Enterprise sales process: A step-by-step guide
Getting a piece of the enterprise market is every entrepreneur’s dream, and there is a good reason for it; big money in this market. But getting a piece of the market doesn’t come easy.
Closing a deal can be challenging with a sales cycle that stretches for up to six months or longer and requires multiple stakeholders to sign it off.
When dealing with enterprises, your first shot matters a lot. If you miss it on the first try, you are more likely to lose business. But if you follow the right steps, you can significantly improve your chances of success.
Incorporating software can help you finetune the process.
An enterprise salesperson has to navigate a wide range of product offerings, with each serving a different purpose which means their applicability, strengths, and weaknesses will differ.
If the reps don’t have the correct information at the right time, they might end up selling products that are not the right fit for clients or miss out on up-selling or cross-selling opportunities.
But it doesn’t have to be that way for you; incorporating technology into your processes can help streamline the sales process, ensuring that your sales are effective in their sales process.
For more information on how technology can help revolutionize your sales process, you may want to read this post on the most critical enterprise sales software your business needs to have.
The four steps of the enterprise sales process
The enterprise sales process starts with getting a sense of a client’s needs and interests. This can be achieved through research or preliminary talks, for example, through cold calls and email.
You have to ask some questions that can help you pinpoint a prospective client’s pain points which you will later use to tailor your sales strategy.
Through your research, the question you may need to answer should touch on elements such as organizations’ missions, goals, earlier purchases, potential roadblocks, decision-makers or stakeholders, and the legal processes.
With this information at hand, tailoring a deal best suited for an enterprise will be easier.
If a prospective client is interested in learning more about how you can help solve their problem, they may agree to a formal meeting or a demonstration. If possible, it’s best to meet in person, which can help form a connection.
Before going ahead with the meeting or demonstration, make sure that the prospect is well qualified, considering the time and resources that could be spent in doing a demonstration.
You may also want to bring with you some other members of your team that may be involved in one way or the other in the project you will be demonstrating, such as engineers or IT experts.
That way, it becomes easier to help your prospects get a feel of what they should expect.
Once you are done with your demonstration, the next stage is consultation. This can take a very long time, so you need to be patient. During this stage, your prospects will hold internal conversations and seek approval from the different stakeholders.
During the waiting process, it’s tempting to send emails to remind the prospects that you are still waiting, but that may not help much. Instead, focus on offering value. For instance, ask if there is a way you can help.
Even if you feel like the customer isn’t ready to buy, wait it out until they say so themselves.
Closing the deal
If the prospect is ready to buy, it’s time to close the deal. To complete the deal effectively, simplify the contract signing process as much as possible.
Make sure you ask the client when they intend to close the deal – avoid making assumptions.
If for any reason the deal falls through, handle it professionally and thank them for their time. But ensure that you carry with you the lessons learned through your interaction into future interactions.