The 5 Ds of Enterprise Selling: A Guide for Sales Teams
Enterprise selling is notably tricky without a solid process to guide your sales efforts. It requires a comprehensive blueprint to guide the prospecting, engagement, and closing processes. We’ve discussed previous frameworks for prospecting, sales cycle management, lead qualification, and more on our blog, but today we’ll look at a unifying framework that ties all those aspects together. These are the 5 Ds of enterprise selling:
Let’s dive in!
Before a single sale happens, your sales team needs to define your ideal company profile. Depending on what you sell, this will involve defining their:
- Industry: Are you serving SaaS startups? Crypto platforms? Engineering firms? Your brand positioning will play a significant role in the types of companies that you can successfully sell your products and services to.
- Company headcount: Does your product best serve companies with 20-40 employees? Perhaps 200-1000 employees? Knowing the headcount of your idea company helps you nail your pricing model, as you can choose to charge per usage for enterprises, per seat for mid-sized companies, per feature for small businesses, etc. It also helps you align your marketing and sales efforts to reach the right decision-makers within those companies.
- Problem set: What’s the big problem your ideal company is trying to solve? For example, Momentum aims to make it easier for enterprise sales teams to close deals faster by syncing critical sales data between Slack and Salesforce. If you were selling a product that could help us carry out our mission, what features and benefits would you focus on in your sales pitch?
- Revenue band: Certain pricing models work better with specific revenue bands. For example, your enterprise automation product might cost $50,000 a year. In that case, you’ll want to target companies that are making at least $10m in annual recurring revenue. Conversely, your product might be a small monthly subscription of just $19.99 — in which case, even freelancers in your target niche would be a good fit for your product. Naturally, your pricing determines the kind of advertising you need to do to reach your target audience. High-ticket products might need white papers, webinars, and brand partnerships to get in front of the right audience. Low-ticket products might do just fine with social media and search ads.
However, companies are a collection of people, and it’s people you’ll be selling to. You need to define your ideal customer persona at the micro level — the person you’ll find and pitch your service to. This will include their:
- Role: Are they the marketing manager? Head of SalesOps? HR Director? Note that roles may overlap across different companies and industries — so an Operations Manager might handle HR to some extent, while a Commercial Manager might be in charge of sales and marketing. For this reason, you’ll need to dig a little deeper during your prospecting phase to ensure you’re not chucking out good leads due to unconventional job titles.
- Need: What exactly does the customer in that role need to accomplish? For example, a marketing director might be seeking a way to garner more press for their company while the content marketing manager wants to gain more traffic to their blog. While both personas are working towards a unified goal (brand visibility), each has a different use-case, and your pitch needs to be tailored accordingly.
- KPIs: Based on the outlined role and need, there will likely be critical KPIs that the persona needs to meet and beat each period. For example, the Head of HR might need to reduce staff turnover and monitor employee mental health throughout the year. In contrast, a marketing manager might need to garner five press mentions each quarter. If you can tie your product’s performance and benefits to their KPIs, you’ll have their attention.
- Authority level: With enterprise sales being as complicated as it is, you don’t want to spend too much time talking to people who are not decision-makers or internal champions. Find out the person’s authority to buy as early as possible in the sales cycle to prevent wasted sales effort.
- Budget: Knowing your customer’s budget helps you calibrate your pitch and pricing while determining opportunities for upsells and cross-sells.
Having these two profile definitions — the company and the person — makes your job immensely easier. Not only will your prospecting get more accurate, but you’ll be able to tailor your product pitch as closely as possible to the needs of your customer and their company.
Now that you’ve defined your ideal client, the next step is easy: go and find them! You can find enterprise customers across different digital channels, but the most common places to start are LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook (yes).
LinkedIn is the most obvious choice here — with around 740 million professionals worldwide, there’s a good chance your next customer is on LinkedIn. Twitter is another platform where professionals in different fields hang out — and because it’s not as heavily work-based as LinkedIn, you might have a better chance cutting through the noise conversationally while enjoying reduced competition.
Lastly, Facebook is a juggernaut with over 2 billion monthly active users — and just as people are willing to share memes on LinkedIn, nobody truly leaves ‘work mode’ on Facebook either. A well-designed, perfectly-timed ad could be just the thing you need to catch the attention of a director or manager during their downtime.
But that’s not all. You can also find your next enterprise customer in various, off-beat paths such as Slack groups (ex. RevGenius for sales professionals), Openland (for founders and devs), Discord, Quora, StackOverflow, etc. A good rule of thumb is to go where the problems are discussed — if there’s a popular forum where members of your target audience congregate, ensure you have a presence on that platform and engage with them regularly.
Prospecting isn’t limited to digital platforms. You can find high-quality prospects at industry events (such as conferences and seminars), attract them to you through inbound marketing (like content), or through referrals from your network. When you adopt the mentality that enterprise prospects are everywhere, it makes it much easier for you to spot relevant opportunities and approach your next customer wherever they are.
After finding, connecting, and engaging with your ideal clients, set up a sales phone or video call with them to diagnose their problems.
The discovery or sales call is one of the most crucial moments of enterprise sales. This is because you get to ask intelligent questions, get relevant answers, and map out how your product can help your prospects solve their problems and reach their goals.
Ask relevant questions
The key to a successful sales call lies in the types of questions you ask. A few questions to get the ball rolling for insights into a prospect’s workflow and needs include:
- What’s keeping you from accomplishing your goals today?
- Are there any problems that you’re currently facing that your company can’t solve? Feel free to mention any specific competitors or products.
- What major obstacles have you faced trying to implement a solution to your problem? Have any past solutions failed to live up to your expectations?
- Do you expect this situation (problem, obstacle, etc. ) to get better or worse in the future?
- Do you plan on expanding your company soon?
- Are there any new products or solutions that you’re interested in building?
Let the prospect talk — but make sure you listen carefully. You’ll learn a lot about what your target company is doing, thinking, and planning to do. Even if your solution doesn’t fit into their plans, you’ll have valuable intel on future opportunities that may come up later.
With your prospect’s information in hand, it’s time to design a solution that meets their needs. Your solution should take into account:
- What problem(s) they’re trying to solve
- How much they’re willing to spend on solving it
- How urgent the problem is for them
- What authority they have to push ahead with the deal
A lot of this discussion may take place over email or phone calls, but this approach is long, cumbersome, and hard to track. If you already use Salesforce, there’s a much easier way to finalize the deal details: through Slack. Momentum helps enterprise sales teams sync their Salesforce CRM data to Slack to help deal desk teams hash out deal details, obtain necessary stakeholder approvals, and update their deal progress in real-time. Here’s a short video of how it works:
The design stage will involve hashing out pricing, features, and contract terms and conditions. This phase may take a bit longer than the others due to the complexity of enterprise sales deals and the number of assessments and approvals each customer needs to make internally.
The final stage of the enterprise sales cycle is delivering on the agreed-upon product terms and conditions. This phase is two-fold and involves:
- Implementing the solution according to the contract: For example, if your client requires on-premise installations across their facilities, you’d need to work with their Facilities, Operations, or IT teams (whichever is relevant) to successfully carry that out. Conversely, if you sell a cloud solution that requires no substantial resources or infrastructure to set up, you might only need to onboard their team on how to install and use your product.
- Driving customer success: Your product may accomplish your clients’ most basic goals, but the chances are that there are powerful ways to use all its features that they are not fully leveraging. This is where customer success comes in. By setting up a series of workshops, training videos, live webinars, or even email drip campaigns, you can ensure that your customers know how to wring every last ounce of value from your product and get the most bang for their buck.
- Delivering customer support: Afte implementation, problems may arise that need your urgent assistance. Your customer support function needs to be responsive to these queries as timeously and comprehensively as possible. You can offer customer support through email, live chat, social media, and even a community forum of your team members and other customers. Whatever the channel(s) you choose to invest in, prioritize not only solving your customers’ problems but also incorporating their feedback into your product development cycle for further improvement.
The 5 D’s are designed for sales teams that need a streamlined approach to complex sales. With this framework, you can quickly and easily map out the sales cycle for any product and customer. This process goes beyond simply selling a product or service — it’s also about building a relationship of trust that your customers can count on you when things get messy.
This is what gives you the upper hand in any sales negotiation because you’ll have what matters most: a personal interest in the success of the customer’s business. And with the right tools at hand, you’ll be able to close bigger, better deals in no time.Find out how Momentum can help your deal desk or SalesOps team today.