An average B2B prospect receives 120 plus emails every day. It takes about eighteen dials to connect with them and five follow-ups to make a sale. But when you are after a deal with a big fish such as large enterprises, be ready to multiply these numbers by two.
Does it mean that enterprise prospecting is two times harder than usual sales prospecting? Not at all. It is just different, and requires an innovative approach, especially in times of a world pandemic, when traditional outreach channels like B2B forums and conferences remain unavailable.
With these five most essential enterprise prospecting strategies from CIENCE, your lead generation outreach will get to a new level in 2022. Before getting directly to the first enterprise sales prospecting tip, let’s define what this concept stands for.
What Is Enterprise Prospecting?
Enterprise prospecting is the same as sales prospecting with SMB (small- and medium-sized business) but on a bigger scale. It means identifying potential clients with a large annual contract value (ACV) among all the leads in the pipeline and transferring them to the sales agents to close the big deals. Unlike in SMB, prospecting large enterprises has three main differences:
1. Sales cycles are longer.
In SMB prospecting, the average sales cycle takes about three months. With large enterprises, this process takes at least six months, but very often even longer. Therefore, prospecting enterprises requires a lot of time and resources invested. However, once the deal is closed, the dividends earned make it totally worthwhile.
2. The number of decision-makers is larger.
On average, B2B organizations have six to ten decision-makers involved in the buying process. In ordinary sales prospecting, to win a deal, it's enough to get one “yes” from a single decision-maker. With enterprise prospecting, you'll have to deal with many decision-makers at once. Pitching for an entire group of people can be very stressful and challenging.
3. More objections need to be addressed.
The more decision-makers there are, the more objections they will have. Usually, each decision-maker has four to five pieces of information they gather on your company to base their objections on. And suddenly, from answering five questions during the discovery call, you need to overcome fifty objections. Therefore, the better you are prepared for the meeting, the more successful the outcome.
5 Best Tips for Successful Enterprise Sales Prospecting
Now that you have a clear understanding of how enterprise prospecting differs from usual sales prospecting, the next question to address is how to make this process successful for your team in 2022. Here are five main rules to keep in mind:
1. Find a balance between the human and tech approaches.
With the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2019, adapting marketing automation tools has become the number one tactic in lead generation optimization. According to Salesforce, 81% of businesses use automation in some way. For successful enterprise prospecting, you need to achieve the perfect balance between human touch and cutting-edge technologies to amplify both the quality and quantity of your outreach.
Nowadays, if your sales team sends one email at a time, your business is outdated. If you dial one phone number at a time—the same story—you're outdated. Automating these two aspects of daily outreach with parallel dialing and email automation tools will make your team much more efficient.
At the end of the day, nobody pays SDRs to watch them dialing a phone number or manually sending email templates. Value-adding conversation with a potential enterprise client is what makes a real difference in sales. Therefore, secure your email deliverability, make sure your phone calls are answered, and boost the chances of successful prospecting with new technologies.
2. Focus on context, not content.
Scientists claim that 90% of the information we retain is visual. Then why do cold emails (which is the most popular outreach channel) do so well? The answer is simple—the context of the message matters more than the content.
The human brain cannot see a written word, but what it can do is to translate this text symbol into a thought or association. That is how the content of the email gains an emotional context, which is that key factor that secures sales in enterprise prospecting. As Morgan J. Ingram, Director of Sales Execution and Evolution once said, “If the content is king, then context is god. Don’t focus on content, build context.”
One of the ways to build this context in a content-based message is to fill up your emails with visual elements. Images, emojis, gifs, and especially videos are what make text conversations emotionally filling. Use these strategies to trigger emotions in your prospect’s head. And don’t forget to build context by using personalization techniques.
3. Collect and analyze data.
Enterprise sales prospecting requires both sales skills and research talent. It is one thing to define your decision-makers and a totally different thing to identify their pain points. The one and only good strategy that always works is collecting high-quality, relevant data about your prospect.
This can be a tedious process: You have to analyze clients’ website behavior and transactional data, conduct a survey or track social media activities, or simply ask them directly.
Owning this valuable information will improve the understanding of your target audience and prepare you to build solid relationships, based on empathy and trust. No sales cold calling script can help you achieve this when prospecting large enterprises.
4. Focus on building relationships, but not closing deals.
When using outbound channels for enterprise sales prospecting, there is a serious danger to fall into the selfishness trap. It’s an awkward situation when, during the first phone call, the salesperson, instead of engaging the prospect into the conversation, just monotonously pitches their product until the momentum to make a good first impression is gone.
With enterprises, you’re creating long-term opportunities. Your aim isn’t to close the deal from the first touch (forget it, it’s not the case for enterprises), but to connect with the prospect and make them want to talk with you again and again. The best way to achieve this is to build a conversation around the client and about the client.
Justin Michael, the author of Tech-Powered Sales, shared with CIENCE that if he’s on the sales call for fifteen minutes, fourteen of them will be busy with the prospect talking. Take this into account during your next important call with an enterprise decision-maker.
5. Be brief, be brilliant.
First impressions are essential in enterprise sales prospecting. When you finally get the meeting with the decision-maker, you have only eight seconds of their full attention to provoke interest. What you say during those eight seconds defines whether you get them hooked and the talk continues or you lose them forever.
That is why it is crucial to find exactly the right phrasing to use as a conversation-opener, which will both highlight the value of your product and provoke a discussion to involve the prospect in the dialogue. Once you succeed with this, remember to keep your pitch short, but make each point very precise and concrete. To make your speech more convincing, compliment it with real data, successful case stories, and referrals from your satisfied clients.
Make Your Enterprise Prospecting Successful in 2022
As a rule of thumb, contracts with large enterprises are more prestigious and especially desired. Besides large revenues, they bring recognition, attract new deals, and boost brand awareness. At the same time, winning a large deal is somewhat challenging. Enterprise prospecting requires a different approach to building communication with the decision-makers.
This approach is way more personalized, tech-savvy, and methodological. It requires both excellent sales skills and well-developed emotional intelligence. At CIENCE, we train every SDR to be prepared for the most challenging cases, including closing deals with enterprises.