Enterprise Tech Sales: How to Navigate Long Sales Cycles

Enterprise tech sales require customized solutions to meet the diverse needs of multiple stakeholders within large organizations. These sales involve multi-year contracts, complex implementations, and significant risks. Various sales strategies like SPIN, Challenger, and Consultative selling are essential, emphasizing patience, thorough communication, and maintaining context throughout the sales cycle. Differences between enterprise, mid-market, and SMB sales are noted, with enterprise deals needing substantial resources. An AI meeting assistant can enhance productivity by keeping communication, actions, and meeting minutes in one place, facilitating better collaboration.

Integrate your CRM with other tools

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How to connect your integrations to your CRM platform?

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Techbit is the next-gen CRM platform designed for modern sales teams

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Why using the right CRM can make your team close more sales?

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What other features would you like to see in our product?

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Generalized products fall far from being adopted by enterprises. 

When it comes to enterprise tech sales, you need to offer customized solutions that help enterprise customers achieve their desired goals. 

Selling to a large company is usually a sizeable deal involving a multi-year contract, complicated implementation, and huge risks. Several decision-makers evaluate your product based on their needs and wants. 

For example, if you’re selling a meeting assistant, the sales department would be interested in its transcribing features. Marketing would love to see if the assistant can summarize a webinar’s Q&A, and senior leadership would like it if the assistant could attend a meeting on their behalf and summarize a discussion for them. 

When selling to several stakeholders in a company, the usual sales strategies might be sparingly beneficial. 

Enterprise tech sales need account executives to follow through with the right inputs throughout the sales cycle, no matter how complicated it gets.

What is enterprise tech sales? 

Enterprise tech sales involve selling technology to large companies that can drive a sizeable business revenue for you. These sales usually involve a multi-year contract and complex implementation with substantial risk. 

In enterprise tech sales, many teams are involved, both on the potential buyer and seller sides. For example, when an opportunity comes in, the pre-sales team prepares a solution they can offer and its scope, including the commercials bid. Potential buyers will start conversations further if the solution and commercials complement their expectations.

Then, there’s a whole process of scrutinizing the solution based on multiple stakeholders’ expectations and requirements from the tool. 

Enterprises vs. mid-market vs. SMB sales

You might be selling the same solution to companies in different market segments, but the scale of the enterprise challenge you’re addressing differs from the rest. Enterprise sales involve several stakeholders, leading to longer decision cycles and multiple communications. 

When selling to a company in the SMB segment, you’ll find that the sales cycles are shorter and decision-making is faster. SMBs stand for small and medium businesses. They have fewer stakeholders, which makes the sales process faster and less complicated. However, they’re low-ticket value deals, limiting how much you can invest (in time and money) to pursue them. 

On the other hand, if your prospect is in the mid-market, the sales process will be complex but not as much as enterprise sales. People coming to the table from mid-market companies will have clearer expectations of what they need. These customers will be sticky if your technology fits their needs. However, you need to customize your sales process properly since the competition in this sector will be huge. 

When you’re going after enterprises, sales will be tricky and highly rewarding if the deal goes through. However, these deals take 18 months on average, and a range of stakeholders will try their hands on your product. In enterprise sales, potential buyers are limited, and they clearly understand what they need. They will likely stick with you for multiple years if you check their requirements and scale with them to fit their needs. 

Enterprise customers have sizeable budgets to allocate to your product if you can solve a critical problem for them. It needs ample patience, communication, follow-ups, and follow-through with problem-solving and consultative abilities. 

Check out AI-meeting assistant for enterprises. It keeps all communication, actions, and meeting minutes in one place, so you can focus on nurturing relationships rather than taking down the meeting in notes. 

Different selling strategies for enterprise tech sales

Sales reps make use of different selling strategies when navigating enterprise tech sales. They might not use one particular strategy exclusively. Instead, salespeople rely on a mix of these strategies in different situations. 

SPIN selling

SPIN is a questioning framework, short for situation, problem, implication, and need. Here, salespeople ask questions about present processes, tools, responsibilities, and activities to learn more about the prospect's situation.  

Then, the salesperson asks about prospects' problems to give them a customized solution. After this, salespeople try to understand how the identified problem impacts a company to understand its size and urgency. The next stage of questions involves asking about potential solutions a prospect has already encountered.

In SPIN selling, salespeople don’t need to ask questions chronologically. Instead, they can use the framework flexibly to understand the prospect’s stage in the funnel. SPIN selling strategy is useful when you communicate with the prospect. If you automate this, the series of questions might look like an interrogation if a chatbot doesn’t personalize it enough to give it a human touch. 

Challenger selling

The challenger selling process controls a prospect's sales experience based on their problems. It depends on intentionally disputing a prospect's thinking and inspiring them to form a new perspective. 

As the debate opens up, the salespeople encourage the prospect to think about new options, opportunities, and alternatives that may solve their issue. They strategically position the enterprise tech solution to solve the prospect’s problem when exploring such options. 

Sales reps can then introduce their company’s technology to solve the prospect’s problem uniquely.

Challenger selling strategy works when a salesperson is trained on various selling strategies and is experienced in navigating complex sales cycles. This approach offers the prospect a unique perspective, helping them solve their issues through a strategic solution. 

Consultative selling

Consultative selling works when salespeople prioritize customer relationships above their desire to promote or pitch a product. It focuses on solving a prospect’s problem rather than pitching or promoting a product at every chance the salesperson gets. 

It builds trust and rapport with customers, helping them navigate deals in enterprises' sales cycles that are usually long. It also encourages customers to look beyond your product’s pricing and focus on how it adds value or solves a critical issue for the customer. 

Is enterprise sales a suitable model for selling your tech? 

If you’re just starting, it’s best to move away from enterprises as you might lack the resources and scalability you need to give to large companies. Moreover, enterprise customer acquisition can cost a lot and damage your budget. 

Enterprise sales can be an ideal model for a startup when your tech solution directly solves a critical problem that large corporations face. For example, a revolutionary technology that completely automates lead generation on websites using AI. 

However, you must get some things right when starting enterprise tech sales. The common ones include: 

  • Security. Ensure you have robust data protection systems and policies before conversing with an enterprise. Security and data privacy are their basic requirements. 
  • Onboarding and implementation. Consider how you would deploy your tech solution across thousands of users. Different user groups may need different customizations for their unique needs. 
  • Support.  Think whether you have the resources to provide 24/7 support to enterprise customers. Can you assign a dedicated account manager to assist these customers and look at their issues as a priority? 
  • Social proof. Enterprise prospects would be interested to know if you have established corporates in your customer base. If you have, make sure to talk about it. If not, you can list mid-market companies and well-known SMBs who use your product. Create a narrative that you’re equipped to cater to enterprise needs and requirements. 

However, enterprise deals don’t stop when they’re won. Account executives and customer success managers need to be consistently involved in ensuring customers get significant value from the product. 

These are high-ticket deals, and they need priority support, as any issues might damage operations at a significantly large scale. 

How to effectively navigate long sales cycles

Enterprise tech sales are complex, increasing the time stakeholders take to move forward in the sales funnel. During this journey, you communicate extensively with the potential client's team, and multiple stakeholders are involved. 

Reelay makes these conversations more efficient, helping you be deeply involved in conversations that matter and take the right actions. 

Keep the context alive

When communicating with several people with diverse needs and wants, it becomes difficult to effectively address them. In such situations, a corporate AI meeting assistant helps transcribe discussions word for word. 

This makes it easier to refer to discussions later and take actions that people expect from you. You can be more involved in discussing things than penning everything down to avoid missing important context. 

Assign actions proactively

Reelay’s meeting assistant lets you assign action items to your team or save some for yourself. It makes sure you don’t miss acting on items later, keeping the team accountable for what’s mutually agreed upon. 

This accountability motivates salespeople to follow through with stakeholders’ expectations and requirements for you. It can be IT stakeholders asking for documented security practices or someone from senior leadership requesting a case study of a similar business implementing the product. 

Keep everyone posted

Not every meeting or stakeholder discussion happens at the convenience of your time zone and working hours, especially with globally distributed teams. The Reelay’s meeting assistant attends the meeting for you outside your working hours and sends you meeting minutes with essential topics discussed, action items, and questions asked. 

It ensures everyone is updated about the latest discussions, keeping cross-functional teams aware of recent developments. Moreover, it makes collaboration easier while keeping people literally on the same page about what was discussed in meetings.

avoid scope creep by regularly documenting and sharing updates and discussions.

The collaborative effort allows business teams to follow through, quickly delivering what stakeholders need. 

Navigate enterprise tech sales with confidence

Reelay helps you stay informed about everything discussed with potential clients throughout the enterprise sales cycle. It gives you the context you need to run every meeting and sets up a productive meeting culture in your organization. 

This context gives you the confidence to take enterprise deals forward in the funnel and close them. Whether you have meetings on Zoom, Gmeet, Webex, or Microsoft Team, Reelay works across all popular video conferencing platforms, helping you keep records of all client meetings as a collection. 

Ready to schedule a demo of Reelay? It’s ready for you with enterprise-grade security and privacy. 

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