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10 Sins of Enterprise Sales

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We walk through ten of the most common mistakes made by sales reps when managing a complex sale. No one is immune from mistakes as deals cycles are long, solutions are more complex, buying processes are convoluted, and the number of people involved in a deal has expanded. If you avoid these common mistakes though, you can shift the competitive advantage and increase the likelihood of closing the deal.

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10 Sins of Enterprise Sales

  2. 2. Introduction • This presentation walks through ten of the most common mistakes made by sales reps when managing a complex sale • It is common to see the same mistakes occur across enterprise sales deals and sales teams • With increasing time, number of people, greater competitive challenges, and deeper solution complexity, deals become harder to manage • Even the most experienced sales reps are prone to making these same errors • Inspired by the excellent book “Hope Is Not a Strategy” by Rick Page 2ENTERPRISE SALES MEETUP | @ENTERPRISE_SALE
  3. 3. Top Ten Enterprise Sales Sins 1. Focus on product, not solution 2. Selling to unqualified prospects 3. Not targeting buyer need 4. Doing the demo dash 5. Lack of executive engagement 6. Mismanaging your “champion” 7. Negative competitive selling 8. Talking price too early 9. No team sales strategy 10. Believing in assumptions 3ENTERPRISE SALES MEETUP | @ENTERPRISE_SALE
  4. 4. Focus on product, not solution • Talking product reduces your offering to features and functions • Need to speak to results and value 4 PRACTICAL TIP Create narrative (stories) about your customers’ pain that your solution addressed and the results that were achieved. ENTERPRISE SALES MEETUP | @ENTERPRISE_SALE
  5. 5. Selling to unqualified prospects 5 • Have clearly established qualifying criteria • Qualify poor fits out of pipeline as soon as possible • BANT (budget, authority, need, timing) is useful, but often not the best criteria PRACTICAL TIP Make sure every prospecting call incorporates qualifying questions, even during the deal stage as you want to stay ahead of any “surprises”. ENTERPRISE SALES MEETUP | @ENTERPRISE_SALE
  6. 6. 6 Not targeting buyer need • Different people have different agendas and different needs • Need to frame your solution’s value to what matters most for your audience PRACTICAL TIP Link your solution to operational, cultural, financial, political, and strategic benefits so you are prepared when meeting various parts of the organization. ENTERPRISE SALES MEETUP | @ENTERPRISE_SALE
  7. 7. 7 • Do a needs analysis BEFORE the demo • ONLY focus on product capabilities that link to confirmed needs • Short & sweet is the key to maintaining attention Doing the demo dash PRACTICAL TIP Reduce your pitch to 20 minutes. Why? Research shows that attention drops precipitously after that (and kills your deal). ENTERPRISE SALES MEETUP | @ENTERPRISE_SALE
  8. 8. 8 Lack of executive engagement • Selling high is a necessity to create “energy” for your deal • Executives have higher order needs and higher value ($$$) pain to solve PRACTICAL TIP Call low first to get lay of the land, then you have some “facts” to reframe your message and make a more relevant pitch to an executive. ENTERPRISE SALES MEETUP | @ENTERPRISE_SALE
  9. 9. 9 Mismanaging your “champion” • Map the political field of your account, where does your “champion” sit? • Titles often do not map to power or authority or influence PRACTICAL TIP Do not rely on one champion! Build relationships across an account to insulate your deal from political sabotage. ENTERPRISE SALES MEETUP | @ENTERPRISE_SALE
  10. 10. 10 Negative competitive selling • Do set subtle landmines for your competition that they cannot easily overcome • DO NOT ever bad mouth competition PRACTICAL TIP Just as you would align your features to prospect needs, do the same with competitive traps to highlight deficiencies with competing offerings. ENTERPRISE SALES MEETUP | @ENTERPRISE_SALE
  11. 11. 11 Talking price too early • Price is never important in the early stage of deal • Real price negotiations happen after you become the preferred provider PRACTICAL TIP Never mention discounting upfront, it puts you in “vendor” mode and shifts discussion from value to price. ENTERPRISE SALES MEETUP | @ENTERPRISE_SALE
  12. 12. 12 No team sales strategy • Sales is a team sport so get the team on board and prepared for the deal • The account executive is responsible for communicating deal strategy PRACTICAL TIP Create a template with the key questions and qualifiers during a deal and use this as an ongoing checklist for the team to refer to and modify. ENTERPRISE SALES MEETUP | @ENTERPRISE_SALE
  13. 13. 13 Believing in assumptions • Easy to put on the “Happy Ears” and sweep away bad news • Use critical thinking and hard questions to confirm & adjust strategy during deal PRACTICAL TIP Have regular “deal review” sessions with sales team to discuss and drill into deals with the goal of actionable output to follow up on. ENTERPRISE SALES MEETUP | @ENTERPRISE_SALE
  14. 14. Let’s Talk • Follow me and send a tweet @marksbirch • Connect over LinkedIn and mention this presentation https://www.linkedin.com/in/marksbirch • If you sell to enterprises, join us for the Enterprise Sales Meetup http://enterprisesalesmeetup.com/ • If you are focused on prospecting, join us for the Sales Development Meetup http://www.meetup.com/Sales-Development- Meetup/ 14ENTERPRISE SALES MEETUP | @ENTERPRISE_SALE