EP Huddle #27
Enterprise sales involves a lot of moving pieces and typically high value price tags. Selling large deals require a good deal of creativity, confidence and ability to navigate complex environments.
One of the best ways to launch a large sale is to partner with a new customer and perform a short term pilot to showcase how you can help satisfy their needs. If you offer a pilot program to try and increase your potential customer base, you're probably aware how important these offers are, yet you also probably know how challenging they can be to run effectively.
Here are a few suggestions if you offer a pilot to help customers try your services.
As a team:
What baseline products or services can you offer in a pilot program without getting too involved in customization? How do you need to structure your pricing to ensure you're not losing money, or losing possible customers?
Talk with your team about who's responsible for which pieces of the pilot. How will IT integrate with the customer? What role does sales have? Service? Does your founder/CEO/management get involved? If so, at what point? Does your management team need to sign-off on pilots? If the answer is yes, then what information does the person crafting the pilot need to know and present before a pilot can be initiated?
Make a list of the responsibilities your customer will have to ensure this pilot is successful. If you've completed pilots successfully in the past, look back at those customers and find out what they had in common and come up with a list of requirements for future customers. Make sure you know what you need to get them to commit to in order for this to be successful.
EP Huddle #23
There are a lot of strategies to cold calling, and most of them have similar goals in mind. We've often found that successful cold calling entails the salesperson trying to secure another time to talk with the prospect.
Unless you have an appointment, your prospect is likely busy when you call. You're disrupting him and whatever project he's working on. So, it's not likely that you'll get someone on the phone and close a deal immediately. You might not even be able to thoroughly qualify an opportunity on the first call. So, consider changing your strategy and instead, focus on getting someone excited to talk to you again at a scheduled time in the near future.
In practice, you can acknowledge that you're calling out of the blue, and explain that the purpose of your call is to see when a good time would be for the two of you to talk. Share that you're know they're busy and that you're calling to see when might be a better time to speak again. This can often diffuse any hostility for your interruption. You should see more appointments fill-up on your calendar.
Once you've found success getting more people to commit to a second phone call, start monitoring your data for appointment "shows" and make sure your prospects are following through. If they aren't, then you need to revisit the way you're scheduling these calls and make sure there's enough value in the second conversation for them to show up.
As a team:
Think through your sales process and talk about how you can get someone excited enough on the phone to be willing to schedule time to speak further about your solution. What is your elevator speech or quick hook to get them interested? And, how can you build value for talking to you again when time permits?
EP Huddle #21
Do you ever struggle building urgency with prospects in your pipeline? There are two types of urgency building statements that can help formulate proper (and swift) next steps.
"We don't have much time and need to act fast" is one sentence that will help you create urgency with prospects who are hesitant to make a decision. Explain to them the steps in the process. Share what needs to occur between the time they make a commitment and the time when the implementation begins. I once recruited students to a college. If we were two months away from classes starting, we definitely didn't have much time to spend deciding on the best college. I'd argue that the prospective student should apply to the college, complete all of the paperwork and admissions requirements and go through the acceptance process. Regardless of whether she ended up attending my school, didn't she want to know for sure that she'd be accepted into the program to help her make a final decision? Well, we need to do this soon since there's not enough time.
"We have plenty of time, let's just take it one step at a time" is another sentence that helps offset the perceived lack of time to make a thoughtful decision. In sales, we lose deals before they even start because the prospect immediately disqualifies themselves. In the college recruiting example from above, many prospective students wouldn't apply to the college because they didn't feel there was enough time to go through the admissions process. They would disqualify themselves before we could ever have a conversation. By showing that you know the process and next steps to properly implement a product / solution, you help them overcome one major fear, which is a fear of being rushed. I'd share with these students that there was plenty of time, as long as they were committed to work with me through each step of the process to ensure we completed everything quickly.
As a team:
Think about your business and your sales process. How long does it take to properly work through each step of the buying process and implementation process? What times during the year / sales cycle seem to cause prospects to either feel rushed or feel no need for quick action? How can you work with them to understand the process and why taking action today might help them the most?
How can you best generate the urgency without worrying your prospects and causing them to delay any decisions?
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