You’re in sales. You’ve got a product to sell. Boom. Done. Then on to the next deal. Your technique? You use the sales enablement tools your company has spent millions on to help you be more productive. At least that’s what your organization hopes is happening.
Are you ready for 2017?
Let’s talk about resolutions you can keep when it comes to upping your sales mojo.
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.
LinkedIn is beyond amazing. Those who remember what it was like before LinkedIn know that it has transformed so many aspects of business, especially recruiting and sales. When people complain about the shortcomings of LinkedIn, it brings to mind this hilarious Louis CK clip about people complaining about the miracle of in-flight wifi.
Congratulations! Your team scored its first sale with a valuable customer. Despite all the hard work, the journey has just begun. Now the focus shifts to how you are going to keep—and grow—the customer.
B2B sales and marketing typically involves a major financial investment in the product or service, as well as change management in areas like operations, governance, and processes. So there’s more at stake for the customer—and consequently for you. New relationships are fragile and require nurturing and maintenance.
But what’s the best approach? These seven tips will help your account team demonstrate to customers that they are in the best hands:
Come 2016, you’ll find new faces in many CEO offices. Organizations like Starwood Hotels, Owens-Illinois, LL Bean, and others have announced top leadership changes and their priorities for 2016.
You may think all CEOs have the same goals in mind—grow the company, grow profits, be leaner. Well, sure. But that’s just the broadest of strokes. Just as you may—mistakenly—assume that all CXO personas are alike, you’d also be wrong in thinking all CEO issues, drivers, and goals are identical. As you’re planning a conversation with someone new entering the C-suite, you need to know what exactly they’re up against and what their plans are to satisfy both customers and shareholders.
Topics: Sales Enablement, Executive Intelligence, CXO Insight, CEO, CEO Biographies, CEO Facts and Figures, C-Suite Selling, CXO Priorities, Business Conversation, Fortune 500 Executives, CEO Profiles, C-Suite
You’ve worked hard to build strong relationships and trust within your most important accounts. The payoff for all this hard work? A stable of powerful “Champions” for your company, who fast track your sales of new products and services to their departments.
We all have them: accounts we’d love to penetrate more. Accounts that, no matter how hard we try, just never grow beyond a few sales here and there.
Why not? In many cases, the bigger deals elude you because you’re not selling to the people who hold the purse strings when it comes to multi-million dollar sales: we’re talking about the men and women of the C-suite.