Suppose I have something that large enterprises would desperately need- It's just that they are not aware of it yet and I have to educate/sell them on buying the product. What would be the best ways of completing the sale?
Selling to enterprise customers is about demonstrating value while reducing risk. You will need to show irrefutable proof that your solution will address a pain - ideally, one that is both urgent and important (Eisenhower matrix/Covey). The best way is to point to tangible examples of where you have solved the problem before - through documented case studies, testimonials from industry luminaries, etc. Most enterprise solutions have been developed with the involvement of at least one customer to ensure there is some semblance of product/market fit. If that is your situation, you need to use that customer as a proof-point.
In the absence of an existing customer, you need to find someone (a champion) who is willing to accept greater risk in return for the benefits of being an early adopter. The offer to them could be financial (free/reduced cost/pay when you're happy), exclusivity, customization/ personalization/integration,... - something that will provide extra reward for taking a chance with you, in return for allowing you to use them as proof when the value is proven. As well, expect that an enterprise will limit their risk by testing your solution in a controlled setting - in one department, a specific project, a parallel implementation with another product, etc. with very specific, measurable objectives and expected outcomes.
Selling to enterprise customers can be daunting. Decision-making can be slow, complex and political. The reception area is full of existing account managers with big expense accounts and six figure salaries who call on the customer every day. But, if you can find a way to successfully break into the market, large companies can be like lemmings - and one sale can lead to many. Good luck! Ping me if you think I can be of help.
Here are (4) crucial things you need:
1. Strategy -- Do your homework. Figure out what your ideal enterprise customer is already doing without your product. Hone your message to deliver what they need.
2. Research -- Find out the right person to be speaking with. Even if an enterprise needs you, a person does the ordering. Get to know that person -- and what they want from you.
3. Tools -- Put in place smart (and usually "FREE") technology to help you follow-up and follow-through on the promises you make and the process of closing the deal.
4. Connections -- Reach out to smart people who can help you execute your strategy and make important introductions to the people who can a close a deal with you.
This is just the tip of the iceberg. But it's enough to get you started, right?
Go be awesome!
1) Establishing yourself as a consultant, doing a consultative selling approach.
2) Figuring out who the _strategic_ person is. That's who you need to talk to. With enterprise businesses that size, purchasing decisions are made for long-term strategic benefit.
3) "Custom" is the key word. Don't talk about what you've done for others, talk about what you can do for them. Again reinforcing #1, ask lots of questions that tease out their unique goals and position your product around those goals.
So here it is what you can do:
1. You start with addressing their biggest pain point. You never start with your products or services because they are not interested into that. They want to solve their pain as soon as possible.
So create a list of the biggest irrational fears, frustrations, desires, goals, etc. and think about how you can address that in your advertising and marketing copy.
2. Think about where you can reach them:
- are they actively looking for a solution? If so - search engines might be a good idea
- use YouTube as well. Ranking over there is much easier than on Google.
- are there people you can partner with to promote your products? use affilliate marketing
- Use social media (Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.)
- Direct contact - call them and ask them what are their biggest challenges, this will help you to get to know them better and to make the best offer.
3. Move the freeline. I have found out that the more interesting and value content you produce for free, people are actually more interested into buying. And you can sell them more.
Make video series following by a webinar where you can sell your stuff.
Educate them on the problems they are having and why they are experience this pain. Push them even further outside their comfort zone and they will love to buy what you're offering.
I hope that was helful. If I know more about your product/service, I will be able to give you a much better advice. So fell free to schedule a call, if you need more help.
Since you have not mentioned whether this is an actual product or a service, I will try to cover your question a bit more generally.
1. Find mid-level contacts in the targeted enterprises for specific areas that might deal with your product/service and start talking and building relationships with them. Ideally but not absolutely necessary try to get introduced through a connection - you will get airtime more easily. Figure out who would make the best influencer/evangelist internally for your product/service. You WILL need a champion from the inside.
2. Think of your product/service from THEIR POINT OF VIEW: can they gain added value from their current products/ services by introducing your product/service - it's not always about revenue share for a service for example. Most enterprises have a strategy that focuses on their CORE offering so any additions have to dovetail well with that.
3. Present the product and ask LOTS of questions on whether they have a strategy/roadmap/planning/roll-out to cover the customer gap your product/service will be filling. If not, ask for pain points/problems/issues that are at the forefront that might support the need for your product/service.
4. If your product requires integration, find out their budget cycle and roll-outs planning to see where you fit in (ideally you should be integrated in next year's planning). This is how most products miss the boat - they are not on the priority list and are more likely to drop off as the year end budget pressures come in.
5. Think, plan in advance and present how you would cover a large enterprise deployment (depending on your product/service): can you scale the product/service for large number of users, do you have the resources to support enterprise grade SLAs including but not limited to customer support, training, sales, maintenance, response timeframes, deployment timeframes, disaster recovery, financial/regulatory etc - all depending on what kind of product or service you have.
6. Ask what their supplier approval processes are. You might need to go through a qualification process and you will need to fulfil certain parameters to qualify (such as maintaing a certain level of insurance for example).
A some food for thought: a lot of large enterprise decision makers tend to focus (unfortunately) on the short term impact (3 months to 3 year horizon), as this is how they are evaluated and their targets/incentives are set. Can your product make a difference to their revenue in that timeframe?
Happy to answer more specific follow-up questions.