Enterprise sales possesses at least two brilliant diamonds that rarely fail to attract marketers:
- Centralized, Bulk Purchasing, and
- Healthy Repeat Buy Potential
Let’s take a look at centralized, bulk purchasing:
As of year end, 2010, IBM Corporation employed 426,751 people (http://www NULL.ibm NULL.com/ibm/en). With a centralized Procurement organization and defined product approval processes, IBM can represent a wonderful revenue opportunity.
I, myself, dealt directly with IBM from 1994 to 2001, providing this great company with staff augmentation services for a nascent need that would shortly explode across the business–web development services and editorial content development. All told, I placed over 110 individuals at IBM in many key positions relative to the construction of IBM’s early efforts on the web starting in 1994 when “HTML” and “coders” were little known terms with little broad market demand.
I had the great good fortune of running ahead of the market with access to skills that would soon become indispensable for all peers of IBM–web systems and content management. My first set of placements for the creation of the original IBM homepage proved themselves over the first 90 days of my tenure. Soon thereafter, Procurement reached out to us and negotiated a Corporate wide agreement that facilitated “fast track” sales to other groups within the business who could hire quickly, meeting their needs with the right talent by availing of a corporate-wide agreement between my firm as a supplier and Corporate Procurement at IBM.
My experience is merely one of hundreds, if not millions of stories of successful enterprise sales professionals who mastered the technique of enterprise sales for top companies by teaming with the right contacts who possessed the authority and the vision to “buy and ensconce” a product or solution into a corporate standard. These individuals all capitalized on selling a central purchasing authority on their wares.
With regard to the second “diamond,” the repeat buy, I have already touched on it in the example I have just given. Once the corporate standard is in place, that standard will be procured for any/all users with the same need over the term of the purchasing contract. Each subsequent purchase is effectively a repeat buy. If a sales person has managed to achieve an approval on a corporate wide services agreement, then each implementation of the product is a repeat buy and then some as the price tag of implementation will often vary from group to group.
The above two points illustrate but two gems to be found in enterprise sales. Of course, the complex sale is simply a variant on enterprise sales and, therefore, as promising as the examples just given. Stay tuned . . .
© IMB Enterprises, Inc. & Ira Michael Blonder, 2011 All Rights Reserved