Enterprise-level sales can often feel like navigating through uncharted territory. The sales cycle is fraught with competition, pitfalls, and prospects whose motivation is often unknown. In addition, enterprise sales cycles include multiple people who are involved in the decision-making process.
According to research from Gartner, when you move from selling to one person to selling to a group of two people, purchase likelihood drops to 81 percent. By the time you reach the B2B sales average of 5.4 decision makers, purchase likelihood drops to 31 percent. That’s a 50 percent drop!
Wouldn’t it make sense then to have someone on your side – a personal Sales Champion who can help navigate the labyrinth of opinion, prestige, and politics to help your sales teams reach their goals? This is where Emissary comes in with a Sales Champion who knows the ins and outs of your account.
Finding the Right Sales Champion
Often, once the deal is closed the project can still be in danger, especially if it involves technology. This is why understanding the individual motivations of each stakeholder is so important. It’s also imperative that the solution is sold individually to each stakeholder. This is hard – there’s a reason it’s called complex sales. But this is where your Sales Champion can guide you so that every stakeholder, influencer, and decision maker feels the impact of going with your product or service; that their world will change for the better and that your solution is key in reaching the goals and objectives they’re trying to accomplish.
According to HBR, there are 5 types of sales champions that your salespeople will deal with. Not all are loyal to your company as they may also be championing the competition or not always acting in your best interest. They have to figure out who is the Frenemy, the Well-Wisher, and the Spies. The champion they need is the Guide – the person who is your salesperson’s trusted friend.
A frenemy is someone who befriends you so that you think he is a supporter. In reality, the frenemy is only acting the part and is truly working against you. Frenemies are extremely dangerous because they lull you into a false sense of security that you are winning the sale, when they are really coordinating a plan to defeat you.
The Well Wisher
A Well-Wisher talks to you on an intimate, friendly basis. He provides information that you consider proprietary. However, the Well-Wisher is an extremely amiable person and is probably providing the same information to all the salespeople competing for the business.
The Weak Spy
Weak Spies are observers who provide you information about the internal politics of the selection process. They report the thoughts of the various selection team members and keep you informed on the progress of other vendors.
The Strong Spy
Strong Spies are not only observers but also disseminators of information. They promote you and your solution to others within their company when you aren’t around. Strong Spies have a deeper, more personal connection to you than weak spies do. They’re more akin to confidantes than acquaintances.
Guides are trusted friends who will courageously defend you and your solution since they have a vested interest in your winning. Not only are they confidants who provide all the inside details about the internal politics of decision making, but they also help you plan and execute your strategy to win the business. Guides are usually seasoned employees. They’ve worked at the company for quite some time and understand how to get things done. They have the business acumen and the experience to provide adept advice on how to win the deal and get the contract signed. Most importantly, after helping devise the winning game plan, they play an integral part in executing it.