Kennected

What Does An Enterprise Sales Process Look Like?

Enterprise sales, also known as complex sales, refers to the procurement of large contracts. It involves higher risks than sales to small and medium businesses, multiple decision-makers, and long sales cycles. In other words, enterprise sales involve large-scale corporate solutions.

The choice of sales cycle is the key difference between growth and the business becoming an addition to the 90% of failed startups. The business at this point is just a statistic or a cautionary tale for other startups on what to and what not to do. Deciding on the enterprise sales cycle for your business is not very easy as there are a few essential elements the sales team needs to be aware of.

With enterprise sales, it can be hard to know where to begin. Ask the enterprise sales reps what they are selling at the start of an enterprise sales process, and you may get answers like ‘we do not know yet. It is therefore essential to first understand the typical enterprise sale cycle. Since 2018 Kennected has been providing simple yet effective lead generation and marketing solutions. Read on to understand the sales cycle that we use.

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Basic Steps in an Enterprise Sales Cycle

The sales cycle consists of distinct steps from prospecting to closing the deal and follow-up. Ensure you work with a qualified sales team for successful enterprise sales and sales cycles.

Prospecting

The first step of the complex sales process is prospecting. Here the potential customers and sales team carry out initial research. Evaluate the prospect’s viability while acquiring information to contact the prospects.

Tips for effective prospecting in the sales cycle.

  • Identify the decision-makers of good prospects, which will vary depending on the product.

  • Use social media sites to acquire information about the stakeholders you will need to approach and the prospective companies.

  • Since there are multiple decision-makers in enterprise sales, you must figure out the best decision-maker to approach. Remember, no specific individual can make a unilateral buying decision. Make sure the person you come to is relevant enough to make a big difference.

  • Familiarize yourself with the decision-makers you need to approach.

Discovery, First Contact

A typical enterprise sales cycle continues with identifying potential customer needs and interests through research and talks. A lot more prep work is needed to close a large enterprise deal. At this point, ask critical questions to expose the key issues and gauge the deal’s viability. Enough research and discovery will reduce the risks of losing the complex sales’ buyer attention.

Make the complex sales process customer-centered by doing the following:

  • Try contacting them at different times. A prospect who will not be available may be available at another time.

  • Please explain why you are reaching out to them when introducing yourself

  • Make use of open-ended questions.

  • Take notes immediately after.

The questions need to relate to key elements like organizational missions and goals, legal issues, key decision-makers, potential roadblocks, timelines, and how they impact success. This information is essential in designing an effective enterprise sales strategy that will guarantee results. The data is also valuable for helping you weed out the enterprise sales that are not likely to come out.

Since numerous decision-makers will be involved in the enterprise sales buying process, it is essential to know who they are. For example, before an enterprise deal is closed, an average of 7 decision-makers may be involved in the enterprise software sales cycle. Learning about the individuals and departments involved can also be incredibly helpful in mapping out the buying process.

Lastly, understand the product industry and niche. Familiarizing with these elements defines super enterprise sales reps who will offer what is not offered anywhere else.

Diagnosis: Assessing and Understanding the needs of the enterprise

Understanding the needs of your prospect does not stop with discovery. Sustaining a productive relationship with your prospects for the entire sales cycle period will only be possible if you know them inside out.

Research the company in detail, identify its problems, and find ways to remedy them. In other words, identify as many issues as possible about your prospect company, both current and potential. Next, translate these insights into final, addressable pain points. Lastly, you can begin fitting the pieces together to get a clear picture of how they can leverage themselves to improve their business.

Demonstration: Presenting Your Product

Once you have a qualified prospect receptive to learning more about your product, plan and organize a formal meeting and a demonstration. If possible, conduct the meeting yourself to build a connection and rapport.

Here are the best practices for a practical demonstration in enterprise sales.

  • Ensure the prospect is well qualified. The entire enterprise sales process of scheduling a demonstration is time-consuming and requires many resources. You cannot afford to waste all these resources on unqualified prospects.

  • Bring along other sales team members. The enterprise sale benefits from consultations with members of the engineering teams and customer success. This will, in turn, show the customer the kind of service to expect.

  • Tailor your sales pitch to suit the prospects’ needs. Enterprise buyers expect a customized rather personalized service. For this reason, you must avoid a one size fits all type of presentation. Before you show up for the demonstration, make sure you have done your homework on the prospect.

  • Focus on relationship building with the prospect. Since you will be working with them for a long time, you must form a long-term personal connection.

Consultation

After a successful demonstration, what follows is the consultation stage. During this stage in the sales process, the prospects will have internal conversations with stakeholders to seek their approval.

They may need to prepare a case for the purchase, but you still need to remain involved in the enterprise sales process. At this stage of the enterprise sales, you need to act as a trusted consultant by providing the customer with the guidance they need.

You can be a trusted consultant by doing the following:

  • Be patient. In the sales process, patience is not only a virtue but a necessity. The sale process can take a long time, and it is essential to be ready to wait and not to give up, even if the process takes longer than expected.

  • Offer value whenever you remind the prospects that you exist. It is always tempting to send the prospects reminder emails, but you should always make sure you are adding value.

  • Always offer help to the customer. Ask them if they need your help preparing the business case or talking to a stakeholder.

  • Make sure you are not pushing the customer or rushing the sales process. If the customer is not ready to buy, do not rush them.

Delivery: Addressing Concerns

This step occurs after the proposal has been accepted. The process involves addressing the prospect’s concerns by providing effective solutions. It involves constructing and executing realistic and tailored implementation plans that will work effectively for you and the new prospect.

It would be best if you also had a plan for measuring the success of your solutions. This means you should have relevant measurement metrics in place that you will use as a reference point to gauge the outcome of your solutions.

These metrics may include the following:

  • Customer retention

  • Run rate

  • Pipeline velocity

  • Win rate

  • Pipe coverage

  • Customer lifetime value

Once all this is done, maintain an active and productive relationship with your customer. Position yourself as a helpful, reliable, and trustworthy advisor that can always be relied upon to get the most out of the solution.

Closing and Follow up

Once the prospect is ready to buy and everything is successful, you can now move towards closing the enterprise deal. You can now move towards finalizing the sale while working out any outstanding matters.

To effectively close the enterprise sales deal, do the following.

  • Ensure the contract signing process is as simple as possible. You can do this by using enterprise sales software instead of paper contracts.

  • Never make assumptions. When the time is right, ask the customer about their timing of completing the enterprise sales deal.

  • Note that the deal might fall through. If this happens, deal with the issue professionally. Thank the stakeholders for their time and tell them that you hope they will consider you in the future. If everything goes well and the enterprise sales deal is successful, close everything by signing the contract.

The sales process of closing an enterprise deal with corporate giants involves five distinct steps.

  • Position yourself

  • Build a relationship that will build a rapport

  • Choose an appropriate sales strategy: There are several tried and true enterprise sales models that you can use for great results. SPIN, Challenger, Value, Target account, and solution selling.

  • Use enterprise sales software to establish a fine-tuned sales process

  • Be patient

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Rules of Enterprise Selling

There are four rules to effective enterprise selling. The rules are as follows:

  • Know your industry and niche

  • Know your customer journey

  • Know your champion

  • Establish familiarity and thought leadership

Summary

Complex sales from the name mean it involves a complicated process mainly because the enterprise market is also a little bit complicated. For success, you must be ready to follow established processes, practices, and procedures up to the end. It is an iterative process that must be fine-tuned over time.

The process must also allow room for changes to meet the needs of the parties involved. It is a 10% art and a 90% process, with the art being the primary determinant of its success. Another critical determinant of the success of the process is the sales team involved. The sales team comprises highly qualified and experienced members who understand their role in the process. Different sales teams need to work together then to achieve the overall goal.

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