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Brian Sullivan

Selling to major accounts, also known as enterprise accounts, is radically different from selling in other spaces. For one thing, the major account selling cycle is a continuous process – continuous because there’s no end to the cycle of selling to and serving large accounts. And the streams of transactions over time between buying and selling organizations constitute a client journey with a distinctive itinerary along a clear roadmap, a roadmap that delivers value on an ongoing basis.

 

We know all about the importance of team selling, don’t we? It's that powerful strategy in which multiple team members from different functional areas of a selling organization work collaboratively to win deals. Especially in the enterprise world, team selling is widely implemented.

Read Time: 9 Minutes

In sales, we all bundle our accounts, clients and prospects, into logical groupings to add clarity and understanding to our efforts. We use vertical categories, assembling together our healthcare, consumer products, technology accounts, and others. We also differentiate by geography, adding efficiency in territory management by bundling accounts based on physical locations. 

Read Time: 10 Minutes

In selling to and serving major accounts, team selling is one of the most powerful, and underutilized, competitive advantages. Effectively mobilizing your organization’s most precious assets, its people, often makes the difference between success or failure in large deals. 

Read Time: 9 Minutes

Landing the right enterprise account is a big achievement, with new revenue and healthy margins being two obvious things to celebrate. But unlike smaller account wins, the real significance of the victory is the huge potential for growth over time.

Read Time: 6 Minutes

Of the many daunting challenges that sales teams face in selling into complex enterprise accounts, one of the most frustrating is that of long, drawn-out sales cycles. Months can pass, even years, while pursuing a major opportunity with an enterprise account, an opportunity that may or may not be won. As that precious time passes, the doubt, the uncertainties, the risks and the costs all increase. How can selling organizations overcome this challenge?

Sometimes, even the best product needs a little help from the team to become a legend.

“In the dark of the night, every cat’s a leopard.” This old Indian saying provides great insight into enterprise selling, because it reminds us how important it is to identify the information that matters most about our key competitors… We must know them, prioritize them, and account for them. That means conducting a truly effective, and customized, competitive analysis. Unfortunately, most research sales teams do in this area falls far short of the mark.

The Sandler Enterprise Selling (SES) program, based on David Sandler’s revolutionary selling system, organizes the enterprise selling cycle around a six-stage, continuous process. SES provides a number of special tools throughout its six stages to help organizations land, keep and grow long-term clients, and we’ve added a tool to the SES arsenal – the Quarterly Value Review, or QVR.

I taught the subject of “Personal Selling” as an adjunct professor at Loyola University Maryland for twelve years. The academic-industrial complex required the use of a textbook in class, and occasionally, I used it, often to point out the crazy ideas that Ph.D.’s who write textbooks have about the business world.