Selling software to enterprises? Good luck! Enterprise sales are tough–even for the most seasoned sales professional.
You’ve got to navigate complex decision-making processes, deal with a lot of red tape and bureaucracy, and build strong relationships with key decision-makers.
But guess what? Enterprise sales is a skill. And that means you can crush your sales goals with the right mindset and approach.
And in this blog post, we’re sharing some key tips and strategies to help you do just that. So, this advice will help you take your software sales career to the next level, whether you’re just getting started or looking to boost your sales performance.
What is enterprise software sales?
Enterprise software sales involves navigating the complex, often bureaucratic world of large organizations to sell software solutions to key decision-makers. To succeed, you’ll need to have a deep understanding of the software you’re selling and the needs and challenges large organizations face.
Challenges of selling software to enterprises
Enterprise software sales can be the bane of your existence if you don’t have an effective strategy for approaching and engaging potential customers.
At the core of this challenge is the fact that software solutions are often high-priced, complex products that require a significant investment in time and resources to implement.
On top of that, large organizations have strict requirements for vetting software solutions, including extensive market research, product demos, and trial periods to ensure that the software meets their specific needs.
To overcome these challenges, you’ll need to navigate this complex landscape and develop a tailored approach that resonates with potential customers. This involves understanding their needs, building strong relationships, offering valuable insights and support, and effectively addressing any concerns or hesitations.
Selling software to enterprises vs. selling software to small businesses or individual consumers
Enterprise software sales require a different approach than other types of software sales. Unlike selling to smaller organizations or individual consumers, selling to enterprises requires a strategic mindset and a focus on building long-term relationships with potential clients.
Additionally, you will need to be adaptable to different situations and environments. Enterprise software sales can often be highly competitive and require you to constantly stay up-to-date on industry trends and emerging technologies.
For example, think about how different it would be to sell software to a small start-up company versus a large software enterprise like Microsoft or Google. At the smaller company, you would likely need to focus more on building rapport with key decision-makers and tailoring your pitch to fit the individual needs of that particular client.
In contrast, selling software to an enterprise like Google would require a more in-depth understanding of the company’s software landscape and demonstrate your ability to understand their specific needs and respond to their unique challenges. This may include leveraging your knowledge of industry trends and emerging technologies and developing strong relationships with software engineers and software vendors at Google.
Overall, succeeding in enterprise software sales requires a combination of the following:
- Strong communication skills
- Technical expertise
- The ability to effectively position your software as the ideal solution to your prospects’ problems
5 effective enterprise software sales strategies and tips
To succeed in software enterprise sales, you need to be highly organized and responsive, as well as flexible and adaptable to changing customer needs. You should also build strong relationships with customers, leveraging your knowledge of software technologies to help them achieve their business goals. Here are five strategies and tips to help you stay ahead of your competition.
#1 Update your ideal customer profile
If you created your ideal customer profile (ICP) years ago using firmographic and demographic data, it’s time for a much-needed update.
How do you update it? By adding behavioral characteristics, companies display when they’re ready to buy software solutions. At Rev, we call this type of information exegraphic data. Our Sales Development Platform makes it easy to collect and analyze that information to inform your sales strategy.
We’ll talk more about the benefits of exegraphics for software enterprise sales at the end of this post. But you can start by using the following questions to update your ICP:
- Which enterprises are you already selling software to?
- How do those enterprises typically purchase software solutions?
- What were the specific pain points and challenges those enterprises faced when they first contacted you? Are there any similarities across those enterprises?
- How can you position your software products or services as a solution to those specific pain points and challenges?
#2 Identify your high-fit target accounts
Focus on quality, not quantity. Rather than trying to sell to as many enterprises as possible, focus your efforts on those most likely to buy from you. To do this, you need a method to identify and prioritize high-fit target accounts.
Mapping out your ICP, as we just mentioned, is a great starting point, as you can use this information to target the right accounts and focus your sales efforts on those most likely to be a good fit.
Of course, you’ll also need a lead scoring method to determine which companies best fit the bill. At Rev, we recommend prioritizing the companies that behave and operate most like your current list of best customers.
#3 Personalize your messaging for key decision-makers
No one likes hearing sales pitches that lack personal touch. So, customize your messaging for key decision-makers within your targeted accounts. Again, this is where exegraphic data is beneficial.
If you can identify a current pain point that tends to influence prospects to buy, you can mention in your pitch how you’ve helped similar companies solve this issue and how you can do the same for your prospective customer.
Demonstrating that you understand your client’s needs will help build trust and establish yourself as a reliable software enterprise sales professional.
#4 Lead prospects through the customer journey
The customer journey for enterprises is a lot longer and more complex than for smaller businesses. Enterprise software sales professionals must be prepared to guide their clients through the process.
This can involve everything from sharing content highlighting your company’s software solutions to answering questions and providing feedback on the client’s software needs.
Demos are also a vital part of the software enterprise sales process. So, it’s essential to make sure you can present the software in a way that is engaging, informative, and useful for potential clients.
#5 Maintain contact after closing the deal
Enterprise software sales don’t stop once you’ve closed the deal. You should continue building and maintaining relationships with your clients to ensure their continued success with your software solution.
This ongoing support will likely be a collaborative effort across the sales, marketing, and customer success teams. So, communicate regularly with these teams and develop a system to ensure all accounts receive all the information they need.
Also, remember that building strong relationships is key to long-term success, as it’s one of the best ways to increase customer satisfaction and prevent customer churn.
How to build a high-performing enterprise sales team
You can’t do this alone. So, at some point, you’ll need to invest time to build a high-performing sales team. To start, identify the qualities and skills your team members will need to execute your enterprise sales strategy.
Some key attributes to look for include strong prospecting and closing skills, a deep understanding of your target market, and the ability to build effective relationships with key decision-makers.
You’ll hire these individuals to fill roles like:
- Account executives, who are responsible for targeting and acquiring new accounts
- Business development reps, who reach out to potential customers and secure new business
- Sales engineers, who provide technical expertise and product demonstrations to clients
How exegraphic data from Rev can help you reach your enterprise software sales goals
AI technology is transforming the software sales industry, and companies that leverage tools are already seeing tremendous success. For example, by using a tool like Rev, you can collect and analyze exegraphic data to better understand your target prospects and identify the key decision makers and influencers within their organizations.
Whether you’re looking to grow your business or improve your enterprise sales strategy, Rev can help you achieve your goals by providing you with data indicating how likely an enterprise is to show interest in your offer.
Want to see for yourself? Contact us, and we’ll show you how Rev can help you succeed in enterprise software sales by giving you a free audit of your ICP.