Enterprise sales describes the procurement of large contracts that tend to be characterized by multiple decision-makers, complicated implementation, higher risk levels, or longer sales cycles.
Understanding enterprise sales
When it comes to sales, it seems as if the only difference between one role and the next is the product a company is selling.
However, it’s important to point out that sales strategies also differ according to the size of the business.
Enterprises with clients who pay them six-figure sums annually will not follow the same sales process as an SMB that charges $50 per month.
As clients become more complex and their contracts more valuable, the enterprise may discover that the procurement process becomes more complex in turn.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the enterprise sales process is longer and more complicated than any other type. It requires numerous touchpoints, a nuanced strategy, and a great deal of forward-thinking.
Note also that enterprise sales processes should not be employed just because a company believes it has a valuable contract at stake.
Enduring the complexity of the process may be a waste of time if there is not a mature product to sell or a mature company to sell it to.
In general, enterprise sales is most beneficial for clients with more than 1,000 employees and $1 billion in revenue.
Key components of the enterprise sales model
The enterprise sales model is used by companies such as Salesforce and HubSpot which sell expensive and technical products that require training, integration, and customer support.
Irrespective of the company or industry, enterprise sales should only be considered when the product, sales, and support teams (and also monthly revenue) can absorb the intensive demands that will inevitably be placed on them.
This means the company needs to think about the following factors:
- Security – will company data be fully protected over the duration? Can data access be restricted between teams and individuals?
- Relationship-building – to close the deal, enterprise sales relies on the company nurturing a relationship that blossoms into a long-term partnership. It requires that sales teams play the long game, so to speak.
- Proof of concept – other companies should be using the product in question with good results. Proof of return on investment is paramount because enterprise losses tend to be more significant.
- Onboarding process – can this process be streamlined so that it does not slow the enterprise down?
- Customer support – will someone be available 24/7 in the event of an emergency?
- Automation – will the product save the client time or make more for them?
- Solutioning – enterprise sales also requires that the company possess extensive knowledge of the client’s challenges, industry, and growth strategy. Sales teams that understand these points in great detail become more like consultants and trusted advisors over time, which helps with relationship building.
- Enterprise sales describes the procurement of large contracts that tend to be characterized by multiple decision-makers, complicated implementation, higher risk levels, or longer sales cycles.
- Enterprise sales processes should not be employed just because a company believes it has a valuable contract at stake. The client should have employee and revenue data exceeding that of a small-medium business (SMB) or mid-level company. It’s also important to possess a mature product.
- The company offering enterprise sales must also be able to absorb the demands associated with long and complex contracts. These demands relate to automation, security, relationship building, customer support, solutioning, and onboarding.
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