There’s a saying that 80% of the job is showing up. In Enterprise sales, it’s definitely the case. And by showing up, I mean properly managing the sales process.

See, selling to enterprise customers requires project management skills as much as sales proficiency. Your product could be awesome, but if you don’t manage the sales process properly, you’ll lose deals, as simply as that. Here are some simple, key things that just need to be done so you won’t miss a deal:

Provide a clear process timeline in a simple-to-understand way: Always respond to prospect emails. If you don’t have an answer to their question, provide them with a clear timeline regarding when you’ll get back to them.

Constantly show that you’re on top of their specific needs: Nothing ruins trust more than a seller who isn’t on top of their prospect’s needs. When selling to enterprises, buyers usually need customized implementations and rollout programs. Show them that you’re aware of their unique case.

Make engagements with you as painless, short, and focused as possible: It’s perfectly okay that you have a nine-phase sales process, but your buyer doesn’t have time to spend on it with you. Be respectful of their time and invest in efficiency as much as possible.

Communicate clearly: Short emails are better, and a single slide that covers everything is better. Executives on the buyer’s organization don’t have time to figure out what you mean. If you’re not clear, they’ll get frustrated and drop the deal.

Multithread, multithread, multithread: Emphasizing the importance of multithreading cannot be overstated. To effectively penetrate the enterprise market, it’s crucial to engage with every potential influencer and decision-maker, even extending to the customers of your enterprise clients in certain scenarios. The insights shared by the group and your observations are incredibly valuable. However, without comprehensive engagement with all decision-makers, these efforts might fall short. Engage widely, engage wisely.

Understanding the Power Line
Large enterprises are typically convoluted and complex organizations. Understanding whether you are above the power line and whether your champion has influence is critical to effectively managing the project.

Feature/Function vs Value
Being able to check boxes for a particular use case in one department may generate interest, but being able to effectively tie your value to the org-wide business pain is what gets executive attention and closes the deal fast.

It turns out that just knowing what your customers need doesn’t quite cut it anymore. Research shows that sellers who really get into the nitty-gritty of their clients’ business drivers and challenges—and know how to solve them—stand out as invaluable partners. Surprisingly, though, less than 10% of sellers manage to reach this deep level of understanding.

Good products are important, but ease of doing business is more important than ever.

A special thank you to Rich Morgan, Kevin Kost, and Jason Mesiarik for their contributions and discussions on this topic.