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How to Be Successful at Enterprise Sales

Selling Skills

In this Q&A video, we lay out what it takes to be successful in enterprise sales and the best way to deal with procurement. You’ll also learn how to use a sales model to uncover stakeholders needs and the impact your solution brings to each of them.

 

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Video Script

That's a great question and one that’s worth breaking down into some components. What do we mean by enterprise sales? What are some of the challenges we run into? How do we address those?

Let's look at those components.

First, we define an enterprise sale as a sale with a long sales cycle. There may be an RFP involved. It's more complex than a simple transaction, or one that we can close in a single call with a single stakeholder.

Second, with an enterprise sale, there are more stakeholders involved. The average sale has over five influencers, five stakeholders involved. And I've seen recently, that's up to six or six and a half stakeholders involved.

So if you're only talking to one or two people in that organization, you're missing people who have their own needs and concerns, and that will likely influence the outcome of that deal.

If you haven't taken the time to map the account, understand who all those stakeholders are, understand what they care about, and gain access to them, you're leaving many things up to chance.

You need to understand not only the individuals you're talking to but who else is going to have a vote in that decision-making. Figure out creative ways of getting an introduction or conversation. Invite them to the presentation so that you can accommodate and account for that in your final presentation or proposal.

The third aspect is on the types of business drivers and concerns that the constituents may have. If you have many stakeholders involved, they may care about very different things.

In our sales training curriculum, we talk about an impact model as a way of understanding stakeholder's problem and understanding the impact of the solution that we're bringing. It may affect their (I)mage, (M)oney, (P)roductivity, (A)dvantage, (C)ustomer satisfaction, or even the (T)otal cost of ownership.

There are many components that your solution may bring to help solve problems. But the different constituents are going to care about very different things. For example, the CFO caring about different things than the CMO or the CIO.

You need to understand all the stakeholders' needs and priorities, and how your solution can address those needs. Because they may all be voting, but they may have a very different perspective and need that they're trying to meet. Understanding the impact of their problem and the impact of the solution is critical to being able to approach those enterprise sales.

Finally, what makes enterprise sales challenging it's a more sophisticated buyer. They're making larger procurements and purchases, and they're much more informed and knowledgeable about what's out there.

In fact, they may have professional purchasing or procurement involved, who’re going to put another set of requirements to get the deal done. So you need to understand what the sales process looks like. What are all the stages involved in working with that particular organization? And, how can you work with procurement to get the deal done, even after the stakeholders bought into your solution?

That breaks down to treating procurement as a stakeholder or another influencer in that deal. Understand what they're trying to do to mitigate risk, lower prices, and improve the outcomes for the organization. How can you propose so that you meet those solutions without having to lower your price or give a lot of concessions in the final negotiations?

Those are four aspects where enterprise sales can be more challenging, but can also yield great benefits to the organization and to the sales professional. There's every reason to chase it.

These are some ideas that you can use to respond and prepare to go after those enterprise sales and win them.

SRG Insights is a Q&A video series where we answer your questions on the topics of sales, sales management, sales coaching, and sales training. Featuring sales experts with over 25 years of sales and sales management experience.  

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About Ray Makela

Ray Makela is CEO and Managing Director at Sales Readiness Group (SRG). He oversees all client engagements as well as serves as a senior facilitator on sales management, coaching, negotiation and sales training workshops. Ray has over 20 years of management, consulting, and sales experience and writes frequently on best practices for coaching and developing sales teams.