SMB vs. Enterprise Selling w/ Alex Buckles

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#65: Listen as Alex Buckles, CEO of Forecastable discusses the differences between SMB and enterprise selling. He and Tyler cover the transition into enterprise selling, what effective team selling looks like, and how to navigate the closing process.

Click here for full episode show notes, transcript, and more!

Difficulties When Starting (0:28)

Typically, the transition starts with an SMB company, typically a series B, closing many SMB deals, and then they get an enterprise deal that falls in their laps.

The biggest change is the number of stakeholders involved.

SMB can be intimidating because you have many people involved in the decision-making in a lot of different roles, and some of them are senior leaders.

Each stakeholder has unique, usually self-centered interests as to why they want to purchase one solution over another.

It's your job as the sales rep to figure out, stakeholder by stakeholder, what is important to each individual, and then hone in on that.

Have individual conversations with every stakeholder when possible and pay attention to each stakeholder. If you don't know what's important to this stakeholder over here, that could be a wrench in your gears.

If at all possible, you want to close it this year to make it a little bit more manageable and keep yourself sane. But remember, you're playing the long game.

The Process Behind the Deal (4:16)

There are two very distinct cycles in a deal's decision process in the enterprise world: generating group consensus and the procurement paper process.

The lion's share of the two processes happens separately. You try to get the paper process going as early as possible.

If you're outbounding into the account, there is no defined initiative and no defined pain. So there's no budget set aside for this, but you generate some interest and uncover some pain.

The status quo you're selling against is always your biggest competitor.

RFP do themselves a disservice by not engaging each vendor the way they should be engaged. So they're generally hit or miss.

Even if you weren't involved early in the RFP creation process, you have a very solid shot in the deal. But if you can get in at the RFP creation process- that's awesome.

Smaller SMB sales might involve one person, maybe two or three, but it seems like the further you go upmarket and enterprise deals, the more stakeholders you'll need.

Team Selling (9:01)

You can't be a lone-ranger when teams are selling; if you're going to lose, don't lose alone.

You should be working with your SDR or BDR on that account plan. Then as you get into the cycle itself, your team starts expanding, and your STR probably won't be so much involved anymore.

You, as the rep, need to spot the issues in the deal and bring in the right people to solve those challenges and convert stakeholders into supporters.

When looking at hiring an enterprise rep, the first thing to start with is talking about how they build up your territory. What have they done that similarly in the past, and are they creative?

Self-sufficiency is also something to look for because the last thing you want is a rep who sits around waiting for someone to give them direction.

It's probably not a good idea to take a pure SMB rep that has never worked a large deal and throw them into an enterprise role.

It's better to start them with Mid-Market deals and work their way up.

Driving Sales (13:47)

There's usually very little room for growth in an SMB account, and you want to have a team specifically there for upselling and cross-selling.

The organization has to do with the comp plans. There's a lot that goes into whether or not it's worth upselling or cross-selling.

There is no better customer than your current customer, and that's where your loyalty should be: focused on them. Of course, then, they will continue buying from you.

Don't just show up when there's a problem. Instead, try to break that text barrier as early as possible and use any excuse to get that first text message out the door.

It's not just about upselling. It's about building and maintaining relationships.

For businesses looking to break into enterprise selling, Alex suggests taking a break every so often to look at what you're doing. Then, ask yourself what it will take to close an enterprise deal and test the waters first.

Build the process, figure out what works, and then scale it rather than jumping right in.

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