by Julianne Mercer, Negosentro.com | Properly managing large clients is often essential to the survival of an organization. Many organizations survive by obtaining and maintaining a few key clients. If the client is lost it can mean the end of the business. These types of relationships are all about doing what it takes to make the client happy.
Before one can manage an enterprise sized client they must first obtain the client. Enterprise sales is how this is done. Typically enterprise sales will involve a sales rep reaching out to a large organization and seeking to find the key decision maker within that organization. Finding the key decision maker for the product you’re selling can be particularly challenging when dealing with a large organization. For example, if I was doing enterprise software sales at a large company like Adobe Systems, and I was trying to reach the key decision-maker within Verizon who would be interested in my product, I would have to sift through over 100,000 employees to find that person. Additionally, once I figured out who that person decision maker was I would then have to find a way to reach them through email or phone call.
Getting through to the prospective client is part of the battle with enterprise software sales. The next step is obtaining a meeting to demonstrate and pitch the software to the client. This often involves a number of phone calls and an in-person meeting. A number of shareholders from each company typically attends these sales meetings. The sales rep will typically take the time to explore the needs of the client, the client will typically explain the current way internal process of how things are done, and the sales rep will seek to demonstrate how their product or solution benefits the organization.
The ultimate goal of the enterprise sales rep is to get the prospective client to buy what they are selling. When the client says yes, the two parties will often sign an agreement with certain conditions. At this point, the company providing the service will often bring in the people providing the service and the sales rep will become less consequential.
In the case of software companies, an Account Manager will often take the lead ensuring that the client is properly setup on the new software. This can include bringing in IT specialists to set-up the new software, training staff help the client properly use the software, and ongoing support staff to care for specific client needs.
Maintaining a client is key to the success of many organizations. It’s estimated that businesses lose an average of 14% of their customers every year. Organizations like Salesforce specialize in providing software solutions for companies who seek to keep their enterprise clients. Salesforce can help clients track and manage information about key client stakeholders, appointments, issues, items in the contract, etc.
Often the client will review the relationship a few months before the expiration of the contract to determine if it’s worth continuing. If things aren’t going well the customer may submit a request for proposal internally. This means that they are taking bids from additional vendors to determine if they’d like to go with someone else. Ideally, an organization will be able gauge the relationship and correct any issues long before the contract is up for renewal.