic downturns result in prospective customers initiating spending freezes or deferring any new projects or initiatives.
  2. Activities such as mergers and acquisitions consume the attention of potential customers as well as initiate project and spending freezes.
  3. Reorganizations or changes in executive leadership can result in key supporters or project stakeholders no longer in a position to support the deal, with new people in leadership positions having different priorities or preferring other vendors.
  4. Lack of availability of data integration experts needed to implement the product in question causes deals to fall through.

Though all these potential events can result in the end of a potential deal, the real culprit is time. If the sales process was completed more quickly, these factors may not have had a chance to adversely impact the deal, and the deal would be signed. 

B2B Data Integration Complexities 

Because the complexities of traditional customer data integration require weeks or months to be implemented, the sales cycle becomes extended – and complicated. Potential buyers have been burned before with complex onboarding nightmares and are likely to ask for a POC (proof of concept) in order to fully understand what’s required to complete the onboarding process and what skills are needed by their own IT experts and business teams. They’ll take as much time as it takes – and extend the sales process as long as they want – to ensure they don’t repeat costly mistakes with another system that won’t meet their needs.

If they’ve tried to implement a customer data integration system in the past, they’re probably uncertain about doing it again. Maybe it took them many months to get up and running on their current solution and they’re still battle-scarred from that experience and prefer sticking to a solution they know – even if it’s less than ideal – rather than try something new. Or maybe they’ve customized the existing solution to such an extent that it’s deeply interconnected to their internal systems and, as bad as that solution is, they don’t want to take everything apart and try another one.

But that’s not the end of the concerns they’ll have. How long will it take to get the new process up and running? How many of their own team members will it require? What are the skills those workers will need to make it a success? And, most importantly, to what extent will their own IT data integration experts be needed to implement the new solution – experts that they probably can’t afford to spare, given the scarcity of certified IT data integration professionals in the labor market? 

Finally, there’s the switching cost. You might offer a better solution, with higher quality, additional features, and a lower price in the long run, but how much will it cost them – in time, labor, and fees – to make a vendor switch?

They’re going to ask all these questions (and more) about your data integration process during the sales cycle. Answering questions is the easy part. The difficulty comes from the resulting POCs that they’ll require to get more comfortable with all this effort. Compiling the information for those POCs can take a great deal of time on your part, further extending the sales process. 

And, as that time grows, your chance of signing a deal shrinks.

Simplify and Speed Your Customer Data Integration 

But what if the customer data onboarding process was demonstrably positive? What if your prospective customers were eager to get the data integration solution up and running as soon as possible?

There are a number of ways to simplify and speed your customer data integration:

  1. Self-service data customer data integration for business users. By transforming onboarding to a business application instead of a developer platform, the process is handled by business teams, and overworked IT data integration experts are freed up to work on other priority projects. 
  2. Faster customer data integration. AI and machine learning make it possible for the onboarding process to be completed 80 percent faster, in just days (or even hours) instead of weeks or months. 
  3. Automating complicated onboarding elements. Through the use of pre-configured workflows and templates, the customer data integration process is largely automated.
  4. Accelerated sales cycle – and more satisfied customers. Your delighted current customers will sing the praises of your data integration process to your potential clients, and its demonstrable ease will make the difference in potentially failing to sign a contract and winning it quickly.

Your sales teams and consulting engineers won’t have to spend nearly as long providing POCs and answering questions because those potential clients will be much less skeptical and much more eager to sign on when they see fast and simple data integration onboarding. The final result? Shorter sales cycles, more productive sales teams, and, most importantly, more completed deals.

Time is one of the most critical factors in B2B sales, and your business needs to move quickly when opportunities arise. By streamlining your sales process, using self-service and AI-driven customer data integration and enabling faster customer onboarding, you can increase your chances of success and close deals more quickly.