Enterprise sales isn't Tinder. Instead of a series of short-term flings, the name of the game is building long-term relationships. And as Dr. Phil, Oprah, Delilah, and just about every other self-styled relationship guru has told us, doing so requires communication and trust. That takes time and commitment—and that doesn't happen overnight.
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.
Have you ever followed up with a prospect, only to be told that they're passing on your solution based on abstractions like "lack of cultural fit" or "lack of team alignment"? Huh? What gives?
Tired of waiting for updates from procurement? We feel you. It's probably the hardest part of the sales process, and you have limited visibility into what's actually happening. But there's a pervasive misconception among sales teams that once a deal reaches the procurement stage, it's out of the salesperson's hands—but that's not the case at all.
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?
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.
With more than 15 people, on average, involved in enterprise IT purchases, Iarge and complex B2B buying centers can feel like minefields to salespeople today. Decisions get made by committee. There are an ever-increasing number of people in the room, representing 3.4 different functions on average—and each of them have their own priorities. Is it any wonder, in this context, that "save money"and "avoid risk" would become watchwords?
"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.
Emissary Founder David Hammer recently told a story about a client who had spent 9 months on a six-figure deal, and couldn’t understand what had gone wrong.
Let’s face it – before you can land and expand, you’ve got to understand. This means doing the upfront research about the account you’re selling to and the contacts you’re speaking with before you go about aggressive outreach.
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Too often sellers charge head-first into a high-stakes sales effort without having insights into what the actual buyers within that organization want or need.
Globalization is a challenge facing all IT organizations - from startups to multinational corporations doing billions of dollars in revenue. If a vendor is looking to partner with a corporation doing business internationally (like Johnson & Johnson), they need a different approach than the typical IT sell.
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