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What Makes Enterprise Sales Different

Sales reps have a lot on their plate when prospecting and developing customer relationships. They go about a direct sales approach through the transactional sales model. Transactional sales are a model for the standard approach. SMB sales require basic outreach and then problem-solving for the sales contact. The enterprise sales process requires a longer sales cycle than an SMB sales process. A successful SMB sales strategy can accomplish customer success in a matter of days. Enterprise sales can take months and even years to reach a deal with decision-makers. Unlike enterprise customers, transactional sales customers don’t need more targeting and outreach. However, keeping a working relationship with all sales customers is essential. Sterling Curran, our director of enterprise sales, has been helpful in this month’s blogs as he’s provided background from firsthand experience. Curran ensures Kennected is attracting enterprise customers and giving our customer success folks the tools they need to take on their own sales. “There’s going to be multiple decision-makers, a different budget, and you won’t be working with the sole proprietor that’ll be using the product,” said Curran.

What Is the Enterprise Sales Process?

“The enterprise sales process should start with a discovery call,” said Curran. The customer won’t know they need your product or service until after they take the time to observe what it does. If the company finds interest in the product, they will compare your product to competitors to see which deal is the best for them. The last step would be the company implementing your product which is good news for the sales team. The enterprise sales model should be shaped around the nurturing of sales leads. A company’s sales team develops a marketing and sales strategy carefully crafted around the unique sales process. Sales reps work with sales prospects to fulfill a need or solve a customer’s problem. A lead development representative ensures the leads are qualified or fit to benefit from the team’s product. The enterprise sales rep works through those complex sales to manage sales cycles. You can understand how each layer of the enterprise market builds off the next.

Understanding Sales Cycles in Enterprise Sales

What many companies get wrong about enterprise sales is not the sales tools or sales resources but the customer’s lifespan. The average customer lifespan is unclear but likely lasts from a year to three years. But when the average purchase value is higher in enterprise sales, it’s important to increase that lifespan.

As I’ll go into more depth later, enterprise sales are more difficult to go through because of many factors. Sales teams cannot use the same selling techniques with every enterprise sale. Depending on the customer’s company and goal, a different sales strategy should be used every time. Therefore, no typical enterprise sales process works 100% of the time.

Enterprise sales are usually made by senior-level sales folks that know the playing field more than anyone. Kennected was originally one of a million SMB focused SaaS companies but that has changed over the last couple of years. We’re growing, and have acquired over 100 employees so far.

How Hard Is Enterprise Sales?

The enterprise sales process is difficult to explain because, on a surface level, it’s so similar to your traditional buying process. The main difference is that enterprise sales reps work with medium-sized businesses and up. This setup gives leeway to a multitude of moving parts that extend beyond the sales rep and the customer.

Sales technology has made the enterprise sales process easier but not any easier to explain to an outside party. SMB sales are at no point easy even if the overall gist seems straightforward. There are a lot of  SMB sales that never make it past the cold calling stage, but enterprise sales are different. The actual sales process doesn’t begin until clients become interested in the product.

Outsourcing SMB sales with a minimal customer acquisition cost is another point where enterprise sales differ from the standard sales process. Enterprise sales can require a higher customer acquisition cost because the risks are higher. An enterprise sale typically can be compared to a trickle-down effect or chain reaction. Lead generation is a mainly digital process in today’s world.

Business challenges through the sales process cycles make for more complex sales. Outsourcing lead generation requires tools to lead back to the company website. And the process is becoming more organic rather than paid.

The price and buying authority is a large gray area in enterprise sales although the pricing authority is mainly in the authority of the customer success team. Because enterprise deals are reached through different sales tools and determine ultimate business value, the sales processes are determined on a case-by-case basis.

When you manage SMB sales, you’re managing multiple sales calls and the purchase process. Take this sales process times 10, and you’re looking at a potentially profitable market. But the catch is that you’re trying to get a team of professionals to agree and sign off on an enterprise deal.

If you’re looking to increase your sales, read more on the process here, which will provide helpful tips.

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