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Enterprise sales - maintaining success in a downturn (part 2)

In my previous blog, we examined the ways in which you can maintain success in a downturn by aligning your offering closely to an organisation's critical business issues.

In this second part, we will turn the focus to the stakeholders within those organisations and look at how we can carefully manage their heightened perceptions of risk during these uncertain times.

The Decision Maker(s) - Risk Mitigation


Decision Makers in challenging times have a tendency to focus on perceived risk, ‘what are my chances of getting fired for making this decision versus doing nothing?’ Here are some important points to consider when dealing with key stakeholders who are acting more risk-averse than ever.

1. How do you address the ‘look in the mirror’ decision?


Decision makers inevitably arrive at this point. In one form or another, we all look in the mirror the day of an important decision and ask, "do I feel comfortable?" Everything you've done as a sales team has to add up to a solid yes, otherwise the dreaded ‘no decision’ becomes the more likely outcome.


2. How are we adding value to their business, with 95% specificity?


In other words, if you use their words and not yours then they've got a better shot at understanding your solution and feeling comfortable moving forward to next steps. Make sure you are speaking their language.


3. Risk mitigation - how do we fit seamlessly into their existing solution ecosystem?


With all the noise surrounding Cloud/SaaS solutions, it’s common to overlook the broader solution ecosystem you're playing in - but do this at your peril! "The failing of most "great" solutions is the inability of the vendor to help the prospect visualize success both for the business and personally." This includes playing well within their existing and projected solution ecosystem.


4. More risk mitigation - can you accurately describe the journey and delivery of value?


Most project failures are remembered for failing to get to their destination and delivering concrete measurable value. Decision-makers have long memories, be prepared to win this one with solid proof.


5. Deliver value with incremental wins to the business


"Signing agreements is not the end game, delivering value to our customer’s business is the big win." The big win comes when you deliver on your initial value proposition, however, the journey to get there is paved with incremental wins. Remember to celebrate each one loudly along the way.


6. Capitalise on the window of opportunity


The economy is driving the market in the direction of many Cloud/SaaS solutions that add value in this climate. The combination of SaaS/Cloud delivery models and the deteriorating economy is further hastening the adoption of SaaS across the globe; now is the time to act!

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