What is enterprise sales definition and how to develop a process to boost growth?
The enterprise sales process is a systematic approach to the sale, delivery, and support of technology products.
Vendors have a long way to go before their product or service is considered the best and most reliable on the market. Nowadays, it’s not enough for vendors just to sell what they make; they must also be able to answer any questions that come up about how their products work in order for them to stay afloat.
Most companies today are faced with an increasingly complex customer base, which has led them down a number of paths to address the issue including that of research and development. They’re constantly working on new ways to keep our customers happy and come out ahead in the market.
Enterprise sales are not an easy task, but they can be incredibly lucrative if you learn how to properly build a process for your business that’s based on customer satisfaction and long-term stability.
What are enterprise sales?
If you’re a business-to-business company, or you sell products or services to other businesses, then you’ll need to know about enterprise sales. This type of sale is more complex than the traditional retail sale, and it often entails a longer sales cycle, multiple decision-makers, and higher risk.
In order to work with enterprise customers, you’ll need to be able to navigate through their complicated buying process. You’ll also need to have a strong understanding of your product and how it can benefit their business. And above all else, you’ll need patience–enterprise sales often take much longer than traditional transactions.
Just because you have valuable contracts doesn’t mean that introducing enterprise sales is necessary. In fact, if your company is just starting out, then it’s best to focus on developing features for its product rather than building a sales process. However, as your company grows and matures, it will become increasingly important to have an advanced and elaborate enterprise sales process in place.
Who are enterprise customers?
There is no one exact definition, however, an Enterprise customer is often one with at least 1,000 employees. As businesses expand and consolidate, the bar is rapidly rising. Some major corporations consider Enterprise-class organizations to have more than 5,000-10,000 people, however, others define Enterprise-class based on revenue, which is often $100 million or more per year.
This distinction is due to the quantity of prospective spending and depth in an account. Getting into an account, arranging a transaction, and servicing the account are all similar for a small-medium-sized business and a business several times its size. (There is more labor involved, but it is incremental.) If acquiring and maintaining each customer costs X dollars, finding consumers who will buy considerably more products from you is a more profitable and better use of your time and resources.
The true definition of enterprise (or complex) sales.
Many businesses struggle with the concept of an enterprise sale, but what does it actually mean? The true definition of an enterprise sale is one that is complex in nature. This means that it takes a lot more time and effort to execute than a standard deal. It’s not as simple as contacting a few decision-makers and getting them on board–there is a lot more work that goes into it.
The mindset required for an enterprise sale is what separates it from other deals. You can’t just approach this type of sale the same way you would any other purchase. It’s important to be patient and understand that things will take longer than usual. And most importantly, don’t rush through the process or you’ll end up making mistakes that could cost you the sale altogether.
Mega-deals are often mistaken for enterprise sales, but they are actually something else entirely. A mega-deal is defined as anything over $1 million, while an F500 brand can be implemented in 6 months or less. So if your deal doesn’t meet those qualifications, then it’s not considered an enterprise sale.
There is a lot of confusion around the term “long sales process,” but there is a simple way to define it: A long sales process lasts longer than the average deal. This could mean a few weeks, a few months, or even a year or more. But as long as it’s taking longer than usual to close, then it can be classified as a long sales process.
One of the biggest challenges for businesses is understanding what success looks like in enterprise sales. Many companies define success based on metrics that don’t apply in this type of sale. For example, they may focus on the number of leads generated or the amount of pipeline created. But these are not necessarily indicative of success in an enterprise sale. Instead, you need to focus on metrics that matter most to your customer such as time-to-value and return on investment (ROI). And finally, always manage expectations by setting realistic goals for both you and your customer.
What could potential deal sizes look like?
With enterprise sales, the deal size can be quite large. Your product’s potential is determined by the size, momentum, and characteristics of the market. Having said that implementations could run into the 8-figure range. However, going from pilot to a full-size contract can take years.
Can any business view enterprise sales as an immediate opportunity or are there prerequisites that need to be addressed?
Jamal’s perspective is that:
You could take the experience of the startup world, even for startups that want to target B2B sales. They don’t really start with large enterprise companies. They start with smaller to medium businesses – smaller organizations that can move faster and you’re not requiring as much money from them because it’s a low number of users or it doesn’t take as long to implement.
There’s usually a maturation curve or learning curve where if you are thinking about selling to companies instead of people, then this might work for you too!
The benefits of selling to the enterprise are many. However, there’s a learning curve associated with it and you need other things like good customer support and enough people to sell globally in order for it to all workout.
There’s lots of stuff that you need to have in place, from an infrastructure standpoint.
Is enterprise sales right for your startup?
Enterprise sales are not appropriate for every startup; in fact, it is more typical among mature organizations that have already undergone significant expansion. The longer sales cycles and increased risk associated with enterprise sales make it less than an optimal model for many early-stage firms.
However, in some cases, enterprise sales is an excellent sales model for a startup. For example, corporate sales would make sense for your SaaS firm if you are developing a solution that is vital to the success of major businesses, or if that solution has a direct and strategic impact on business operations.
For example, if you are building groundbreaking blockchain software for supply chain management that saves industrial organizations hundreds of thousands of dollars, enterprise sales are most likely the best sales model for your company.
How to prepare your business for an enterprise sales strategy
Entering the enterprise market can be a daunting task. It’s important to make sure your business is ready for the challenge before taking the plunge. Here are some tips to help you get started:
1. Put the right people in place. Hire sales leaders and salespeople with a true enterprise mindset. They will be essential in helping you navigate this new market.
2. Make sure your product team is ready to support custom builds for multiple potential buyers at once. Enterprise clients often require bespoke solutions, so your team needs to be prepared for that demand.
3. Prepare your customer success team to support enterprise clients after the sale. Many enterprises require long-term support, so make sure your team is equipped to handle that commitment.
4. Build up a strong runway before entering the market. You’ll need time and resources to properly court enterprise clients.”
How to start selling to enterprises?
Developing a process to boost enterprise sales is not an easy task. It requires a lot of time, effort, and dedication. However, with the right tools and resources at your disposal, it can be done.
First and foremost, you need to understand the structure of large businesses and their organizational logistics. This will help you determine where to focus your efforts in order to make the sale.
Additionally, establishing an online community for your product can go a long way in reaching potential customers. Moreover, large enterprises are often able to offer better customer service because they are able to handle a larger volume of transactions simultaneously.
Finally, using the internet as a tool for storing and managing customers can prove invaluable in terms of generating leads and sales conversions
What are the benefits of selling enterprise services or products?
There are many benefits to enterprise sales, including increased speed to market, a larger customer base, and stronger revenue generation. These benefits can help companies achieve success in their industry and grow their business at an accelerated pace.
Enterprise sales are the first step on the road to success for any company. By developing a process and focusing on this important area of business, companies can reap the rewards that come with selling to larger businesses. With the right tools and advice, enterprise sales can be a powerful way for businesses to achieve growth and success.
1. Revenue growth and profitable deals.
Pareto’s Principle. 80/20 signifies that 20% of your consumers generate 80% of your revenue. Focus on key accounts to boost revenue. High-energy, low-growth clients won’t drag down your average revenue per account.
Several factors will drive revenue growth. Depending on your business model, enterprise clients provide a steady cash stream. Focus on the group’s major accounts to upsell and uncover expansion opportunities. Providing better service lets you charge more and boosts your margins.
2. Increased networking opportunities and comprehensive account maps
Larger accounts with more personnel give more sales contacts. This stabilizes your team. One person’s move or departure won’t put the account at risk.
Organizations with many contacts have another benefit: Prospecting is easy. If a single crucial contact isn’t receptive, your team is doomed. Multiple contacts give your team multiple entry points.
3. Sought after references because of strong relationships.
Referrals are a key revenue driver. 71% of responders in a study with a referral program reported high conversion rates. Similar studies reveal that client recommendations are high-quality leads.
Upselling lets you target fewer accounts. To attract more discerning customers, offer personalized service. That’s exactly the relationship you create with prospects and buyers if you want references. As you modify your perspective and sales attitudes to fit business customers, they’ll treat you better. They’ll refer your services to their peers.
4. Predictable sales growth and risk minimization.
Assess your sales goals. Fewer large accounts are easier to model than numerous smaller ones. Your sales staff will have a targeted funnel and account plans. Growth forecasting is easier. Smaller consumers with erratic purchase patterns won’t require a different strategy.
5. Full use of your organization’s resources.
The U.S. has 28 million small businesses many of whom won’t need your products or services, and many of those who do might not be a good fit. If you don’t focus on high-return leads, you’ll squander time and money.
Running down so many leads doesn’t let sales and marketing teams optimize their efforts. Pursuing larger accounts gives you time to plan for each. Converting customers will take less time and money.
SMB vs. Enterprise vs. Mid-market vs Self-Service
The SMB Deal.
When selling to a small or medium-sized business (SMB), there is a great deal of risk involved. This is because the sales cycle tends to be shorter, and it can be difficult to get multiple meetings with the decision-maker. In order for SMBs to make a purchase, they need to be confident that you can solve their problem quickly and effectively.
“High velocity, transactional sales motion” is a phrase used to describe the process of buying products from a company where relationships are not as important or taken into account. When selling to an SMB, it’s important to remember that you are dealing with a potential customer who is looking for value rather than long-term partnerships. Differentiating between SMB, Mid-Market, and Enterprise deals can help you succeed in each market by tailoring your pitch and approach accordingly
The Enterprise Deal.
Enterprise deals are more complex than SMB deals. They require a much stronger focus on the buyer journey and customization, while SMB deals are usually transactional and quick. Enterprise buyers take a different approach to getting the deal across the finish line because of riskier business decisions that come with larger sums of money. Mid-market deals fall somewhere in between, but typically have less stringent requirements for product functionality and more emphasis on price.
This added level of complexity impacts every part of the deal:
When selling to enterprises, there are added complexities that impact every part of the deal. For example:
- The level of discovery required goes way up with a custom solution.
- The buyer’s sign-off increases, requiring more support from the product team.
- The size of the deal is typically in the 8-figure range.
Some key questions to ask are:
- What data protection practices are in place?
- How will a buyer be protected when they change teams?
The focus is always on the security and post-sale opportunities after closing a big deal like this one. It’s important for sellers to be prepared for these conversations and have a solid understanding of their buyers’ needs.
Self Service Deal
The self-service sales model is quite popular amongst SaaS companies. The model’s price and simplicity appeal to both enterprises and customers.
As long as your prospective consumers understand the value and benefits of your product, allowing them to investigate, purchase, and maintain it themselves may be incredibly beneficial for your company—if done well.
Self-service models require less selling, saving entrepreneurs time, labor, and resources. These cost-saving techniques allow income to be reinvested in the firm rather than spent on sales and labor.
Self-service models can lead customers to enterprise software. OpenView Labs showed that 15% of one company’s annual income came from clients who used the self-service model but then upgraded to the enterprise model. The self-service concept was the sales team’s entrance to higher-priced software.
How to Land High-Profile Customers With a Self-Service Model
Enterprise customers and self-service models are compatible since both sides profit and benefit from company growth.
Businesses desire to save time and streamline operations. Your service is more tempting when business clients may buy and use it when they choose. Allowing them to follow their own schedule is good customer service and will attract other businesses to buy your product.
To succeed, build a valuable product. This can be done through past marketing efforts, by loading your product’s site with high-value, comprehensive material, or by delivering a compelling demo or trial. These efforts will give prospects everything they need to make a sale, improving their business and yours.
Explain to your prospects why your product is valuable, show them the possibilities, and then stand back. Once they’ve experienced it and seen its worth, they’ll be more ready to update it.
The easier you make it for high-profile clients to buy your product, the faster you can save money and resources while scaling your firm.
The Mid-Market Deal.
Mid-Market deals are usually smaller than enterprise deals, but large enough that they require customization. Mid-market deals are often similar to SMBs in the sense that you’ll need to tweak your product for a buyer and deal size is an important differentiator between Mid-Market and Enterprise sales.
The key difference between SMB, mid-market, and enterprise deals is that a purchase order is typically required for an enterprise deal. The customer can likely purchase for self-service and low-level sales but requires a purchase order for Enterprise level sales. This means that there’s more paperwork involved in an enterprise sale which slows down the process.
A list of differences between the three types of deals:
1) Price point: Mid-Market prices are generally lower than Enterprise prices, but higher than SMB prices.
2) Customization: A good portion of Mid-Market deals require some degree of customization, while most Enterprise deals do not.
3) Decision-makers: In most cases, there are more decision-makers in a larger company (Enterprise), whereas it’s usually just one person making decisions in a small company (SMB).
4) Length of sale cycle: The length of time it takes to close a deal is usually longer in the Enterprise space than in Mid-Market or SMB.
As a result, you’ll still have things like:
So what does this mean for you? It means that although you may be a small business, there are still things you need to do in order to act as an enterprise. More people need to sign off on a deal, it’s riskier and takes longer to make a sale, and it’s difficult to define what “enterprise” means when hiring new employees. This is why most companies prefer experienced hires who will hit the ground running.
However, don’t despair! There are three stages of startups: small business, enterprise, and mid-market. The decision about which stage your startup is in should be made according to the needs of your business. For example, if you’re looking for more customers or want to grow faster, then you would move into the mid-market stage. But if you’re looking for more funding or want to focus on product development, then you would move into the enterprise stage
Complex sales vs. transactional sales
There are two kinds of sales: complex (or enterprise) sales and transactional sales (or SMB). Most people are aware of transactional sales, which are the simple buying and selling of goods and services to a single person or a small number of people (think Mom and Dad purchasing a lawnmower at Sears).
These types of transactions are often low risk and have a short sales cycle. Early in their business, many startups focus on transactional sales. These transactions often have a 60-day or fewer sales cycle with few touches.
Enterprise sales, on the other hand, are the product of months of discussion between the sales professional and the prospect, leading to larger-scale corporate solutions.
How can enterprise sales be used to boost growth?
In order to boost growth, many businesses turn to enterprise sales. This process can be lengthy but it has the potential to result in a massive increase in revenue. There are several things you can do to develop a successful enterprise sales process:
1) Understand your target market. Enterprise sales require a longer sales cycle and it’s important that you understand who your potential customers are before you begin the process.
2) Work with the broader organization. Enterprise sales are typically managed by the broader organization, with more decision-makers involved. Make sure you have a good understanding of the buying process and who makes decisions within the company.
3) Prepare for complex deals. A complex sale is when the customer takes control of the selling process by issuing an RFP (request for proposal). In order to win these deals, you’ll need to put together a proposal that meets their needs and expectations.
4) Expect delays. Many times, decisions about enterprise purchases aren’t made quickly so be prepared for delays in the buying process. Don’t get discouraged if it takes time for them to make a decision – just keep following up until they’re ready to buy from you!
Key elements of enterprise sales models
1. Many stakeholders
In order to make a sale, there are typically many stakeholders involved. In some cases, it’s as simple as the buyer and the seller. However, in most cases there are more people involved in the process:
The buyer is looking for a solution to their problem and wants to find the best product or service.
The seller is trying to close the deal by finding out what the buyer needs and offering a solution.
The intermediary is often used in larger sales transactions and helps broker a deal between two parties who may not have been able to reach an agreement on their own.
The consultant may be brought in by either party to help assess the situation and provide insights that could lead to a sale.
2. A request for proposal (RFP)
When a company is looking for a supplier, they will send out a request for a proposal (RFP). This document includes all of the requirements that the client has and can be very specific about what they are looking for.
Vendors who are interested in supplying to the company will then respond with a proposal that outlines how they can meet the client’s needs.
It’s important to remember that complex sales involve multiple stakeholders and stakeholder groups. This means that getting everyone on board can be tricky but it’s essential to closing the sale.
3. A long sales cycle
Many people think that people don’t buy products, they buy solutions to problems. The key to success in enterprise sales is to tell a compelling story about your product and how it will solve a customer’s problem.
While this may be true, the reality is that it takes longer to close an enterprise deal than a smaller deal. This is because larger companies have more time to do research and diagnose their problems before making a purchase decision. And, as we all know, a customized solution is the result of a good diagnosis from an enterprise sale.
4. High investment
Enterprise sales are often high risk because the investment required is much higher than in a transactional sale.
The client may also weigh their options against competitors and consider the proposed solutions before signing on the dotted line. This can lead to a longer sales cycle, as both parties explore all of their options.
While there is greater potential for reward in an enterprise sale, it also comes with greater risk.
This is due to the complexity of the transaction and the need to deliver a unique product or service solution for the organization.
An enterprise sale can be quite complex and risky, but it can also be very rewarding for both parties involved.
What is the process of enterprise sales?
The process of enterprise sales is a long one, but it’s worth it in the end! There are four stages in the process: Discovery, Development, Delivery, and Deployment. Let’s take a closer look at each stage.
Discovery is where you learn about your client and their business. You want to identify the root causes of symptoms rather than just treating the symptoms. This will help you provide better solutions for your clients down the road.
Development is where you create a proposal for your client and get their feedback. It’s important to make sure that both you and your client are on the same page during this stage.
Delivery is when you actually deliver the solution to your client. They may have some final changes or suggestions, but overall, this is when they see your work come to life!
Deployment is when you put everything into action and see how well it performs. Your client will be closely involved with this stage as they test out your solution and give you feedback.
The stages of a complex sale: Four D’s of the Enterprise Sales Cycle
Discovery is the process where the sales rep learns about a prospect’s business, talks to them about their needs and requirements, validates the business case, and customizes it to the client.
This is an important phase because it helps you determine whether or not you should pursue a potential customer and also learn what they are looking for.
During discovery, you should ask questions like: “What are the steps we’ll have to take to close the deal?” This can help you better understand their buying cycle and what they need from you.
Spend time with the client and get a better understanding of their buying cycle. This will help improve your relationship with them and make it easier to sell to them later on.
Develop relationships to improve the buyer experience and learn what stakeholders need. This can help speed up the buying process since buyers will be more likely to buy from someone they trust.
Customers want to know that a product has been successfully used before. They also value empathy and transparency. In order to be successful, a salesperson must have experience, price knowledge, and product expertise. The enterprise sales cycle can be long, but it also has its benefits. A good diagnosis helps create a customized solution to the problems that exist in their company. This is where the salesperson’s knowledge and experience come into play – they need to be able to identify the customer’s needs and find the best possible solution for them.
Design is important in the enterprise sales cycle. In fact, it’s the first step of the four Ds.
Design encompasses everything from what a product looks like to how it works and its features. It also includes deciding what a customer wants and needs.
A customer doesn’t buy a product, they buy a solution. Enterprises want to bring customers examples of how they’ve solved similar problems with other companies, as well as their results. The production engineer focuses on the product and making sure that it’s produced in-house. They have a primary focus on ensuring that the product is up to spec and can be delivered on time.
In the “4 D’s” of enterprise sales, delivery is the process of getting the product or service to the customer. This can be done in several ways:
- The product can be delivered by bringing it to the customer’s office.
- The product can be delivered by having someone from the company go to the customer’s office.
- The product can be sent to the customer through mail or courier.
- The product can be installed on-site by a technician.
9+ Tips for a Successful Enterprise Sale
Enterprise Sales can be a daunting task. It’s often hard to know where to start, what steps to take, and how to close the deal. But don’t worry! We’re here to help.
1) Define your objectives before you call in a big client. What do you want from the sale? What are your goals? Knowing this ahead of time will help keep you focused during the process.
2) Case studies are an effective way to show value to a potential customer. They provide concrete examples of how your product or service has helped another business achieve success.
3) It’s important to be patient and follow up regularly with potential buyers. Sometimes they need more time than others to make a decision, so it’s important not to give up too soon.
4) Building a sales network is often recommended as an effective way of getting around each decision-maker. This allows you to reach more people in less time, increasing your chances of making the sale.
5) Choose an enterprise similar to the one you’re targeting, in order for your sale cycle to be more successful. When selling to larger companies, it’s often helpful if you have experience dealing with their counterparts elsewhere in the world first-hand.
6) A good enterprise sale requires a lot of research. Make sure you know everything there is to know about your potential customer and be prepared to answer any questions they may have.
7) Show that you’re a risk-averse business by citing an ICP and qualifying leads with it before investing time in them. This will help reassure the buyer that you’re not just out to make a quick buck.
8) Be prepared and keep a list of all the participants in the room. This will ensure that no one is left out and everyone has a chance to contribute.
9) Be clear about your pricing. It’s important for both you and the buyer to understand exactly what you’re getting for your money.
10+) Develop a sales quote that includes all of your pricing levels. This will give the buyer an accurate idea of how much your product or service costs, making it easier for them to make a decision.
11+) Map out your organization and use CRM software to automate enterprise sales. Not only does this help keep track of all the moving pieces, but it also allows for full configuration, which is helpful when scheduling tasks.
12+) The CRM software allows for email marketing strategies and reports, giving you a complete view of the sales pipeline. This information can be used to improve your process and increase your success rate in the future.
How can enterprise sales be improved?
What are the challenges of enterprise sales for sales teams and prospects?
Enterprise sales is a process that can take months or even years to close. It’s important to stay positive throughout the entire journey because there are many different factors that can influence whether or not a deal goes through. In enterprise sales, it’s often difficult to “read the room” and understand what’s driving different people–there are so many decision-makers and influencers involved in the process.
Another challenge of enterprise sales is inconsistency. Deals don’t always follow a standard pattern, and challenges can arise at any given moment. This makes it difficult for your company to develop a solid plan for how to proceed with negotiations. Additionally, there is often a lot of complexity when it comes to purchasing decisions within organizations. Multiple people may be involved in making the final call, and they may all have different motivations for wanting or not wanting your product or service.
One of the biggest hurdles in enterprise sales is learning how to negotiate effectively. This skill takes time and practice to master, but by consulting others who have experience in this area you can improve your chances of success greatly.
What are good practices for enterprise sales?
Enterprise sales come with their own set of best practices that, if followed, can result in success.
First and foremost, it’s important to be passionate about the industry and sell the right thing.
Second, it’s essential to have a hotline open for questions or advice from anyone in the industry.
Third, remember that enterprise sales are tough–decisions about which accounts to go after must be made carefully.
And lastly, always be aware of your customer’s business challenges and competitive space so you can position your product as a potential solution.
These best practices will help any enterprise sales representative succeed in this challenging field!
How can enterprise sales be made more efficient?
Making enterprise sales more efficient can be a daunting task. After all, it takes a lot of people to make a decision in these types of companies. But don’t worry! We’re here to help.
In order to boost your efficiency, you should first focus on post-sales support. This is an important step in maintaining good relationships with clients. Plus, it’s always beneficial to have a strong relationship with the people who are spending their money!
Another way to increase efficiency is by understanding how decisions are made within these organizations. In general, it takes 6.8 people to arrive at a decision in an enterprise company. This means that each stakeholder represents a specific business area or department in the project. As such, it’s important that you understand and cater to the different interests and expertise of each one.
Once you’ve identified the key stakeholders involved in the sale, you can begin targeting them for contact. One way to do this is by using Google Advanced Search or LinkedIn’s Advanced Search features. With this information at your fingertips, finding and contacting decision-makers becomes much easier!
How can enterprise sales be made more effective?
Sales is all about building relationships. It’s important to provide good post-sales support to your clients so that those relationships can be maintained. This will help keep them happy and may even lead to future business opportunities.
In order to make enterprise sales more effective, it’s important to be prepared for objections and queries from potential clients. That way, you won’t be caught off guard later on in the sale process. Being prepared will show that you’re knowledgeable about your product and confident in its benefits.
Hiring an enterprise sales team
We need people who can keep the art and the science in their brains at all times. That is not simple. This idea may be useful: Hire for character, train for skill.
Here are some characteristics to check for:
Balancing long-term and short-term goals
Patience and hurry may appear to be diametrically opposed. In enterprise sales, no. If we play the short-term game with a customer and forgo long-term value for instant advantages, we may stumble and never recover since everyone talks in business and in life. We must be willing to play the long game while picking up small victories along the way.
Curiosity and creativity
Enterprise sales is difficult. (We don’t precisely sell shoes.) So we must constantly learn, investigate a problem, and construct a solution message — a story — around it. We face a vast, blank area at the start of an enterprise sales contract, and it’s up to us to fill it. Curiosity and imagination will bring us there.
We at Salesforce may appear to have it easy, yet we work hard for every dollar. Enterprise sales representatives are thinkers and strategists, but we’re also feisty and eager to get to work, and that won’t change.
To bring together the entire energy of selling, supporting, and acting as partners to the customer and their journey, we need leadership.
What are the trends in enterprise sales?
There are a few trends that seem to be popular in the world of enterprise sales.
One such trend is social proof- this occurs when potential customers see that other businesses have had a positive experience with a product and decide to make a purchase as well.
Another trend is automation- many companies are finding that automating their processes can save time and money, allowing them to focus on more important tasks.
Finally, long-term relationships are essential in the world of enterprise sales- it’s not enough to just make one sale and move on. Instead, you need to nurture the relationship over time in order to get the most out of it.
Enterprise sales benchmarks to use for planning.
When you’re selling to the enterprise, it’s important to have a process in place. This will help ensure that things go smoothly and you achieve your desired results. In order to establish these benchmarks, it’s helpful to look at what others have done in the past.
There are a few different ways to measure success when selling to large businesses:
-Number of deals closed
-Total contract value
Once you have an understanding of what is important to your buyers, you can start setting goals and expectations accordingly. Having a good idea of what constitutes success for them will make it easier for both sides to reach an agreement.
The critical qualities to look for when you’re ready to hire your sales reps.
When you’re ready to start hiring for your sales team, there are a few critical qualities you should look for in your leaders. First and foremost, it’s important to find someone with experience in the specific industry you’re targeting. That knowledge will give them the ability to better understand your customers and how to reach them. Additionally, look for someone with strong connections within the industry–those relationships can be key in helping land new business. And finally, make sure that your sales leader has a proven track record of success. Hiring someone who has already had success in sales is one of the best ways to ensure that your team will continue to grow and succeed.
Special considerations for any enterprise sales team leaders you hire.
When hiring any leaders for your enterprise sales team, it’s important to consider a number of things. For one, it’s risky to hire someone without a proven track record in this area. However, with the right training and support, they can be molded into a successful member of your team.
Another key consideration is the enterprise mindset- this is what will set your reps apart from those working at smaller companies. To find people who have this mindset, look for those who have experience in the industry and are relationship-oriented. Additionally, make sure that you provide adequate motivation and support to them so they feel appreciated and valued.
Finally, always be sure to check out our guide to help motivate your staff by learning about the 12 best sales strategies!
Measuring your enterprise sales success
When it comes to enterprise sales, there are three key performance indicators (KPIs) you should be measuring: account penetration, deal size, and sales velocity. Account penetration is a helpful metric to compare your enterprise sales to competitors. You should keep close attention on the health of your enterprise sales system with this metric closely related to the health of that system.
The author discusses how to measure the success of enterprise sales. They discuss how to track metrics like customer acquisition, product adoption, and retention. This article encourages readers to read their metrics carefully and confidently make business decisions based on those readings.
Pitfalls to keep away from in company sales
No matter how big or successful a company may be, it still has needs that need to be tended to. And when it comes to sales, there are a few key things to avoid in order to maintain success.
For one, beware of capacity failures and other disasters. They can often be avoided by being proactive and keeping an eye out for red flags. Another thing to watch out for is what’s known as “death by customization”. This happens when clients expect too much customization and it can quickly become a bad investment for the company. It’s important not to over-promise in order to win the business, but at the same time make sure that enterprise customers feel like they’re getting value for their money. Most importantly, always have evidence and credibility ready to back up any large claims you make about your product
Listen to the episode with Jamal Reimer
In this episode, Jamal Reimer, founder of the Mega Deal Secrets masterclass shares his take on enterprise sales definition and mega deals, as well as his perspective on enterprise SaaS sales process and creating mega deals.
Jamal has over 30 years of experience in sales, was a Strategic Account Manager and top 1% performer at Oracle, and is a go-to expert in closing mega deals worth more than $50 million. Insights he shares include:
Some topics we discussed include:
- Enterprise sales definition and how it is different from selling to smaller businesses
- Is enterprise sales right for your startup
- Jamal’s take on enterprise sales process and strategy
- What prevents salespeople from making mega deals
- The characteristics of reps who are successful in closing larger deals
- Enterprise sales definition and how best to overcome pressures of sales to consistently create mega deals
- How does the mega deal sale process look different from the process used by most other salespeople
- The 5 shifts to making big deals in enterprise sales
- How to build alignment within your business to secure mega deals
- How to secure mega deals when you have a fixed line of products and prices?
- How to decide on your sales pitch and who to pitch to
- What Jamal recommends CEO’s or executives who aren’t usually involved in sales do to help secure mega deals
- and much more
00:00 Vinay Koshy: With over 30 years of experience in sales, our guest was a strategic account manager and top 1% performer at Oracle. He is an expert in closing mega deals, with more than $50 million, and is the founder of the Mega Deal Secrets Masterclass, where he teaches the art of wealth hunting to ambitious enterprise sellers and teams. In effect, you can say he helps them change their mindset, and put in place a structure in their organizations, which allow their businesses to land their first mega deal. These are deals that will change the trajectory of their businesses' growth. Jamal Reimer, welcome to the podcast.
00:39 Jamal Reimer: Hey Vinay, thanks for having me.
00:42 Vinay Koshy: No worries. Pleasure. Jamal, we'll be exploring enterprise sales or mega deals, as you put it, in a little bit, but I'm curious, if I understand this correctly, you started out in the sales, selling books. Is that correct?
00:56 Jamal Reimer: Yeah. That's good research. I... Yeah. When I was 18-ish, I had to pay for university myself, and so, I started working for a company, who is well-known among college kids in the US, called Southwestern, and there we would sell books door to door, 80 hours a week. Crash course in selling.
01:19 Vinay Koshy: Excellent. And that's quite a journey from selling door to door to enterprise sales and mega deals. I'm curious, what would you say you learnt from those early days, that has stood with you in your journey in sales?
01:40 Jamal Reimer: The first lesson was, you wanna get out of door to door sales as soon as you can. [chuckle] But sales at that level, that's the most basic and most brutal form of sales. And so, the lessons that you learn at that level, are how to take rejection, because you take a lot of it, you also learn the pain of cold outreach, versus warm introductions or having a brand or any of that other good stuff that comes with a smart marketing plan, that opens the door for sales, you really learn, "Okay, if I got no brand, nobody knows me, and I come in and interrupt somebody and something that they're doing, likelihood, it's not gonna go well." So you learn how to take a lot of rejection and how to make lemonade out of lemons.
02:29 Vinay Koshy: Certainly. So what would you say is your personal area of strength?
02:36 Jamal Reimer: It's funny, even though in some ways, it's a little out of fashion, especially with books like The Challenger Sale, I would say, my strength is relationships.
02:45 Vinay Koshy: Right, okay. And in that area of strength, what would you say is something that businesses don't know, but should?
02:55 Jamal Reimer: Number one, growing relationships takes a long time, and I think some businesses know that and other ones don't. Big business is so quarterly-driven, even some of the things that we know to be true, we operate as if they're not, and we try to develop relationships very quickly, we try to jump over rapport as fast as we can and move right into selling. And oftentimes, especially with mega deals, it oftentimes... It takes the relationship a while to marinade, and it's not just like a one-on-one relationship, it's many to many, to get to know each other before you make a big commitment with a large transaction.
03:35 Vinay Koshy: Certainly. And talking about relationships and building relationships to large groups, I guess a good point to start off a conversation would be to define enterprise sales, especially for those who haven't been introduced to such a concept. How would you go about defining enterprise sales?
04:00 Jamal Reimer: I'd say it's a fair question. So, if you look at it in terms of extremes, there's something that you can sell as one person and sell it to one person, and then there's the other extreme, which is, it takes a group of people to sell to a group of people. And enterprise sales is the furthest toward that extreme. I usually think of enterprise sales as selling to an enterprise and enterprise can be a company, an organization, a political group, some kind of an organization rather than an individual, and then you usually run into a number of stakeholders, which could be the business, it could be IT, it could be finance, it could be procurement, it could be security or compliance. And so, it's not like selling a vacuum cleaner or books door-to door, where one person, or a couple who might be able to buy it, but rather, it's a longer process where there's lots of stakeholders involved, and it's almost like a... It can become more like a political campaign, where you need to garner a whole bunch of votes before you get a yes.
05:04 Vinay Koshy: Certainly. So would you say that enterprise sales is something that any business or organization could explore, or are there certain prerequisites before a business could even look at getting into enterprise sales?
05:22 Jamal Reimer: I guess I could take the experience of the start-up world. Even for startups that want to target the B2B sales, business to business sale, they don't really start with large enterprise, they start with small to medium businesses, they're smaller organizations, they can move faster, and you're not requiring that much money from them because it's a low number of users or it doesn't take as long to implement. So there's usually a maturation curve or a learning curve, where if you're thinking, "Hey, I'd like to sell to companies instead of people because there are budgets" and if you sell, you get to resell more often, etcetera, there's lots of benefits for selling to the enterprise, but there's absolutely a learning curve and you need a whole bunch of other stuff to go along with it, like good customer support and enough people to kind of... If you're gonna sell to a global company, you have to have a support system where the sun never sets, 24/7, all around the world. There's lots of stuff that you need to have in place, from an infrastructure standpoint.
06:34 Vinay Koshy: Certainly. Okay, so from an enterprise sales point of view and your starting Mega Deals Secrets Masterclass, what is the problem that you were trying to solve when you started this up?
06:50 Jamal Reimer: Yeah. So, the short story on a problem to solve was, a problem that I solved for myself and then it became attractive for others, and that problem was enterprise sellers are... Salespeople in general are quite ambitious. They're actually trying to do something where they're measured by very clear metrics, did you sell something or not and how much? And over my career, I had been a fairly mediocre seller for like the first decade of my... I got fired twice in a row for under performance.
07:25 Vinay Koshy: Okay.
07:25 Jamal Reimer: And at some point, I wound up at a really big company, at Oracle. And not too long, a few years into my stint at... Well my 13-year period at Oracle, I got brought into a very... A deal that was in trouble. It was a ongoing contract and long story short, I had an amazing set of mentors, my Head of Sales and my Head of Services, and they mentored me through the process of where we took that deal that was in crisis and we completely transformed it and changed everything, changed the commercial model, changed the operational model, renewed relationships, made lots of exception... A lot of exceptional work went into it and the contract went from a run rate of $10 million to $50 million in a nine-month period. And that completely opened my eyes to the whole possibility of selling uncommonly large deals. That's where it all began.
08:26 Jamal Reimer: But I think the problem that it solves for companies is companies get to a point when they're selling their wares, be they services or products, and they hit this ceiling of deal size and it becomes this run rate, and they become dissatisfied 'cause they're trying to get a higher rate of growth and learning how to do these larger and more complex deals, that is a problem for a lot of growing companies. So, that's the problem that I learned how to solve.
08:58 Vinay Koshy: Okay, so just based on what you were saying, would I be right if I were to say that mindset is a bit of an issue as well, in terms of approaching these sorts of mega deals, and that while you weren't quite attuned in that first instance to the possibilities your Head of Sales and Service certainly saw potential where others couldn't and that was the pivot point, so to speak?
09:29 Jamal Reimer: There was a very distinct point and so to your point, absolutely, mindset plays a massive part of the process. And I think the topic of mindset is so important; it's overused, but it's under-appreciated. And the moment in the transaction came as clear as a day when it hit, me and my team were sitting on this side of the conference table and we were... We were talking about small discounts here and there and moving some services people from onshore to offshore, etcetera, and the sponsor on the customer side, excuse me, was a Vice President, and he just put his hands up and said, "Guys, guys, guys, this is not about discounts and moving team members around. This is about how you can help us steward the most important IP in this global company."
10:30 Jamal Reimer: And there was a long pause and then the conversation took a different tack. And when we left that day, my VP of Sales, we were getting into the taxi on the way back to the airport, and he said, "You realize this meeting changes everything." And I'm like, "Well, it was a good meeting, but what do you mean?" He said, "The customer basically laying out for us how important this issue is for them and in so doing, opened the door for the most ambitious solutions that we could offer to solve the problem", that once we understood the magnitude and the depth of the problem, now we can see the abyss into which we are looking and that creates all kind of opportunities and we can get very creative in terms of how we can help them and the way that we could help them that they chose happen to be doing a deal of a very large size.
11:27 Vinay Koshy: Okay, certainly. So, other than mindset and certainly the infrastructure and other elements that are required to support such deals, is there anything else that you noticed prevents people from entering into such deal sizes?
11:46 Jamal Reimer: Management.
11:48 Vinay Koshy: Okay.
11:50 Jamal Reimer: I'll give you an idea about what I mean. So, if you just look at sales management, oftentimes... So I coach individuals and teams, you said it in the intro, and sometimes the reps... The sellers will come to me themselves and they will say, "I want to at least work on one mega deal so badly, but my first line manager, every time I bring him a deal, he says, 'Great, close it. It's closable now? Close it this quarter.' You know he's on the hook for closing a certain amount every month or every quarter, and he simply doesn't really allow me to let this thing grow and mature into what I know it could be if we just put some more time and effort into it." So, oftentimes the short-term nature of management doesn't leave room for the seller or sellers to mature deals to their largest potential.
12:41 Vinay Koshy: Certainly. And have you had the experience of bringing about a change in management's mindset? Is that part of the coaching process or is it very much a case of, management needs to be in aligned with the perspective we take, otherwise, it's just not gonna work?
13:02 Jamal Reimer: My work is taking a turn, going deeper and deeper into management. It started with just individual reps, and I would be on podcasts like this, sales or business-related podcasts, and then afterwards, anywhere from 20, 30, 40 sellers would connect with me on LinkedIn and say, "Oh, that's a great story, and I wanna learn how to do mega deals and... " So, it started with individuals, but as some of the individuals began to have some real success, obviously, their managers started to see, "Okay, something happened with my seller. What happened here?" And then they find out about the work that we've done together, and then we start to engage, and then as we start to engage at that level, now it's moving up the chain into VP and SVP of fairly large companies. So those coaching opportunities are really starting to come to the fore now. And it's really interesting, even the first line managers, they're like, "Well, I'd like my sellers to do mega deals, but I'm getting hit from my VP or the senior VP." So, it's this chain, you gotta get... It's gonna be a real culture change for companies that don't already have it in place, the space to give the seller to go for larger deals. It's a significant change.
14:19 Vinay Koshy: If I understand this correctly, you're in effect, using almost a ladder technique, in that you're working on slightly larger deals as you work to change the mindset within an organization, would that be the approach that you take?
14:33 Jamal Reimer: I would characterize it more like, you can make a comparison to an investment portfolio. Oftentimes, sellers will come to me and I'll say, "Okay, show me your pipeline," and they show me this pipeline, and they're working 15 or 20 deals right now, and I'm like, "Okay, there's no room in your life to devote what you need to devote to one or two accounts to really grow them into something that's gonna be huge, if you're working 15 opportunities simultaneously." So what I encourage both sellers and sales leaders is to think of the pipeline as an investment portfolio, and it needs to be diversified and basically, there's... You need to have some high risk stuff... Well, depending on your investment horizon, you need some high risk stuff and then some moderate assets and then some low-risk assets. If you've got a pipeline filled with small but safe deals, that's like having nothing but bonds in your portfolio, and if you don't broaden it out, and let's say you pick 10% of your pipeline, you could reserve for working... Seeing if they have the potential to be uncommonly large deals, 15%, 3%, it... What I encourage everyone to do is make a conscious decision to leave a certain amount of space within a seller's bandwidth for maturing deals that could really be upsized.
16:04 Vinay Koshy: Certainly, okay. Would you say there are certain characteristics of people who make these mega deals on a regular basis, that help them stand out from the rest of the pack?
16:19 Jamal Reimer: Yeah, there's a few. One is the focus of dealing with senior stakeholders rather than mid-level or junior. I lovingly call the guys on the shop floor worker bees, right? The folks on the floor pushing the buttons, doing the work. A typical selling mindset, this run rate sales mindset, kinda tells the seller, "I've got to start at the bottom of the mountain and work my way up to an executive, if I ever wanna do a deal this size." But a mega dealer or a person that does large deals, their starting point is much higher than a typical run rate mentality. So that's one, is a real focus on dealing with executives or senior stakeholders. Another one is how you craft a value statement. You could sell a widget... Any widget at a very low level that a shop floor person would perceive and say, "Yeah, I find value in that." You could sell that same widget at a level that a VP would say, "Okay, that's enough, there's enough value in this statement that it could cover the scope of my work, which is more like a business unit." But then if you wanna sell to the C-Suite or to senior executives, you could sell that same widget, but it's gotta have a very different value proposition, it's gotta be something that could extend across the whole enterprise. So people that do these really large deals can see how to translate the value of their widget or their service into something that has broad applicability across an enterprise, not just for one team or one business unit.
18:14 Vinay Koshy: Certainly. That's terrific. I think it that also relates to a shift that I've heard you talk about, in terms of approaching these deals. Could you tell us more about that shift that's required...
18:31 Jamal Reimer: Yeah. The five shifts. It's actually five. Yeah, so one of them is working with your executives, another is... I call it C-level insights and that's this idea of these different ways of viewing the value of what you have. And then there's how to establish and defend large prices, a big price tag. So most of the people who I deal with, are selling software or some kind of a technology, and those industries suffer from something I call the law of infinite units. What I mean by that is, once you write software and once the code is written, you write it once, you invest in the time to get a team to write that code, and then you can sell it and resell it many times. And it's not like eggs, you only have so many and then once you sell them, they're gone, you gotta go back, get some more chickens, to get some more eggs. Software is not like that. And many companies who procure a lot of software, their buy...
19:39 Jamal Reimer: Their frontline buyers, the procurement department, they're very good at saying, "Okay. If you're saying that the price for your product is $100 a seat, we're gonna buy 5,000 seats for our enterprise, so I want a 98% discount because it's not gonna cost you anything more to make this product. I just want a massive, massive discount." So when you get to these super high numbers, in terms of a price tag, if you don't know how to justify the value and hold the price, you're not gonna actually get a... You might get a large deal done, in terms of the impact on the company, but it might not be as big as it should be, and that's our job as sellers, is to basically trade the value of our product for a financial return.
20:34 Jamal Reimer: And if we don't live up to that and we just discount the heck out of something just to make it easy for us, we're not really... We're not really living up to our role. And then the last one is work with mentors, and that, I took from my own experience, I've been in sales for over a decade by the time that I got mentored in this art, this science of doing these large deals and in nine months, I did a ton of learning, and I never really looked back, I was able to hold on to those learnings and do other large deals. So that would be... The last big thing that I would encourage, one of the big shifts is not try to do it yourself, go to a person or a group or some... Leverage the expertise and experience that somebody else has gained in learning how to do this, it'll just accelerate your learnings and success.
21:29 Vinay Koshy: That's terrific. Just so that we can be clear, could you recap the five shifts?
21:37 Jamal Reimer: Yeah. There is, leverage your executives... I forgot the very, very first one, which you gotta back. The first one is, deal with everyone with integrity and authenticity, and this is this kind of foundational moral ground upon which you build every argument, every relationship, every talk track, every statement of value, it's got to be based on not just the truth, but being your authentic self and not this kind of canned sales personality. So there's... Lead with authenticity and when I say authenticity and...
22:19 Vinay Koshy: Integrity.
22:20 Jamal Reimer: Integrity, and then leverage your own executives and then C-level insights, which is how to raise the... How you convey the value of your product or service, and then how to establish and defend large deal numbers. And then lastly, is work with mentors.
22:42 Vinay Koshy: Certainly. Excellent. There's a lot that we could start to unpack in this, but I guess, at a basic level, from what you were saying, I take it that you really need to understand your customers and understand what life is like for them, very much like in the example like you shared before, with your first mega deal. It's one thing for an executive to be very open and transparent about it, but in a lot of instances, that doesn't happen naturally. So how would you begin to address that issue?
23:23 Jamal Reimer: The scenario you're throwing out is, if you're working with a prospect and you're trying to get the truth of their situation and they're not being as forthcoming as they could be either 'cause they don't trust you yet, or they don't wanna show all their warts or whatever.
23:40 Vinay Koshy: Yeah. Or they're considering other proposals and don't wanna show their hand.
23:44 Jamal Reimer: Yeah. Yeah. Well, we always have to deal with that. That's just... There is a point in every negotiation, where there's this period of, it's a zero-sum game, and even with customers that I've had for a long time, when it's time to renew, there's this one customer that I know the procurement person really well, and he says, "Okay. For the next few weeks, we're gonna be fisticuffs, and after that, we'll be friends again."
24:14 Jamal Reimer: One of the biggest elements that I think of, or at least that's my selling style, is the relationship. If they don't know I can trust you, why would they share anything sensitive? If we think about that in any relationship in our life, if we don't know, like and trust a person and there's no kind of coercion going on, or kind of hierarchy... "Oh. I gotta tell my boss, even though I don't like him", why would we share anything that's sensitive? So I'm always kind of care and feeding for important relationships among all of my accounts, not just 'cause I feel I have to do it, but because I want to work with people who I know, like and trust, and who know, like and trust me.
25:00 Jamal Reimer: But then, once that relationship is kind of well on the path, then you really have to... I hate these cliche terms, but they actually work sometimes, you walk in their shoes, or what I say is, you gotta jump in the foxhole with them. So when they're going through pain, you get in and... The first very large deal that we did, was with this run rate customer who... They were actually a customer and they were angry with us, because our product wasn't working, our services people were turning over too fast, it was a huge mess. And what did we do? We rolled up our sleeves and we just got in there and we were having these escalation calls every single week, and I, as the sales guy, I was on those, and even though it was not a selling moment, it was not a selling effort, but it was kind of all hands on deck to save the entire relationship, to make sure that the customer got through some really critical business milestones that they needed to get through.
25:58 Jamal Reimer: And so we just went to work. So one, establishing care and feed for the important relationships. Two, jump in the foxhole with your customer. You kind of open the question by saying, you really need to understand your customer. The best way to understand them, is actually to do something together that's of value and especially when it's a time of crisis, when they know that you got their back and you're gonna be there for them, that's when you earn a lot of points. Those are kind of the two big ones that come to mind.
26:31 Vinay Koshy: Okay. When you say, "a good place to add value" and use the example of a time of crisis, assuming there isn't a crisis or maybe you're approaching a new customer, is it fair to ask a potential customer to spend time with them, as they go through their day-to-day processes, so you get a better understanding of what's involved and what it takes?
26:58 Jamal Reimer: Yeah. It is. But you need a couple of things to actually make that happen. One, you've got to have a good story, you have to have a good value story, and at the highest level, it's really simple, which is, "Hey, Mr. Customer, I have a widget or I have a service, and it does something in the... It helps your manufacturing, it makes your manufacturing go faster. But don't take my word for it, you can talk to these other customers who have already had success, and I would suggest that we actually spend some time together." So even those stories aren't exactly... It wouldn't exactly be your story, you're a unique customer, so we could spend some time before I'd ever ask you to buy it and let you kinda kick the tires.
27:46 Jamal Reimer: So there's this kind of walk before you run progression, of starting with a good story and then being able to reference the validity of that story out in the market, and then starting to prove that story with the customer. And when you're on this progression, larger deals are much more possible, because the commitment is so much higher, it takes more people, it's gonna take more money, and that means that if you dump a bunch of money into something and it doesn't work, that's a big setback. So they sharpen the pencil and they look a lot harder and they gotta get more people involved in seeing if it's gonna work or not, and then voting it up or down, and that's kind of the progression that I go through, little by little, walking them from the shallow water to the deep end, and you're with them in the deep end, and by the end of the process, you're both swimming and having a great time.
28:39 Vinay Koshy: Certainly. So the other side of it is, in my mind, and I'm just thinking about the individual enterprise sales person, the other key elements would be communication, both with potential customers as well as within the organization, in order to get people on board, but also to be able to justify the time and effort you're putting into a particular deal, I guess is a key part, especially when you have this pressure from both your front line managers, as well as others, to hit your quarterly target or even monthly targets, depending on the case. Does there need to be an element of conviction, or a bit of backbone to stand your ground and continue to justify why you're doing what you're doing?
29:27 Jamal Reimer: There is, but oftentimes, if you do a good job in the initial stage, that's when the backbone can really show up, and what I mean by that is, the way that I teach how to do large deals, it's a very front-loaded effort. And one of the things that I do and that I encourage, is for sellers to include their management very early in the cycle, and that's counter-intuitive, it's actually kind of fear-provoking for a lot of sellers, because lots of executives will say, "Hey, tell the sales reps, get me involved in deals early, I wanna be involved early." But the reality is that when a sales rep brings, either through the sales... Usually through the sales management line or directly to the senior executives, brings them kind of this deal, management is so good at picking it apart and saying, "Well, do you have buy-in from all of the major stakeholders? And have you got them to sign off on the value? And do you know exactly what their problem is? And do you know exactly who the competitors are?"
30:37 Jamal Reimer: And so reps have been conditioned with those kind of questions so much, that they don't wanna bring in management until the deal is basically ready to sign. And yet, it's the initial stages, where executive involvement could accelerate everything by many months. So what I've learned how to do, is go internally to whatever company I'm working for, and find the executive who is the best match, who I think is gonna be the best personality, role, title and the best match for the executive that I wanna get them in front of, within the customer, and I go to my internal executive and I say, "Hey, Mrs. Executive, I've got this prospect and it's not all wrapped up and I'm not sure about a lot of things, but I do know this, I smell smoke. Would you like to go make a fire with me? And here's why I think it. There's this and there's this. Here's what I know so far, I don't know everybody, but I know these two, and here's the intel that I'm getting from the folks who are on the ground."
31:47 Jamal Reimer: And that's where the backbone really comes in because if you do a good job of showing, "I think that there's something here, but I don't wanna spend a year finding out. I want you and I to go in there and you come in as the big brass, which will get the attention of their big brass, and we get in a nice big meeting within the next couple of months, and if they like the idea, they'll kick us down to the lower level folks to actually do an investigation of some type, but we'll get there with a mandate." If we don't get that mandate, it's nothing but trying to climb uphill, from day one.
32:24 Vinay Koshy: Certainly. What would you say to CEOs or executives who may be listening, who aren't usually involved in the sales prices, it's something that they want to have the salespeople look after while they look at other things, what would be your recommendation to them?
32:45 Jamal Reimer: I'm writing a book right now, Mega Deal Secrets and the audience for that book is individual contributor sellers, the people who would be driving these initiatives. But while I'm writing it, I can clearly see that there's another book that needs to be written after that, and that book, if I do it, the working title right now is The Executive Seller. And I see it time and time again, the value that the C-Suite or broader... You just say senior executives, the value that they can bring to a sales effort, especially large strategic deals with companies that you really want as your big logos, it's just phenomenal how important it is. But the key is that executives don't need to feel that reps who are trying to involve them are trying to make them their sales guys.
33:39 Jamal Reimer: If I was going to kind of craft a chart about the activities that the executive would do versus the rep, the rep would do 40 activities to choreograph a sales cycle, and the executive would do one or two or three. No more than three calls or meetings. It could be more but in the order of magnitude, the rep does all the work and then just basically, lets the executive come in for some key moments that will help them align with somebody very senior on the customer side. So number one, I would... If your audience includes non-selling executives, I would hope that they would realize the value that they can bring, but two, they don't have to drive it, they need to enable their sales teams to, one, have the space to be able to mature these deals, and two, to have a dialogue with senior management, about who makes sense to bring in, when and for what purpose and in which account.
34:46 Vinay Koshy: Certainly. Excellent. When you have... I know you touched upon this, but when you have a fixed line of products and prices, how do you go about securing mega deals? You talked about that instance where you had a procurement person looking at getting 5,000 units and wanting a 98% discount, and you said we need to defend our position. Is there... In terms of value that we're bringing, but is there anything else that we need to keep in mind when we're looking at that type of scenario?
35:20 Jamal Reimer: If I'm understanding your question is, how do you defend that? How do you...
35:25 Vinay Koshy: Yeah.
35:28 Jamal Reimer: Yeah. There's a number of different arguments or tactics to be used, just two or three of them, you could defend your position based on value, you could defend it based on a variety. If you've got this fixed portfolio, it could be a number of things. Or it could be something like volume. I've sold deals based on value, which is, "Here's how much time... " Or, "Here's how much time we will give back to you in terms of minutes, hours, days, weeks, man hours, what have you. Here's how much money we'll save, in terms of rerouting your need to input resources in various parts of the process."
36:18 Jamal Reimer: Then you start getting into business benefit calculations, which is more like finance. So you get into internal rate of return, you get into ROI, you get into net present value. If we're gonna be putting in money and people's time into this project, into the implementation, there's the cost of... If it's software we're selling, there's the cost of the software, when does that start? When do we implement and how much does the implementation cost when we start using the product? And then there's the training and the change management, and then finally, X weeks or months later, we finally start to actually use it with some kind of, like, "We know what we're doing."
36:56 Jamal Reimer: And then the benefits don't really start for 6, 9 months down the road. Well, when are we gonna break even, and then when are we gonna actually start to see this ROI? So to the level of granularity that you can give, not only in showing each one of those pieces, but also saying, "Well, we know this is a good estimate because we've done it four other times. Go talk to our other customers or look at the use cases that we would have laid out." That's typically how it's done.
37:25 Vinay Koshy: Excellent. Jamal, there's so much gold in what you just shared, and we could dive in a lot more, though I'm conscious of the fact that time is fast disappearing on us. So is there another aspect of enterprise sales and creating these mega deals that you feel we haven't quite touched upon, but need to bring to the fore?
37:46 Jamal Reimer: Whale hunting is an activity for the whole tribe, it is not something that you just say, "Oh. Sales force, go do this." And it's also not just the executives, it takes conscious thought, through how are you gonna go to market... If you're gonna build an internal capability, to go after larger deals than normal, you need to think through, "Okay. How are we going to staff these sales pursuits?" And the best way to do it is to put your very best people on it, and then you gotta make decisions about, "Okay. Do we take them off other stuff that they're doing to give them the extra bandwidth to do this?" And the analogy that I use is, most of the time, most sellers are used to doing smaller deals with just the salesperson and a pre-sales person.
38:36 Jamal Reimer: Kinda like this dynamic duo, kind of riding off into the sunset and selling stuff. But with mega deals, you gotta leave that mentality and you gotta turn into a field marshal that is commanding garrisons, armies to the right flank and to the left, and archers and cavalry and the whole bit. So, the role changes. So if you're going to really conceive of learning how to do mega deals, you gotta learn how to staff them and then how to run them, because it changes the sales' normal MO from a two-person team into something that's more like a real sales unit.
39:25 Vinay Koshy: Excellent. Jamal, if you were listening to this episode, what would be your top takeaway?
39:33 Jamal Reimer: Well, my biggest takeaway from learning how to do this is that mega deals are not for superheroes. Before I ever did one, I looked at the one or two people that I saw at a distance and I was like, "How do they do that? That's not even... It shouldn't even be possible." But after I was mentored and I saw it from the inside, and then coming on the other side, I said, "Jeez, I just did it with my team, we just did a mega deal." I learned that mega deals are not for superheroes, they can be learned and they can be... You can be mentored into it. And so there's hope for all of us, it's not something for special people. If you leverage people who have already done it before and if you give the organization the resources and the bandwidth to do it, you can have these big revenue hockey stick events, just takes some forethought.
40:30 Vinay Koshy: Excellent. Jamal, where can listeners head to if they wanna find out more or connect with you?
40:39 Jamal Reimer: Yeah. The shortest path to me is on LinkedIn. So I'm sure you'll get the right spelling of my name in the show notes. So you can just look me up on LinkedIn, I'm there. And also, I'm doing a challenge, which is kind of an introductory experience for sellers and management that want to kind of get a first taste of this, in Asia-Pac, and I'll give you a link to that, if anybody wants to be notified on when it's ready for the Asia-Pac region, which will be in a week or two.
41:08 Vinay Koshy: Excellent. Jamal, this has been terrific. Thanks so much.
41:12 Jamal Reimer: Thank you.
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Related links and more resources
- Check out Mega Deal Secrets
- Sign up for the Mega Deal Secrets masterclass ( for Asia- Pacific timezones)
- Get channel sales insights with Marcus Cauchi – How To Use Channel Sales Strategies To Drive Massive Growth
- Discover B2B sales insights with Tom Williams – What is B2B Sales and How to Create a Successful Sales Process
Connect with Jamal
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