Not having a strategy to identify and close enterprise deals is asking for trouble.
If your company is trying to grow and expand but can't seem to accomplish those goals, it might have something to do with your sales strategy.
Not having a structured strategy for enterprise sales leads to wasted time and money because it requires so much effort without getting any real results. And there's no reason to throw your business into jeopardy with a poorly planned strategy.
To crystallize the steps involved in your enterprise sales strategy, we have outlined seven solid tips to build and optimize your enterprise sales strategy. It's time to double your revenue!
Let's start with the challenges before building your sales strategy.
Major Challenges in Enterprise Sales.
Enterprise sales are a challenge for many companies, and it's not just because of the larger deals; The prospecting process is time-consuming and often fruitless. And once you find a qualified prospect, they might not buy from you—they could insist on going through another RFP process or working with another vendor entirely.
What is worse is that these are just the tip of the iceberg. Here are the six major challenges that every enterprise sales team faces:
1. Complexity starts even from your product.
The needs of an enterprise customer are much more complex than those of a small business or consumer-focused company.
The reason? Most companies have hundreds and thousands of employees with multiple locations. They have different departments and various levels of management. They may have IT staff and security needs; they may need to integrate with existing systems or change them completely.
So the enterprise product is designed to fit their complex needs that support many, if not all, the business's goals. The complexity of the product is an important factor to consider when thinking about how it will be sold, who needs to be involved, and what sales tools are required.
This complex nature makes it challenging for your sales team to educate the prospect. And this leads to the next challenge, a longer sales cycle.
2. Lengthy sales cycle.
Sales cycle length is always a challenge for most businesses, but it gets even thick when it comes to enterprise SaaS products.
And the sales cycle length is further dependent on the complexity and price of the product. The Higher the price and complexity of the product, the longer the sales cycle will be.
Longer sales cycles that span multiple months and quarters can take time to predict and manage, especially when quotas are set monthly or quarterly. Suppose your sales team manages to explain and persuade the buyer. In that case, they will be redirected to another decision-maker, delaying the entire sales process.
3. Too many "gatekeepers" in your way.
The more people are involved in making a decision, the longer it takes. One of the reasons why enterprise SaaS products have long sales cycles is that many stakeholders are involved with each purchase decision. The buyer might not be the one who decides whether or not to buy your product; instead, they need to get approval from other departments within their organization.
According to Gartner, when selling a complex B2B solution, 6 to 10 decision-makers are typically involved in the buying process.
This can cause delays and setbacks in your entire sales cycle because each person adds their requirements and often takes a long time to make decisions.
Even after you break the gatekeepers and manage to get through to the decision-maker, they may delay the process with the negotiation phase.
4. Longer negotiation time
The complexity of your product and the price tag holds the front seat in the negotiation process. For example, if you have a complicated product that needs to be customized and tailored to your buyer's needs, they might need more time to get the information they need. If your product is expensive or has high margins, it will take longer for them to decide whether or not they want it.
All this will result in a longer negotiation phase.
To grow your company, you need to attract more customers. At a certain point, especially if your business is in the startup phase, you might find that there aren't enough potential clients. That's why you must cultivate relationships with enterprise clients early on; they will likely be important partners down the road.
How to Build a Successful Enterprise Sales Strategy in 2023?
When it comes to enterprise sales strategy, there's no one-size-fits-all formula. Though you can create a strategy based on any template, it's important to recognize that your approach will need to change depending on the size and scope of your target company.
Here are some tips for creating a successful enterprise sales strategy in 2023:
1. Define your objective and set realistic goals.
The first step in creating an enterprise sales strategy is to define your objective. This can help you develop a clear picture of what needs to be accomplished, who will be responsible for each aspect of the process, and how long it will take. You also need to set realistic goals and measure your progress.
It can be
- Increasing revenue from existing customers by 10%.
- Generate 20 new leads each month.
- Increase the number of meetings with decision-makers by 10%.
You should be able to explain what value your product provides clearly. And that goes for enterprise technology buyers as well—they aren't looking for boxed software or specific features but a solution to their company's problems.
Therefore, your sales pitch should focus on the business benefits a product or service can offer rather than just its utility.
2. Understand your prospect's pain.
At the enterprise level, customer pain points often involve problems that affect a company's long-term goals. Your sales reps can steer customers to share concerns that would give you a better understanding of your clients.
If you can't empathize with your prospect's pain, it won't be easy to convince them that your product is the solution. So ask yourself:
- What are their problems?
- What do they want to achieve?
- How can technology help them solve these problems?
When you gain a better understanding of your prospect's pain points, you'll be able to create a compelling value proposition that addresses those needs.
3. Develop a lead generation strategy
You can't close sales if you don't have leads. And it's not as simple as having a list of prospects; you need a strategy for generating those leads.
There are many ways to generate new leads, from cold calling to email marketing and social media advertising.
But regardless of which method you choose, some key factors will help guide your lead generation efforts:
- Know how many leads you need per month
- Determine where these prospects can be found
- Identify the best marketing channels to reach them
- Create personalized campaigns.
- Focus on improving the conversion rate.
4. Create a structured sales process
To ensure your team focuses on the right kinds of prospects, each sales rep should have a list of ideal customers to target. These targets can be divided evenly among the members so everyone can reach them equally. The sales team should also have a clear set of steps to follow when contacting prospects. This will help ensure that everyone is on the same page and can work together to develop relationships with them.
With a structured sales process, it becomes easier to identify which prospects are more likely to buy your product. This will help you increase the conversion rate of your lead-generation campaigns.
5. Generate at least three to five times your annual revenue goal in sales leads.
For every sale that happens immediately or on your timetable, there is another deal for which you must wait—and often suffer rejection.
Even though you shouldn't expect all your ideas to yield substantial results, having many more prospects than necessary will give you a better shot at reaching your goals.
To ensure a steady stream of new business, ensure you're actively prospecting and have an up-to-date list of target companies. As you develop your pipeline, stay focused on the ideal characteristics for each client role.
6. Focus on things that drive results
One of the best ways to avoid getting stuck in a grind is to focus on what matters most. You can measure this by tracking the number of sales you make and the time it takes to close them.
This will help you better handle your biggest obstacles, which can help you prioritize your efforts and save time on things that don't work. If your pipeline is shrinking, review the data and make adjustments as necessary.
7. Optimize your enterprise sales strategy
It's important to evaluate your strategy and make adjustments as needed constantly. For example, if you notice that one type of lead isn't converting at the same rate as another, consider making a change. This can be as simple as switching your messaging or changing how you reach out to people.
Try testing different approaches and see what works best. By optimizing your strategy, you'll be able to make the most of your time and resources.
7 Tips to Optimize Your Enterprise Sales Strategy
As enterprise sales often require a customized approach to reaching each prospect, it's important to build and optimize your strategy as you go.
Here are seven tips to help you do just that:
1. Identify your ideal customer profile.
Establishing an ideal customer profile is the first step in building an enterprise sales strategy, so start by creating a detailed description of whom you're trying to reach and what they need from your product or service.
2. Engage the right channels.
Your sales strategy should be multi-channeled, meaning you have different ways of reaching each type of prospect. For example, if your ideal customer is a CEO with a technical background, then LinkedIn may be the best place for you to start engaging with this person.
Ensure you always have a healthy combination of digital and in-person interactions with your prospects.
3. Focusing on educating your prospects
As enterprise solutions don't have the freemium or free trial version, the decision-making process depends on the prospect's level of understanding. The best way to get your prospects more informed is by building a relationship with them and educating them on how your solution can help their business with an interactive product demo.
No matter your product's complexity, you can always make it easier for your prospects to understand how it works by providing them with an interactive demo of the solution. With the perfect no-code solution like Storylane, you can build an interactive product demo that allows your prospects to experience how the solution works.
The demo will help you explain the product's capabilities and benefits in detail, making it easier for them to understand how it can benefit their business without opting for a free trial option.
4. Follow up (Even more than normal)
To keep your brand top of mind, you must constantly reach out and engage with potential customers. You should use email campaigns, a drip marketing system, or other recurring communication strategies to ensure that people don't forget about you.
According to Invespcro, only 48% of salespeople make a single follow-up attempt, but 60% of customers need to be asked four times before they will say yes. If you want to maximize your sales, you need to be persistent and consistent with your follow-up efforts.
A good CRM system can automate many of these processes so that you don't have to remember when it's time to send a handwritten note or alert your customer service representative.
The frequency with which you follow up on your enterprise customer depends partly on how ready they are to make a purchase. Send them fewer cold calls if you're starting, but try staying in touch at least once weekly or monthly if the signs are good and they look like they'll convert soon.
5. Customize the offering
Enterprise-scale deals require deep interactions with the customer to tailor products and services for individual companies.
Find out what your customers want, and collaborate with them. For example, software companies sell products before they're finished so their business clients can help develop new features for the next product version.
6. Don't undersell
Remember that enterprise sales strategies are about finding a specific need and applying the right solution to solve it. Once you've identified a company's problem, your job is done—you've effectively sold them what they should buy from you. It doesn't matter whether it costs much or little, as long as it addresses their needs directly!
Although enterprise sales are worth more, they cost more because of the need for additional customization and support. Convince your customer that long-term benefits outweigh short-term costs by selling the ROI rather than their price.
7. Become a consultant
The ultimate value of any enterprise customer is the result—not necessarily of one sale, but especially in a consultative engagement.
To increase the likelihood of customer success, include your team early in sales processes. This will help prospects understand their goals and how to solve challenges.
Regularly consulting a client, especially during the initial phases of an engagement, can help you increase your billings at renewal time.
Enable Your Sales Team, Educate Prospects and Win Deals
There is no doubt that enterprise sales are a complex puzzle and your sales team has to strain every nerve to close more deals. This is even crucial if you have a complex product that needs a lot of learning and understanding before the prospect can buy.
And in this sales process, the role of sales demos is crucial because it gives your sales team a chance to educate prospects, enable them and build trust. This will make your sales process more efficient and effective in winning deals.
The best way to help them is to enable them with a sales demo software that can do most of the heavy lifting. Storylane is a no-code sales demo software that gives your sales team a powerful platform to create and share sales demos.
As multiple stakeholders are available in enterprise sales, creating an interactive product demo will save your team's efforts, as the demo educates and informs the prospect about your product more effectively and efficiently.
More importantly, your sales team can gain insights into how prospects interact with your interactive product demo. This helps your sales team to tailor their sales message and move the prospects down the funnel.
Want to know more about how you can improve your sales process with an interactive product demo? Schedule a free demo and see how it can help you improve your sales process.