Enterprise software sales is tough. There are tons of big players out there who have already mastered the art of enterprise software sales. But that should not stop you from looking for new enterprise sales tricks and reaching out to larger numbers of enterprise clients.
Enterprise sales are all about reaching the right prospects with the right products. That’s when you can add the most value and gain expertise in the process of selling to enterprises.
This article will give you a clear picture of the enterprise software sales process, its importance, and the associated challenges.
What is enterprise software sales, and why does it matter?
The Enterprise software sales process is a lengthy one involving multiple phases and decision-makers where a business sells software solutions to enterprise clients.
An enterprise software sales process is more complex than a conventional sales process. Dealing with a large-scale corporate entity means the involvement of many factors like business impact, reputation, and a complicated deployment process.
Despite enterprise software sales being complex, there are many great reasons to pursue it:
Opportunity to work with industry leaders
If you’re a SaaS startup wanting to make it big, working with large enterprises can provide a great validation for the work that you do. Selling your software to enterprise customers like Apple, Adobe, Amazon, Cisco, or other industry leaders can help you scale quickly.
Huge revenue growth opportunity
Large enterprises come with huge revenue growth opportunities. We’re talking about world-class companies here which earn billions. If your enterprise software clicks with them, there’s no looking back. These are high-paying enterprise clients who can zoom your revenue in the upward direction.
Build credibility and brand recognition
Once you work with top brands and they praise and recommend your services, you can easily build a credible brand image in the industry, which will help you in the long run and make it smoother for you to work with more enterprise customers.
What are the different types of enterprise sales models?
There is no one one-size-fits-all enterprise software sales model that suits every brand. If you want to build an efficient enterprise sales model for your organization, you have to perform A/B testing to find out which model is the best fit.
Here are the three most common types of enterprise sales models that B2B SaaS brands most commonly use:
1. The self-service sales model
The core concept: This enterprise sales model aims to empower enterprise customers and help them make essential decisions at their own pace.
Ideal for: B2B startups with low-cost products and relatively low customer acquisition costs.
Benefit: This model empowers customers and reduces reliance on your support team.
2. The enterprise sales model
The core concept: Businesses that require long-term relationship building often go for the enterprise sales model. This model focuses on the bigger picture and establishes long-term relationships with customers through lead generation and nurturing. Short-term profit is not the only objective of this model.
Ideal for: SaaS companies with premium software solutions should go for this model. If your software requires frequent upgrade, integration, and support, the enterprise software sales model is the right fit.
Benefit: It can get difficult to achieve success with this model, partly because it involves a long sales cycle with frequent back and forth. However, if you can successfully implement this model, the benefit is huge. It can retain enterprise customers for a long time with recurring profit opportunities.
3. The transactional sales model
The core concept: The transactional sales model is a combination of the self-service and enterprise sales models. This model involves a longer sales cycle consisting of both the marketing and sales teams. The idea here is that the marketing team will drive qualified sales leads, and the sales team will close those leads, followed by an onboarding process.
Ideal for: This enterprise software sales model is ideal for mid-level SaaS startups having expensive products and where more people are involved in the sales cycle.
Benefit: This model could really be helpful to high-level SaaS startups to drive quality leads and eventually convert them with efficient marketing tactics.
Creating the right enterprise software sales model
Are you wondering how to dive into the world of enterprise software sales? Here are three quick tips for creating an enterprise software sales model for your SaaS company:
1. Identify your ideal enterprise customers
The first step toward creating an enterprise sales model is ensuring a product-market fit. Does your target market actually have demand for the software? Or are you looking in the wrong place?
B2B SaaS startups may need a long period of time to figure out what the correct market for them is. But it is a must to identify your target market, the problem you’re trying to solve, and who your ideal customers are.
2. Identify your high intent leads
SaaS startups cannot target any lead in their sales pipeline solely based on assumptions. They need a data-driven approach to differentiate the high-intent leads from the low-intent ones. That’s the only way to free-up time and close more leads within lesser time.
But the question is how? SaaS startups can use a powerful sales enablement tool like SalesKen that can analyze customer-sales rep conversations to perform lead scoring. Such a platform can score the leads based on their intent and help you find out which leads are easily convertible. With such real-time assistance, it can be easier for SaaS startups to qualify the leads and convert them into paying customers.
3. Provide a solution
When you’re trying to build a robust enterprise software sales model, highlighting the features of the software is not enough. For your sales process to be effective, you need to identify the customer’s pain points and offer them a solution.
3 Challenges that every sales manager faces during the enterprise software sales process
The enterprise sales process is never a smooth one. There are some hurdles that every sales manager will come across. Here are the three biggest challenges that we can think of:
1. A long sales cycle with multiple decision-makers
This has to be the most common challenge when dealing with large enterprises. World-class enterprises have multiple decision-makers for different functions. Hence, it is next to impossible for SaaS startups to expect prompt sales cycles. You may have to wait for weeks (and even months) to close a sales deal.
2. It’s not easy to find the right enterprise clients
It is not easy to find the right enterprise clients, especially for early-stage SaaS startups. There should be an intent-demand match to figure out if you’re targeting the right customers. When that’s done, you’re one step ahead of building a perfect enterprise sales process.
3. You need an efficient sales team
If you want to target large enterprises, start with building an efficient sales team. Your sales team should be filled with skilled reps who are experts in converting leads into enterprise customers.
Building a strong sales team can be a daunting task. That’s precisely why you need sales performance software. An AI-based software like SalesKen can provide real-time sales assistance to your reps by analyzing their sales pitches. It can help each rep identify their individual strengths and weaknesses and adjust their sales strategies with the sales call best practices. Hence, reps can identify and apply unique rapport-building techniques to make the most of their enterprise software sales pitches and close more customers.
3 strategies to succeed in enterprise software sales like a pro
Here are three tips to succeed in your enterprise software sales process:
1. Don’t focus on profit; focus on relationships
The secret to converting enterprise clients is building relationships. If you win your customer’s trust and nurture them with the solutions they want, you’ll open doors for a long-term commercial relationship.
Sales reps often treat the enterprise software sales process as a conventional one. They tend to push the enterprise clients to purchase from them, which is the wrong approach for your enterprise software sales process.
Remember that you’re dealing with experienced decision-makers here. They have tons of options to select from and budget is also not a roadblock for these enterprises. So, to convert these leads, businesses need a more organized approach. SaaS startups should start right from the lead generation phase and slowly continue to the nurturing and conversion stages to ensure that enterprise customers build trust in your brand.
Hurrying them won’t help you in any way.
2. Know your product inside out
No matter how good a sales rep you are, it is impossible to grab the attention of your enterprise customers if you don’t know the product you’re selling. Sales reps are responsible for making cold calls, highlighting the products' benefits, and delivering sales demos for quick conversion.
To perform all these activities, they must have a thorough knowledge of the product. In fact, reps should take the time they need to understand the product, its features, and its benefits. There should be no compromises in case of understanding the products or it may backfire the entire sales process.
3. Don’t just pitch; tell a story
You can create a crisp, engaging product pitch or tell a story to the leads as you slowly take them through your product’s benefits and how it can solve their pain points. Form your story with case studies and clear examples. Show your prospects how it can make a difference if they pick your product over your competitors. That way, you make your sales pitch more believable and increase the chances of conversion. A direct pitch may or may not work, but a story always leaves an impact.
The enterprise software sales process is complex, with several twists and turns. But once you get started with the apt enterprise sales model and strategies, there will be no looking back. Get started with the tips and strategies we provided, learn as you go, and iterate as per your requirements. SalesKen can help in your enterprise sales journey.