Engaging buyers and moving them through the sales cycle is always a challenge, but with enterprise prospects, that challenge intensifies. Not only are enterprise sales cycles significantly longer, but salespeople must engage with more decision-makers and influencers to close a deal.
No matter how large the company, the obstacles a salesperson faces when selling to the enterprise can be overcome. Here are four ways to break through roadblocks and improve the enterprise sales process.
When an enterprise deal is at stake, sales teams need more than intuition to guide them to the close. That makes analytics one of the most useful tools at a salesperson's disposal. Using data and analytics to determine customer engagement provides clear instructions on how to personalize the customer experience, the number of decision-makers and influencers involved in a deal, and when to move to the next stage in the sales process.
"The most successful salespeople excel at building relationships," said John Kwiatkowski, vice president of enterprise sales at TinderBox. "Adding analytics into the mix provides improved insight that can significantly impact sales team performance. Having strong data can help sales teams prioritize their efforts toward deals in the pipeline with higher probability of closing, and steer them away from deals that might take too much time based on poor engagement."
A longer sales cycle for the enterprise presents both a challenge and an opportunity. Taking the time to conduct proper discovery can make the difference between building a strong relationship and ending a deal before it's begun.
Discovery gives a salesperson the opportunity to validate their business case and personalize it for the customer. The complexity of an enterprise deal will require a great deal of research – and the more research a salesperson can conduct, the better they'll know the customer. And knowing the customer is the best way to provide the right solution.
Analytics and discovery are just two critical elements of a successful enterprise deal, and salespeople can't close an enterprise deal alone. When enterprise sales is approached like a team sport, salespeople can make quick work of the early- and mid-stage sales process and deliver the right solutions faster than the competition.
Enlisting members from across an organization – like marketing, finance and client success – ensures that enterprise salespeople can gather useful information from a variety of sources. And because high-performing companies are three times as likely as underperformers to view sales as the responsibility of the entire organization, working deals as a team increases the likelihood of closing.
App creep is real, and for enterprise companies it's a serious obstacle to efficiency and effectiveness. In a crowded market, buyers must determine on their own which solutions will fit best into their sales tech stacks. That leaves many companies with a patchwork of point solutions that strain budgets, IT resources and sales team patience.
Enterprise organizations rely on salespeople to educate them on how to use technology Offering a platform solution – or a tightly integrated solution comprised of a small number of solutions – provides companies with a cost-effective way to solve complex problems. A single platform also levels out the learning curve for sales teams and increases adoption.
The buyer journey for enterprise companies is completely different from smaller companies. It's the job of the enterprise salesperson to educate prospects, provide suitable options and deliver the best possible customer experience. Each obstacle to closing enterprise deals can be surmounted with accurate information, genuine interest in the customer, and patience.
Sharmin Kent is the content and communications manager at TinderBox. You can find her at Twitter at @STMKent.