For a startup, selling to large enterprises needs a different approach than selling to small sized businesses. Uncertain and long sales cycles and high efforts required to establish trust among stakeholders make the process of selling to enterprises much more difficult. The resources and amount of time required to get a sale can even shatter your business. Enterprises demand higher security, support and scalability which is sometimes implausible for startups to offer in the beginning of their business.
Though selling to big enterprises is an onerous task, by following the below mentioned tips startups can find success in grabbing a few of them.
Discover the Pain Point
Try to figure out the pain point of each specific target customer and make sure that your offering solve their issue and benefits them in the longer run. As large companies receive numerous proposals each day from various big and small vendors, it is imperative for you to be quick and to the point. You will have to be an expert in your space and deeply get into their world to understand their industry, pain points, opportunities and the shifting landscape. Your aim should be to become a valuable addition to the company and not just a vendor.
Be Ready for Longer Sales Cycles
From finding your first contact to closing the deal, it may take even more than a year. So, set your expectations accordingly and do not get disheartened if it takes a lot of your resources, time and energy.
Never Undervalue your Product
Do not underprice your product or service by offering heavy discounts, in a hurry to embed yourself in the enterprise world. Giving your product for free or reducing the price drastically can ruin the perceived value and the relevance of the deal to a great extent. Offering something for “free” works more in the B2C environment than in B2B.
Sell to Different Groups in the Company
You need to sell your product to multiple stakeholders across the enterprise, up and down the hierarchy and across different verticals. Every involved department has to give their consent for taking the deal further. For example- if you have been fortunate enough to sell the product but if their IT department is not in your favour and doesn’t implement the product properly, you might end up losing the customer eventually.
Be Aware that Deal Might Break Up
Market reforms, amendment in the corporate strategy, changes in the economy are several reasons on which you have no control and these can lead to a deal being falling apart. Suppose the person to whom you were pitching all these days suddenly leaves the organization, then also your deal might come apart. So, always be prepared for situations like these.
Participate in Industry Events
Specifically in B2B industry, participating in industry events such as trade shows, educational seminars and associations is a powerful technique of meeting new people and learning about them. Increase your visibility by being a regular participant and contributor. This will give you endless opportunity to create new connections and know more people.
Invest in Face-to-Face Meetings
Clients with longer life span and higher growth potential should be met personally rather than depending on cold calls, emails and social media connects. In-person meetings will enable you to create long-term and trusted relationships with them. Presenting them with a use case of another brand in their industry that’s already your customer is a good strategy to build trust and make them interested in your product.
Don’t sell blindly. If you are not able to close deals despite your efforts, investigate your sales pipeline and figure out why leads are not moving to the next stage. Ask your prospects why they are not buying your product. The reason could be pricing, product features, a market that’s not ready for your product or you are selling to wrong people.