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Enterprise Sales Pitfalls: Don't Let This Happen To You

November 13, 2014

How confident do you feel going into a sales call with an executive decision maker?

If you are like most enterprise sales pros, the more you know about the customer and her business, the more confident you are likely to feel.

Most sales organizations have figured out that knowing their customers--and their business--is just as important as being familiar with their own products. Yet time and time again, we hear painful stories of what happens when salespeople go into meetings unprepared. The consequences of not doing your homework on individual decision makers can be disastrous.

Here are some enterprise sales fails we have heard about lately:

  • One sales rep liberally using industry jargon in a presentation to an executive who has said publicly that she hates industry jargon.
  • An entire sales team caught unaware that the executive they are meeting with had generously done a testimonial case study for their company only a month before.
  • A sales team asking a customer's board member to champion a deal--without realizing he also sits on the board of one of their competitors.

All of these disasters could have been prevented had the sales teams been armed with the right executive insight.

You can prevent similar sales call disasters by doing your homework on the people you are meeting with.

Be careful and be thorough--while LinkedIn helps, its not enough when stakes are high. At least two of the three disasters described above would not have been prevented by a glance at a LinkedIn profile.

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Sharon Gillenwater

About the Author

Sharon Gillenwater

Sharon Gillenwater is the founder and editor-in-chief of Boardroom Insiders, which maintains an extensive database of the most in-depth executive profiles on the market, from Fortune 500 companies to independent non-profits, to help sales and marketing professionals build deeper relationships and close more deals with clients. Gillenwater is a long-time marketing consultant with expertise in marketing strategy, account-based marketing, and CXO engagement programs.