It’s no secret that when it’s time to sell to large enterprises — players big enough that they might intimidate us — we have to rethink our strategies. Naturally, we can’t approach any two deals in the exact same way, but enterprises require even more attention, more resources, and more of our focus than small-to-medium-sized businesses do. …Or do they?
Of course, there are distinct differences between selling to an SMB and selling to an enterprise — the size of the company and its revenue alone necessitates a different strategy, know-how, and a more nuanced skill set — but they’re not as different as we think.
It’s true that small businesses and enterprises are different beasts, but selling to medium-sized businesses often holds the same challenges as selling to larger ones. Most of us wouldn’t hesitate at taking a shot at a medium-sized prospect, so, why do you believe you can’t go for the big whales? The truth is… you can! And it’s easier than you think.
There’s a very simple, three-step process to selling enterprises that you can use to close prospects you might’ve previously thought too imposing.
Adapt this model to your own industry and goals and watch your team nab your biggest prospects yet.
Step 1: Reconnaissance
- Research – As with a prospect of any size, doing your homework is inarguably the first step. The difference here is scale. Enterprise hunting requires that you are a stickler for details. Understand the conditions of the current market and what your ideal prospect’s competitors are doing. Take in a detailed view of the landscape and establish the “filter” through which you’ll identify all future targets. Test that filter against current accounts.
- Scout the battlefield – Once you know the lay of the land, begin to scout the battlefield for potential targets. Use the filter you’ve already established and tested to determine whether a target is the right one. Assign roles and responsibilities to all team members. Flesh out dossiers, define signs of an ideal target, and disseminate the information to your team.
- Identify your target – Set your sights on your target and plan the process of making initial contact with them. Manage how your target will perceive you, anticipate concerns and ask meaningful questions. This is discovery, and it’s not only the time to learn about how and where you’ll fill gaps in their needs, but whether they’re actually the right target for you. Don’t be afraid to abort the mission, or pivot if a better target comes along.
Step 2: Pursuit
- Stay close to the target – Approach your target with all planning phases complete. Anticipate sticking points, bring in subject matter experts to allay any buyer worries, and begin to set meetings. Make the abstract concrete with metrics and whatever visual aids you feel will help effectively demonstrate value and blast through fears.
- Capture – This is where it all comes together. All your preparation has put you in the room with the C-level decision maker and it’s your time to show them what your organization can do. Captivate them and keep their attention but discuss with your team beforehand when to abandon the mission.
- Finish the job – Demonstrate your company’s capacity without holding anything back. Secure the deal with your most authoritative figure, and make sure they’ve been prepped as thoroughly as the rest of the team. This is the final convincing moment — the moment where your target’s trust is handed over, and you’ll need to demonstrate you can handle that responsibility beyond any doubt.
Step 3: Mission Completion
- Transition – Set the wheels in motion to begin a seamless transition for your target. Now is the time to demonstrate your credibility. Complete maps for intake processes, establish reward systems for new roles and responsibilities. Communicate and remain available to the target to discuss it all.
- Begin the rebuild – Engage your company to set take action in the way you described. This is the time to make promises about what you will deliver and deliver above and beyond. Show them they made the right choice.
- Assess and repeat – Establish an ongoing assessment process to keep each party accountable, reward your team, and keep the improvements rolling onward. It’s now time to move this target into maintenance mode, and time to check in with other (past) targets to ensure they’re still growing.
What’s especially helpful with this process is that maintaining the progress you’ve made with past targets is built in at the end of the cycle. It’s a good bit of housekeeping that can get lost in the shuffle when we’re focused on growth.
Like SMBs, enterprises require strategy, but there’s no need to shy away from them just because of size. Once you’ve used the three-step process, you’ll see how easy it is to fall into a rhythm, and you’ll realize that you’ve had the skills to sell to enterprises all along.
And of course, if you want to bring in the big guns — the sales appointment setting pros — get in touch with us here at C-Level Partners. We specialize in putting your sales team in front of the Right People, in the Right Role, Right Now.