In the pursuit of enterprise opportunities, sales cycles can certainly be lengthy. It can take months or even years before an enterprise sale comes to fruition–and along the way risk, uncertainty and doubt can increase. So also do the significant organizational investment costs of such opportunities. The most obvious impact is usually the financial one–but equally as impactful (and draining) are costs of people, time and energy, all scarce resources. And because of resource limitations, the pursuit of one of these opportunities can mean that other organizational initiatives become delayed or even permanently put on hold.
But along with all the frustration, cost and difficulty, there are positives as well–at least for selling organizations that have their acts together. For in these these lengthy pursuits come opportunities that increase your chances of winning. Opportunities that come in the many touchpoints and contacts that occur with the prospect account over the long haul. In every communication, opportunity exists to prove your responsiveness, your follow-up and your attention to detail. Opportunity to, very simply put, do what you say you’ll do. Because in every one of these transactions, you’ll be evaluated by your potential partner. And how you perform will give a crystal clear picture as to what you’ll be like to deal with if you’re awarded the business. And the buying team has the luxury of being able to not only evaluate you in terms of your dependability but to weigh your performance versus the performances of your competitors, who are being asked to jump through the same hoops as you. And therein lies the opportunity for the effective selling organization. Because in every transaction, it’s possible that you’ll have competitors who might become just a bit forgetful or complacent as the seasons pass. They might take their eyes off the ball for just a moment. Maybe they’ll completely miss a request or tactically issue a boilerplate response instead of devoting the required hours to a meaningful reply. At just the right time to leave just the wrong impression.
The key is, then, to stay focused. You’ve done your due diligence and you’ve determined that the deal is well worth pursuing. Now you must make sure you demonstrate that the deal is worth pursuing well. Be certain that your actions do justice to your intent and your objectives. Show the prospect in the pursuit what they will ultimately see in you as their partner.
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