You need to plan ahead, and it’s time to set your enterprise sales strategy for the next year. Many B2B software companies are looking to transition from selling to small businesses, or the mass market, to enterprise sales.
Therefore, the right enterprise sales strategy is critical for software companies that are keen to hit aggressive growth goals. While it’s easy to grow a sales team that sells five $20k contracts per month to twenty $20k contracts per month, selling one $250k enterprise contract is a different ball game.
Generating a successful enterprise sales strategy is made even more challenging by the extended sales cycles. One sale could take 10 months or longer, and that’s a long time to wait to see if your strategy has worked.
While this may sound complex, it’s important to ensure that you take a methodical approach, and do your research.
Here are our top three tips for selling truly disruptive software to some of the biggest companies in the world.
Marketing Drives Enterprise Sales: Content is King
Content marketing and, more precisely, thought leadership content instill a sense of trust in enterprise buyers because it demonstrates that you really know your space.
Generating really quality content can be time-consuming, and expensive, but it makes or breaks an enterprise sales initiative. Your leads need to know that your company is not a risk, and is well and truly built for their industry.
Any perceived risk can be a deal breaker. By drafting and marketing thought leadership content, your company will be perceived as a member of the elite, the “next big thing”, and you will see readers both inside the target enterprise and outside analysts and consultants ready to become champions for you.
A Sales Process Dedicated to Failing Fast
You need to build a sales process that qualifies leads very quickly up front and that adheres to a very narrow target. For example, if you want to sell to Chief Data Officers in financial services but you get on the phone with a CFO that works in insurance, you need to be able to say no. While the CFO might be extremely attractive to you as a lead, you need to stay focused on the leads that are really going to convert. If the lead doesn’t fit your strategy or your targeting, let it go.
You need a clear sales process where you qualify leads first and set aside leads that are not your target. It’s important to have the discipline to follow your process and strategy. Only by testing your strategy thoroughly can you see if it works or not. If not, then is the time to go back to the drawing board – not mid-test.
Enterprise Sales Strategy: Hire in Pairs
Always hire for your sales team in pairs. This strategy allows the company to fully understand the sales strategy and its performance. If the problem with sales closures is due to strategy and messaging, then both new hires will face challenges. If it’s down to the hire, only that new employee will struggle.
This is especially critical due to the length of enterprise sales cycles. If your sales cycles are 9 months long, you can’t afford to wait 9 months to see if your salespeople are good. Instead, you need interim objectives and at least two people working on the same thing to compare to each other. If they are both failing, then you need to look at your marketing, sales process, and message.
There is no doubt that enterprise sales take time, effort, and investment. But the payoff for software companies is huge. Once you start signing big names to large multiyear contracts, you enter a different league of software companies and your valuations will rise massively. So, as you look at your plans for the next year, take some time to reflect on a clear enterprise sales strategy. But be prepared, at least at first, for the majority of enterprise deals to be managed by the leadership team and for those deals to take at least 6 to 9 months to close.
At Nituno, we have worked with all sized of tech and software companies to build marketing and sales strategies that work. Get in touch with us today to discuss your lead generation and how to close meaningful deals. Contact us here.