Eighty-four percent of C-Suite executives and 70 percent of B2B decision-makers now look to social media when making a purchasing decision. Cold-calling and blowing up inboxes will no longer cut it, so if you want to keep selling successfully, you need to adapt. Building a social selling strategy and incorporating it into your playbook can help you reach a new generation of buyers on their own terms and build the trust you need to win a sale—if you know the right decision-makers to target.
Enterprise sales is a crowded space—especially when it comes to MarTech or IT—with more and more vendors throwing their hats into the ring each year. Competition isn’t going anywhere, so if you want your solution to stand out, you need to go the extra mile to get noticed.
Tags: Sales Intelligence
You've gone and bought lumber, bricks, mortar, drywall, and everything else you might need to build the house of your dreams. You've even hired a builder to put them all together. Easy, right? After all, you have all the pieces of a house. But there's just one problem — you don't have a house plan.
Tags: Sales Intelligence
For complex enterprise sales, knowledge is power. Having slivers of insight on your side, like a prospect's pain points and who really calls the shots (and do they like ribs?) can be the final pieces of the puzzle that win you business.
Tags: Sales Intelligence
When you wake up in the morning and go to work, who do you talk to? That's the question our July Emissary of the Month, Jim Fortner, puts to CIOs looking for an edge. And after 28 years at Procter and Gamble (P&G), including stints as CTO and CIO, he’s built an impressive career by talking—talking to IT, talking to business leaders, and encouraging conversations between them to build the kind of cross-functional cohesion that businesses need to succeed in the digital age.
In the past, our leading IT-buying Emissaries have told you why you should stop freaking out about pricing, discounts, and trials. But with so much riding on a subject as delicate as pricing, we knew there was more to say. This time around, some of our most sought-after Emissaries tell you how you can set expectations to make these discussions easier and smooth your path to closed-won.
Tags: Emissaries Speak
Noted sales guru Jeffrey Gitomer once wrote: “There’s no lotion or potion that will make sales faster and easier for you—unless your potion is hard work.” Sure, hard work is important, but we've found something that can make sales both faster and easier
Like 50 Cent's legendarily off-target first pitch, a bad sales pitch isn't something you'll live down easily. It's going to close the door on that client for your company for years to come. It's also going to live in the stakeholders' memories well after they move on to other organizations.And if it's bad enough, they're probably going to laugh at you. Sure, a lack of consensus or the inability to navigate procurement effectively can derail a deal—as can any number of other factors—but nothing's quite as critical as nailing that first touchpoint.
When sales cycles drag on, as they often do, it can be a real test of patience. At some point, whether your product is stuck in procurement or the subject of a continuously rescheduled meeting between decision-makers, you want an answer—even if it's negative—to at least put you out of your misery and allow you to move on.
Eric Toda, former global head of social marketing and editorial content at Airbnb, is our Emissary of the Month for May. Eric recently took some time to sit down with us to discuss his work with Emissary, the biggest mistakes he's seen sales teams make, and the secret to success and happiness in both work and life.
You may think you're wining, dining, and wooing everyone there is to woo, but with as many as seven people involved in B2B buying decisions today, chances are there are other, more influential decision-makers who aren't getting a seat at your table.
At long last, you closed the deal. You fist-bumped your buddy and added it to your quarterly totals. Time to ride off into the sunset and let the accounts team handle the rest. After all, your job is getting ink on paper, right?
Your POC meets you at the elevator. After the standard handshake-and-hello, she guides you to the conference room—in which you find nine people. There were only four on the invitation, and you, of course, researched them thoroughly. So who are these people? What's their stake in what you're selling? And who's really making the buying decision here?
You and your buyer are aligned on the big picture. You know your solution is a perfect fit for their organization—and they agree. But will the technicalities of pricing and discount negotiations sideline a potentially lucrative deal? We've seen it happen. A lot. Fortunately, it doesn't have to.
This April, we selected former Costco SVP of e-Commerce, Ginnie Roeglin, as our Emissary of the Month. As a former marketing executive at one of the hardest and most desirable organizations to sell into, Ginnie has been an invaluable resource in arming our clients with the tools they need to sell successfully.
All your meetings have gone well. Everyone you talked to at your buyer's organization was really engaged. You asked good questions, and they gave great feedback. They really seemed to grasp how your particular solution could help their business.
But you didn't get the deal. There were lingering compatibility questions that your tech team took ages to address, and during that time, another vendor swooped in and won the business. But even if your tech team had moved faster, you wouldn't have won the deal. In fact, you were never going to win the deal for one simple reason: You didn't have an an internal advocate to carry the deal across the goal line.
"Thanks for your time, but I don't think it's a fit for us."
Why would your hottest prospect turn you down so quickly after your first meeting? You crushed it. You killed it. You knocked it out of the park. Your pre-sales research was solid, your deck was on-point, and your delivery was flawless. On top of all that, they seemed really into your solution. So what went wrong?
This is it: your big enterprise sales pitch. You've spent hours crafting the slickest, most polished sales deck the world has ever seen.
You've got your best suit pressed and your shoes shined. Now it's time to present, and you've totally got this. You're a flew slides in, and everything seems to be going well until a senior stakeholder interrupts with a question:"Does it integrate with Oracle?" Your answer, unfortunately, is "no."
"Oh," the stakeholder says. "If it doesn't integrate with Oracle, we can't use it."
All of the time and effort you put in — and all the money your company spent to get you out there — just went down the drain. You lost a major opportunity for good, and all because you didn't do the one most important thing when prepping a pitch: your homework.