The following article was written by Alex Kracov from Dock. He provides an excellent summary that I have reproduced below.
His company Dock is building a product that allows Salespeople and their Customers to collaborate on big deals. SalesGRID provides the playbook that enables the sales team to define and master all the steps that go into the process.
What makes an enterprise deal different?
Enterprise sales are very different from SMB deals. Here’s the key characteristics that make them different:
1. Many stakeholders When selling to an enterprise, you need to sell across an organization, not just a single point of contact. You’ll need to find a champion. From there, you need to convince multiple levels of management, adjacent teams and managers. Once you’re past that phase, you’ll need to deal with legal, security and procurement teams. Across all these stakeholders, there are competing motivations and incentives that you need to manage.
2. Champion empowerment AEs need an internal advocate who can guide them through the company’s buying process. This champion gives AEs insider knowledge and collaborates with them to figure out the best way to sell into the company. As a sales rep, a huge part of the job is supporting the champion with whatever they need to advocate for the product to internal stakeholders.
3. Long sales cycles Selling to the enterprise literally takes years. AEs need to figure out how to nurture accounts and build a relationship. They need to provide value before the company is ready to buy. Along the way, AEs need to figure out the right moment to strike – when it makes sense to start a serious conversation around an evaluation. The AEs job is to be there when the buyer is ready to evaluate new software.
4. Complex customization Enterprise companies require deeper customization for the product. They have a defined process that works for their business and they have a bunch of specific quirks that you’ll need to solve.
5. Dealing with procurement Enterprise companies usually have a department dedicated to buying software. They have a very defined process that dictates the steps to make a purchase from legal to security to pricing. Enterprise sales reps need to figure out how to deal with purchasing teams and sure they bake in a pricing win for this department.