Throughout my time in sales, I have worked with many suppliers and all of them have one thing in common – they all excel at Enterprise sales. Their Achilles heel however, is their approach to the Mid-Market – this, they need to improve on.
How do Suppliers serve the Enterprise Market?
Most suppliers target the Enterprise market with a dedicated ‘Enterprise Sales Team’, with many other resources available to support, an often time consuming and complicated sales process. This ‘’all-hands’ approach to Enterprise sales is completely appropriate, as these corporations represent your largest sales opportunities.
Furthermore, securing a ‘blue-chip’ company gives your organisation gravitas and credible referencing capabilities. Everyone wants ‘those’ logos on their website!
What are the differences in selling to Enterprise vs. Mid-Market companies?
We all know it makes complete sense to cover an Enterprise account with a ‘full-on’ Sales & Service Team from both an economic and account management perspective, but unfortunately the economics simply don’t work as you target the Mid-Market.
Mid-Market customers simply don’t have the same scale as a larger customer. The reality is, they have fewer employees, fewer systems, less core, and non-core services, as well as smaller budgets.
The resulting sales process is very different, as Mid-Market companies’ movement is transactional. The first issue you may encounter is that many mid-size companies don’t necessarily see themselves as Mid-Market. They predominantly have the same needs as larger companies in terms of productivity, competitiveness, and growth, and they certainly don’t want to be valued any less than a FTSE 200 / Fortune 500 company. They deserve and expect the same level of service as any other business – again, this is perhaps not financially viable for many vendors.
All this makes Mid-Market sales very challenging. Suppliers tend to look to partners / resellers to help them, as this market is critical – there are many more SMB’s compared to the number of Enterprise opportunities. Tackled correctly, Mid-Market sales can be very profitable and provide sustainability where Enterprise accounts can be very damaging to a vendor when lost.
I’ve seen several companies make mistakes with the Mid-Market, so here is my take on avoiding the two most common ones:
- Be aware that all Mid-Market companies are not the same.
- The expectation that all Vice Presidents / Partners and Directors will jump at your opportunity.
As with all sales approaches, there needs to be a willingness on your part to dedicate the time and effort to understand Mid-Market customers. If you are prepared to research and specifically target the marketplace using Buyer Personas, Revenue, Industry Vertical or Geography, analyse your findings correctly, and engage with them accordingly, you are giving yourself the best opportunity to succeed.
Why is this so important? You need to approach the mid-size prospect with relevant solutions and messages. I’ve seen software vendors create solutions for Mid-Market that are over engineered and priced beyond their means – this was a mistake from the beginning. If your solutions do not specifically offer the features and benefits, they need, or if they are priced incorrectly, prospects will assume it is not for them and look for alternatives.
You also need to ensure you have the buy-in of your marketing resource. If your messaging is geared for Enterprise, your content will not be relevant or compelling to the Mid-Market. Again, they will assume you do not want to engage with them, since you are not addressing their needs.
Whilst the benefits of your solution may well be scalable, both for Mid-Market and Enterprise, your messaging should be tailored accordingly.
- Talk towards your companies values and understanding their market. You need to be prepared to roll up your sleeves and analyse not only their financials, but their history, people, culture, and vision, as well as their and appetite to buy.
- Don’t have them thinking, “it would be nice to have this but”, you need to present your solution as something far more meaningful that can fundamentally change the way they operate collectively. Share the full benefits of any single investment, show that it could create efficiencies and free up valuable resources for better utilisation.
- Finally, you need to present a true Return on Investment (ROI), that is tangible, so they understand it in real time and 100% get why they cannot be without it!
When it comes to Document Automation, companies often struggle to justify the return on their technology investment. To help companies with this, DocGovern has created an ROI Calculator to help you evaluate how much time you currently spend on Document Automation per month, and how much time you could save with an effective Document Automation Solution. Try it out here.
In conclusion, after reading the above, I think you’ll agree, selling to a Mid-Market prospect is very different to an Enterprise one. If anything, I hope I’ve at least given you ‘food for thought’, good luck and happy selling!