Whenever we can, we like to interview our customers and share their wisdom, best practices and success stories with our Boardroom Insiders community.
If you’re like most people, a networking event or cocktail party filled with unfamiliar faces does not top of your list of favorite activities. Have you ever skipped a conference networking reception in favor of room service and a movie? I have. Most of us dread these gatherings because conversation is typically dull, repetitive and at worst, awkward. “What do you do?” “Where are you from?” “What do you think of the (insert team name) chances this season?” We’ve all been there.
Longing for the good old days? You know, the Mad Men school of closing sales over leisurely three martini lunches or a game of golf? Yeah, enterprise B2B selling is harder these days. There are so many more stakeholders who have a role in the buying decision—especially when it comes to major technology purchases. And, increasingly, it’s top-level management—those in the C-suite—who are making these critical decisions. It doesn’t help that global enterprise IT spending growth has been flat—at 1 percent in 2016—according to Gartner. And yet even that small percentage still lays a lot of budget on the table—around $2.7 trillion globally.
Editor’s Note: This week we are proud to publish a guest post from Dianne Turner, a longtime enterprise sales professional. Turner has been a valued and trusted advisor for us at Boardroom Insiders as we strive to provide our clients with advice and best practices around enterprise sales and CXO engagement strategy.
Enterprise sales teams are under more pressure than ever. Customer budgets are tighter. There are more decision makers touching every deal. Sales cycles are getting longer and more deals dead end with no decision made. Sales teams are investing months—even years—nurturing relationships that seem as if they will never pay off.
Enterprise sales teams struggling with CXO selling should take a page out of the management consultant’s playbook. Because of the transformational nature of most management consulting engagements, management consultants have always been visible and relevant to the C-suite.
Recently I came across an article called "Back To The Future In Enterprise SaaS Selling.” The authors make the argument that as SaaS companies mature, it is important that they acquire more "old school skills" to continue to grow. Specifically, they are talking about the skills to sell larger, enterprise deals.
Sales and marketing leaders from companies across a variety of industries tell us that account-based-marketing (ABM) programs are essential to engaging and retaining their most important customers. Nearly all of our customers are either piloting ABM or have full-fledged programs up and running. But these programs are not without some serious executional challenges, which tend to fall into five categories.
Here are the top five reasons why account-based marketing fails.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems enable you to compile details about leads and customers so you can target them more effectively. Unfortunately, many companies that invest in CRM technologies are not using them to their fullest potential. When used properly, CRM systems can help you develop a customer-centric approach and a communications cadence that will maximize your opportunity for success. Here are 3 reasons your CRM system is one of the most valuable tools in your sales arsenal, and how you can make sure you are leveraging it to its full potential.
Your database is full of potential customers, some with a higher closing probability than others, but they all have one thing in common: they haven’t purchased your product or services...yet. Each has their own reason why they haven’t bought yet: they don’t have the budget right now, you haven’t been able to prove the value, or, in some cases, you may have even told them they are not ready to purchase yet. Often, all it takes to convert these prospects into customers is the right timing. If you could somehow know exactly when they were ready and looking for what your company provides, you could spend all your time closing deals instead of mining for opportunities. But how do you know when your prospects are ready to buy? Here are three sales triggers to watch for.