“How do I win large corporate or "enterprise" clients?”
This question has been asked of me so many times.
While it is true that large corporate clients have the money and resources to spend, selling to them can also be complex and challenging. You have to be in it for the long game.
Enterprises have intricate decision-making processes, involving multiple stakeholders and extended sales cycles. To effectively navigate the enterprise sales process, you must adopt a strategic approach and have a sales plan in place.
When working with large corporate or enterprise accounts, it is important to understand that their methods of communication and operation differ from those of smaller businesses. Although it may sound obvious, it is often overlooked.
For instance, how many businesses have "WOW" (ways of working together) or "KOM" (kick-off meeting) documentation?
To successfully work with large corporate clients, it is crucial to bridge the communication gap and understand their language (learn their jargon). Be proactive and show that you understand their business and can be a reliable partner.
With great power comes great responsibility. — Spider-Man’s Uncle Ben.
I'm quoting Uncle Ben's quote 😊.
Winning over large corporate clients not only brings opportunities for growth and success but also entails greater responsibility and bigger risks. These clients have high expectations and demand a high level of service
Let's get started, shall we?
Three key strategies in navigating the enterprise sales process.
I. Understanding the Enterprise Sales Cycle
The enterprise sales cycle is significantly different from selling to smaller businesses or individual consumers. It often involves multiple stages and takes longer to reach a final decision. Understanding this unique cycle is crucial for devising an effective sales strategy. Here are key insights into the enterprise sales cycle:
Comprehensive Research: To make sure you’re successful in your sales approach, it’s important to do some research on the target enterprise. This includes their industry, pain points, competition, and any previous interactions they’ve had with your company. This knowledge will help you tailor your sales approach.
Identifying Key Decision Points: Start early in identifying crucial milestones and decision points within the sales cycle. This could include budget approvals, vendor evaluations, and contract negotiations. It is also helpful to understand who is in the inner circle and who influences the decision
Building Relationships: I always say this, and I will emphasize it again: building strong relationships with the various stakeholders involved in the purchasing process is key. Take the time to understand their roles, challenges, and motivations to ensure that you are positioning your offering effectively. Therefore, invest time in building strong relationships with various stakeholders involved in the purchasing process.
Patience and Persistence: Be prepared for a longer sales cycle and exercise patience. Enterprises often have rigorous evaluation processes, and the sales journey requires multiple touchpoints.
II. Mapping Decision-Making Hierarchies
In enterprise sales, decisions are rarely made by a single individual. Instead, they involve a network of decision-makers and influencers across different departments. Mapping decision-making hierarchies is essential to identify the key players and engage with them effectively:
Identify Key Stakeholders: Determine the main decision-makers, such as C-level executives, department heads, and budget owners. Additionally, recognize other stakeholders who can influence the decision.
Understand Roles and Interests: Each stakeholder has unique objectives and concerns. Understand their individual roles and interests to address their specific needs.
Build Relationships at ALL Levels: Forge connections not only with the top-level executives but also with those at lower levels of the hierarchy. Every stakeholder’s input is valuable, and building rapport with all involved parties can accelerate the decision-making process.
📌Grab the Customer Influence Map Template below
Mapping Decisions Makers
⚠️Warning: Sometimes decision-makers are not the ones that are in the "highest-ranked" position.
III. Creating Sales Engagement Plans for Enterprise Deals
Alright, so when you’re dealing with big enterprise deals, you must have a solid sales engagement plan in place.
That way, you make sure you cover all the bases during the sales process. Here’s how you do it:
Set Clear Objectives: To make your sales process more effective, it’s important to define the objectives for each stage of the sales process. Think about what actions you want the prospect to take and adjust your approach accordingly.
Is it introducing you to the Project Manager?
Do you want them to confirm the dates of the project? What about the budget?
Is it a real project or opportunity? Do you want them to update you on the business case?
Personalized Value Proposition: Craft a compelling value proposition that speaks directly to the enterprise’s unique challenges and objectives. Emphasize the specific RESULTS your solution brings to their business.
Align your Communication for each stakeholder: Develop personalized content and communication for each stakeholder based on their interests and responsibilities. For example, speaking to the Sales Leader requires a different approach than talking to a Technical Head or Operations Manager. This approach demonstrates a deeper understanding of their needs.
Follow a Structured Approach: Outline a step-by-step plan that outlines the key activities, timelines, you and your responsible team members for each stage of the sales process. It’s easy to get lost in the conversation. Have you ever been in a meeting with an agenda to gather all the pain points and requirements of the client, but after an hour, you still don’t know if it’s a qualified lead? Exactly! Having a clear plan will help you stay on track.
For example, when developing an offer or introduction, clearly outline the structure and milestones of the project. Start with the client's goals and KPIs, and work with them to establish checkpoints and benchmarks. Identify the key point person on their side and establish clear lines of communication throughout the process.
📌Grab the Strategic Account Playbook template below as your guide.
By understanding the enterprise sales cycle, mapping decision-making hierarchies, and creating effective sales engagement plans, you can navigate the complexities of enterprise sales with confidence and increase your chances of securing valuable, long-term partnerships with these large organizations.
And once you have landed and signed a large enterprise client, ensure a smooth onboarding and delivery experience.
Thanks for being here, I appreciate you! You are awesome.
📈 Customer Influence Map Get template →
🚀 Strategic Account Playbook Start working on your Account Plan →
📘 Quick Start Guide to High-Value B2B Deals Get your 5-Day Email Course→