Sales Leadership

6 Game-Changing Trends in Enterprise Software Sales

Christopher Tuttle

Enterprise software sales man

The only constant in this crazy world is change. And nowhere does that apply more than in enterprise software sales. Today we take a look at six game-changing trends that can make or break your sales career.

1. Everything is interconnected.

Bipul Sinha, from Lightspeed Venture Partners, tells TechCrunch that if your solution doesn’t fit into your customers’ existing framework, you have no prayer. Big companies are notoriously risk averse. If they can’t quickly see how your technology will work with their systems, they’ll give you the cold shoulder.

Watch “How the Enterprise Sales Model Has Changed”

2. Birds of a feather don’t flock together.

In a ReadWriteWeb article titled “Why the Traditional Sales Model Can’t Sell Enterprise Software,” the author asserts that the global workforce is taking its toll on sales cycles.

Is your buyer in San Jose, Baltimore or Dubai?

The answer is all three — and you can’t close the deal without winning over everybody in this convoluted decision-making chain. The best you can hope for is to die in your sleep.

See the full article.

3. Budgets have disappeared.

Mark Cranney used to show his sales reps some tough love at Opsware when they’d complain that nobody had budget for data center automation.

In today’s world of enterprise software sales, you must find the hidden budget for your technology by marrying your solutions to your customers’ strategic initiatives.

If you can’t do that, you might end up working at Walley World.

Read “If SaaS Products Sell Themselves, Why Do We Need Sales?”

4. Sales ailments are tougher to diagnose.

Neal Murphy highlights an interesting problem on his Enterprise Sales Operations blog. He says that sales leaders often don’t dig deep enough when sales activity dips. They assume their reps just aren’t working hard enough.

But the real issue might be that you haven’t nailed your messaging. As Murphy puts it, “When the message is ineffective and does not advance the conversation – that telephone handset becomes very heavy.”

Read “Sales Activity: Leading Indicator or Symptom of Bigger Problems?”

5. There are no secrets.

Want to run recon on your competition or your prospects? Now you can.

VentureBeat details how Salesify makes it easy for your sales team to find out whether a particular company relies on McAfee or Kaspersky for antivirus protection — if, that is, you’re into that sort of thing.

But don’t stop there. You can also target companies that use Marketo and various other types of software. Sales intelligence is widely available. Use it wisely.

See “How That Enterprise Sales Rep Knows Exactly What Computers You Use and Software You’ve Bought”

6. Startups overvalue channel sales.

If you sign channel partners and expect them to magically bring home the bacon, you’re delusional, Mark Suster says. Channel partners are like small children. You must teach them, guide them and show them lots of love.

Read “The Fallacy of Channels: Startups Beware”

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