With new financial pressures looming, many big enterprises are taking a hard look at their spending. This means organizations must find new ways to win and continue their growth trajectory.
We’ve been living in the roaring era of big enterprise sales—landing big deals with big businesses. For enterprise sales teams, six-figure deals are nice, seven-figure deals are even better.
Focusing on enterprise sales has been transformative for many organizations. First, they land huge deals that drive a lot of revenue. Then, they turn them into recurring opportunities, powering long-term, profitable growth.
Unfortunately, for some, economic volatility and inflation have made the music stop. Enterprise sales was never easy, but now it is even harder. With new financial pressures looming, many of those big enterprises are taking a hard look at their spending. They may want to cut back. Or they may want to consolidate vendors.
This means organizations must find new ways to win and continue their growth trajectory. Here are a few you can prioritize:
1. Activate your external partnerships.
In a challenging economy, the benefits of running joint sales motions with partners grow. You can split the costs of your marketing efforts and activate multiple sales teams to win together.
And, when big enterprises are looking toward vendor consolidation and cost cutting, this approach can make you more “sticky.” If you’re integrated with multiple other partners working with that enterprise, you may be harder to cut.
Of course, this isn’t easy. Getting one organization on the same page for a sales effort can be a challenge. Working with outside partners is even harder.
To overcome this, partners should come together to identify joint sales priorities. Then, they can collaborate on planning and campaigns.
This can mean sharing target lists, having tough conversations about being fair to both sides, and engaging across company lines. But, when done right, it will keep enterprise deals flowing.
2. Rethink sales enablement.
The market has changed. We all need to do a better job of preparing sales teams to deal with those new realities.
Enterprise sales teams are full of driven people. When the market conditions demand it, they’re ready to up their game. We can help them do so by upgrading your sales enablement approach.
A great way to start is with your sales messaging. Your prospects’ world has evolved—make sure you’re showcasing how you solve the challenges they face today.
And, as their prospects tighten spending processes, sales might be running into new buyer personas. Make sure you’re preparing them to speak effectively to procurement and optimization teams.
The other basic building blocks of sales enablement (collateral, training and technology) also become more important in a harder sales climate. Doing them right will help you continue to win.
3. Double-down on your verticals.
When vendor consolidation is on the radar, businesses weigh many factors in which partners to cut and which to keep.
One of the ways to win is by being deeply embedded in your customers’ most important priorities. Because these often look different across different industries, your vertical strategy becomes even more important in a tough market.
Agnostic or generic vendors and partners may struggle to articulate their value. Proving that you understand industry-specific challenges and can solve them is an important way to win.
Marketing teams can drive progress across all these areas—partner marketing, sales enablement and vertical marketing.
- First, make sure your marketing plans reflect these current realities. Press pause and revisit the initiatives you’re supporting. You might find you need to make some shifts.
- When you’re clear on your priorities, pause for planning. How can you incorporate partner channels into your demand gen programs? Which new personas may you need to reach?
- Then, create the kind of messaging, campaigns and content that break through a very cluttered enterprise sales market. Don’t short-change execution by doing too many things.
- Finally, make experimentation an active part of your activation strategy. Test what works, scrap what doesn’t and shift your spend accordingly.
It’s still possible to drive growth through big enterprise deals. But to do so, you need the right strategy and execution. Don’t just work last year’s plan. Hit pause and make sure you’re focusing on the right things.