7 Key Deliverables of Highly Effective Enterprise Sellers

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Effectively selling to the enterprise is not for the faint of heart, as many large transactions have multiple near-death experiences along the journey to “done deal” status.

And just because a deal gets “done,” does NOT mean that the SELLING is complete.

In many enterprise investments, over-determining change and realizing user adoption of new systems require as much evangelism, leadership and selling as completing the initial purchase transaction.

Client value is not realized until the system is successfully rolled into production.

As a proven enterprise seller, I’ve isolated the…

7 Key Deliverables of Highly Effective Enterprise Sellers

1. Engaging target contacts with compelling and sustained messaging that drives access

Unless you’ve got a celebrity superstar parading you into the offices of senior leadership, you’ve got to find a way to gain access. This is probably the biggest challenge facing enterprise sellers today… and one reason why The Challenger Sale is being received as the best new sales literature in decades.

Access is an issue and the answer, separate of relationships and other referrals, is two-fold as your messaging must be:
a) Compelling – focused on current client fiscal pain and clear solution
b) Sustained – repetition for effective landing; just like advertising

2. Qualifying fiscal pain and business demands, and aligning those to differentiated solutions

Whether it is a regulatory requirement, fiscal pain or competitive pressure, something needs to drive your client to action.

Sometimes the economic buyer is painfully aware of the need, and other times the seller must invest considerable resource extracting those data points prior to soliciting executive sponsorship. It’s difficult for an executive to turn a deaf ear to a professional seller who has done his or her homework and who can speak in metrics specific to the client’s operations.

Also, be on full alert for how key stakeholders can achieve PERSONAL wins by going forward with your project. Perhaps there are executive-level Management By Objective (MBO) incentives in place that your key contact is motivated to achieve, or possibly by adopting your solution individuals will experience career growth; keep your eye out, as these PERSONAL motivators are often more powerful than the fiscal ones.

3. Building relationships that expose blind spots and accelerate the sales process

Relationship selling will never be dead, but in today’s world it’s less about getting a leg up on the competition, as it is about gaining leverage to accelerate deals and protecting blind spots.

Team-based decision-making, or rather a consensus model, is what drives corporate spend in the new economy. That consensus requires sellers to have their guard up for different points of view, as well as competing projects or initiatives.

The Power of Customer Intimacy is real. Bear hug the customer, and they’ll not only tell you what the winning hand needs to be, they’ll tell you when to play which cards.

4. Linking Phase One Use Cases with corporate spend cycles and business value justification

New systems, especially those that potentially have enterprise-wide applicability, can be very exciting to a management team. Your solution or technology may offer great promise, but seasoned sellers know it is best to isolate Phase One Use Cases as a priority.

Time kills all deals, and the more you can align the decision on spend to the specific phase one deployment, the easier it will be get your deal done. Some like to call it: “Land and Expand;” whereby you close on a small offering, which can serve as a seed for future growth or system expansion.

Avoid getting enamored with the full potential of a mature, fully deployed enterprise system. Sure, those can be good sound bites to gain the client’s attention and can differentiate some offerings… but the most effective enterprise sellers find a way for the initial Use Case to fund the project.

5. Building value and maintaining competitive strength to ensure little is left on the table

This should be number one frankly, as the premise of building value should shine through in every client interaction. Every communication, from hello to buy now, should orient from VALUE.

Understanding the impact of even small discounts is critical. Have you ever done the math on the impact of deal with a 10% discount versus one with a 20% discount? I know sellers are not always the best at math, but when it comes to commissions and hitting quota, we tend to perform flawless calculations. Do the math on how much money you left on the table on your last deal; in every transaction, there was more to be had.

6. Closing deals and ensuring production success with client systems

I tie these two paradigms together because client system success should be your focus. Closing deals is important but your end zone is not a purchase order, but rather a client reference. Taking a long view in working with enterprise clients is critical for sustained success.

Closing is not the most important part of the sales process. Qualifying is the most important part of the sales process and a well-qualified deal tends to close with its own momentum… allowing the vendor to avoid unnatural sales activity that diminishes value.

Don’t wait until you get to the five-yard line to do the heavy lifting. Work your deals with the end in mind, and you’ll have a smoother finish every time.

7. Garnering reference-ability and leverage from positive client outcomes

You work hard for the sale and deserve the commission; but the real success comes from turning the client into your evangelist.

Ensure you are gaining client commitment for reference-ability before you close the deal. It’s often a great tradeoff in price negotiations and can ensure client commitment to your system(s). Have a framework that allows your clients to amplify your message via Case Studies or other reference collateral.

There are many other aspects to professional selling, but I believe these are the 7 Key Deliverables of Highly Effective Enterprise Sellers.

Let us know the key deliverables of your sales role, on the Empowered Sales Facebook page.

Empowered Sales offers custom programs for sales success. We leverage deep personal experience, gems from industry icons, classic sales methodologies and innovative practices to empower sales success.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Kevin Graham
Kevin Graham is an author, speaker and expert on empowerment, sales and leadership. As managing director of Empowered Sales Training, Kevin works with organizations to empower sales success. Formerly, Kevin was a top performing sales executive in the ultra competitive technology sector. He's qualified for President's Club status in three Fortune 500 companies, carried the Olympic Torch and played in a national championship.

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