If there was ever any doubt as to technology’s potential impact on the large enterprise sales process, consider this eye-opening finding from McKinsey. Their analysis identified a pool of $74 to $298 billion in revenue growth that could be unleashed through enabling technology in sales. They found technology can power growth primarily through new customer experiences, refined pricing, and enhanced selling processes.
So, if there is that kind of potential growth for large enterprises that invest in sales technology, why isn’t everyone on the bandwagon? Simply put, it is really hard to get new technology approved. There are layers of decision-makers, established procurement processes, and a lot of users to consider. Sellers are often trained to identify the buyer’s problem and offer a solution. However, it is just as important to understand the prospect’s challenges as they relate to the basic logistics of the buying process.
We’ve compiled four top challenges facing enterprise buyers. Carefully consider each one and how your sales team can help their prospects meet these challenges.
Align the Calendars of Many Participants
With so many decision-makers, aligning everyone’s calendar for a sales meeting is the No. 1 challenge. As a salesperson, be careful that you don’t get so excited about getting a time on the calendar that you settle for getting in front of only a fraction of the decision-makers. Setting a meeting that involves numerous players takes patience and empathy. Be flexible, and open to conducting multiple meetings or demos. Be sure you are the one that is inconvenienced, not your prospect.
This approach not only gets you in front of the right group, but it demonstrates willingness and availability, two key qualities buyers will be looking for in a vendor. Easy accessibility and approachability might just be the key differentiator that sets you apart from your competitors. Show that you value your prospect’s time.
Find Value for Multiple Players
View each enterprise prospect as a combination of many individual clients. One study found that the No. 1 challenge for B2B salespeople is “their inability to communicate value differentiation.” That challenge grows exponentially in a large organization. Even though sales technology is targeted for the sales team, multiple departments and players are often using it. Finance, customer service, marketing and IT are just some of the teams that will need to adapt their workflow when there is a change in sales tech. Large enterprises must justify new sales tech by finding value for each of these players. Sellers must be aware of this challenge and help them communicate individualized value. How so?
- Communicate benefits not features. Features belong to products. Benefits belong to customers. View each player as an individual customer. What benefits of your product will appeal to them? They will measure the value of your product from the anticipated benefit they hope to receive. Develop clear benefit statements for each player.
- Provide clear, digestible content. Decision-makers will often go back and discuss the sales tech with their teams. Be sure they have transparent, easy-to-understand content to share. That includes pricing models and platform details. Give them the “sound bites” they will need to get buy-in from their teams. Explain what makes your product unique in the most concise way, so it can easily be repeated.
- Show and tell. Involve your prospects by “showing” them value. We don’t just mean a demo of your product. Use graphs to show retention rates, sales increases and increased productivity for support teams. Think about each department involved and include a visual component that demonstrates the value for them.
While you’re here, check out this webinar: How Distributors & Manufacturers Can Equip Their Sales Teams for Success
They Must Justify the Risk
The enterprise software market is the fastest growing segment in the IT industry, exceeding 10 percent year-on-year growth. Enterprise leaders are bombarded all the time with promises of getting the best of all worlds through some type of software. While many tech solutions legitimately offer benefits, they also come with risk. Decision-makers are left with the job of justifying that risk. Is the cost worth the ROI? Is the end result worth the learning curve and lost productivity they’ll have during transition?
How can you help them justify the risk? Of course, clearly communicating the benefits is key. However, remember that your prospects know you are a salesperson, and your opinion is tilted in your favor. They will often look to outside sources to mitigate risks. They will look to user recommendations, product reviews or other forums that relate to your online reputation. What does the online chatter say about you? Can you provide your prospects with other large enterprises that will recommend your product? These user recommendations will go a long way in helping your prospect justify the risk of investment.
They Have a Complicated Procurement Process
The procurement and legal process for a large enterprise is complicated. Sellers who seek to understand the purchasing evaluation process put themselves at an advantage. Who needs to buy-in? What group will make the ultimate decision? How does your product fit into the enterprise’s existing tool stack? Decision-makers will often consult potential users. Can you meet directly with the sales team? This might require an additional meeting/demo.
As power-users, the sales team is positioned to give valuable feedback to key decision-makers. Get close to them. You can do this through conventional presentations, email, or direct calls. Or, you can use indirect means, such as social media. Engage key users on LinkedIn or other channels. Demonstrate your position as an industry leader through high-quality content. Understanding the role of each player in the procurement process will ensure you are making your time count.