Understanding Enterprise Sales Process and Strategy

February 5, 2020
Understanding Enterprise Sales Process and Strategy

Having a strong enterprise sales process is a sure-fire way to ensure some type of sales success. It’s important to consider your team’s ideal buyer personas as well as the type of offerings they’re responsible for selling when creating a sales process.

That’s why we dedicated an entire blog post to building a sales process for enterprise sales teams. This type of sales team requires a nuanced sales process.

Why? Because an enterprise sales team means selling large, complex deals with long sales cycles to large companies. Key words: large, complex, and long.

Meanwhile, traditional sales teams sell to small and mid-size businesses. Here, sales cycles are typically shorter and less complex. Selling these deals can involve senior levels such as C-level, but most often involve working with Directors and VPs.

Key Factors in an Enterprise Deal:

Enterprise sales deals involve developing relationships with sophisticated buyers. These decision-makers and stakeholders are typically in senior roles such as CEO, CFO, CIO, CMO, CIO, SVP, and VP.

Enterprise sales teams tend to be large and multi-locational. This could be both nationally and/or internationally with various managerial layers, such as regional Directors or VPs that report into divisions. It could also be a very senior-level head of sales, such as SVP or Chief Revenue Officer.

Enterprise sales teams also utilize complex and large-scale computer applications to support sales and marketing, such as CRM, inbound marketing, ERP, and proposal generating applications.

Again, these added measures will come into play when creating an enterprise sales process.

Industries That Sell and Buy Enterprise Deals:

Organizations within the communications, energy, financial services, health and wellness, industrials, media, professional service, and technology industries often utilize enterprise sales teams.

Any of these companies selling directly to consumers, regardless of sales team size, tend to practice a less complicated sale.

Companies that sell business to business (or B2B) generally practice a consultative, problem-solving sell.

Enterprise Sales Process Steps:

We recommend starting with the basics when it comes to building steps for your enterprise sales process. There are certain foundational areas of every sales process that your team should start with. Then, move on to the more nuanced additions to your sales process framework.

Building a Sales Process for Repeatable Success
Read Now

Keep these steps in mind:

1. Establish cross-function collaboration

This could be in the form of a cross-functional Sales Growth Team that is responsible for developing and implementing best practices for salespeople to execute. This team of employees can work together to create a sales process that works for all facets of the business.

The best sales processes include the input from different functions in the organization. Without this input, sales is siloed and not working towards a common goal with the rest of the organization.

2. Create a knowledge platform

We like to call this a Sales PlayBook. Again, this PlayBook should have input from functions other than sales. Closing and enterprise deal requires a lot of heavy lifting for your sales reps. Make sure the PlayBook houses information from different functions that can answer their prevalent questions as they work with prospects.

For example, consider housing information on implementation and delivery in your PlayBook so your sales reps can confidently speak to prospects about processes that don’t involve them.

The Ultimate Guide to Creating & Managing a Sales PlayBook
Read Now

Additionally, we recommend having a PlayBook specifically for aligning marketing and sales functions. This way, both teams can agree on messaging and goals.

Also consider subdividing PlayBooks based on offerings, regions, or other criteria unique to your business.

3. Establish focused training

Now, you may be wondering what training has to do with a sales process. The answer is: everything.

If your sales team has a sales process that they don’t know how to follow, the sales process is worthless. Similarly, if there are aspects of the process that they do incorrectly, there must be training available.

This includes sales reps not knowing how to respond to objections from prospects. It could also include how to properly tell stories to get buy-in from decision makers. Or maybe, it means training team members on opportunity management and logging information correctly in your CRM system.

Managing an enterprise sales team doesn’t mean you need to reinvent the wheel when it comes to a sales process. All it requires is getting more people involved and making sure team members are supported when following the long, complex process.

1 Comment

  • Jim - Reply

    Arianna and Charles – great article on distinguishing key differences between traditional and enterprise sales cycles. It’s common to find sales organizations and leaders who fail to grasp that enterprise selling is, as you say, complex and built on relationships aimed at solving problems. With all the pitfalls of a long, intricate selling cycle, I’ve found comprehensive enterprise training software is essential to properly prepare sales reps for the variety of situations they’ll encounter with customers of larger organizations. We can easily bank all the information sales needs, tailor specific training lessons for each step of the process, allow for practice pitches and evaluate performance all from one platform. The more sales departments understand how enterprise selling is different, the more enterprise clients they’ll close. Thanks for the article.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.