How to Crush Enterprise Sales in 2024

The enterprise sales process can be long and complex. Following a strong playbook creates a repeatable, successful deal process.


Selling to one person is challenging enough, but managing seven? That’s a whole different ball game. This is the reality for reps in enterprise sales, where there's typically an average of seven stakeholders involved in every deal.

To succeed without dragging out the deal process, reps need to have a solid understanding of the modern enterprise buyer, build a winning enterprise sales strategy, and execute it flawlessly. Sounds easy, right?

Of course, it's anything but simple. Mastering the nuances of enterprise sales demands skill, strategy, and an in-depth understanding of the buyer's psyche. 

In this article, we'll explore how to define your ideal customer profile (ICP), speak your buyer’s language, and create an enterprise sales strategy that wins more deals. 

Understanding the Modern Enterprise Buyer

In enterprise sales, you're not just selling to one person; you're convincing an entire squad of approximately seven decision makers, each with their own priorities and concerns. A stakeholder map helps you visualize who these people are, from the CEO to the COO, head of IT, and the legal department. It also makes it easy for you to customize your pitch to address each stakeholder’s specific goals and needs. It gives you insight into who you need to win over, and when.

A stakeholder map acts as a guide, helping you close deals faster by making your approach personalized and highly relevant. This matters because buyers are more educated than ever before. In fact, 70% of prospects do their own research before talking to vendors — meaning before they ever talk to you, they have a solid understanding of their options and potential solutions.

Building a Winning Enterprise Sales Strategy

Every enterprise sales cycle is inherently complex and different — largely because each organization has its own unique structure, decision making processes, and specific needs. That's why laying a solid foundation is so important. You can achieve this by defining your ICP and buying committee, speaking your prospect’s language, and gaining an in-depth understanding of your buyer’s process. 

In this section, we'll show you how to use tools to build lists and identify the right ICP contacts. You'll learn to speak your prospects' language by analyzing their financial statements, earnings reports, and thought leadership pieces. Additionally, we'll help you determine who needs to be involved in the enterprise sales process and understand the duration of procurement.

Define your ICP and Buying Committee 

If you’re aiming to hit the bullseye, you need to nail your ICP. Doing so not only speeds up the sales process but also cuts down on wasted resources — like spending time crafting messages that miss the mark or investing in advertising that targets the wrong audience on the wrong channels. 

With a well-defined ICP, you're more likely to knock on doors that actually open. More importantly, personalized outreach provides a serious advantage, boosting revenue by at least 10 to 15%. According to a McKinsey report, high-growth organizations attribute 40% more of their revenue to personalization efforts than their slower-growing counterparts.

The bottom line? Personalizing your outreach and understanding your ICP isn’t just beneficial — it’s essential. 

Here’s how to define your ICP: 

1.) Analyze your customers: Identify customers who bring in the most revenue, have the lowest churn rates, and are the most satisfied with your solution. What’s the red thread between these customers? Consider factors such as industry, company size, location, and common pain points. 

2.) Map out their challenges: When you can identify the biggest problem most of your customers are trying to solve, you can target similar prospects with messaging that’s relevant and impactful. 

3.) Use demographics and firmographics: Data is your friend, especially when it comes to defining your ICP. Collect details such as age, job roles, industry, company size, and revenue to better understand who your ideal customers are.

4.) Map out the key decision makers: In enterprise sales, the buying process often involves multiple decision makers. Knowing who these individuals are, and who influences them, will help you customize your content and approach accordingly. 

5.) Use customer data and feedback: Leverage customer feedback and data analytics to refine your ICP. What patterns do you see? What feedback do they provide about your product or service?

Once you define your ICP, you can use tools to build lists and pinpoint the right contacts within these target accounts. 

Here are three to consider: 

  • Apollo: Apollo is an AI-powered sales assistant powered by a database of more than 275 million contacts. It contains millions of sales engagement data points, and can be used to identify and connect with contacts that match your ICP.  
  • ZoomInfo: ZoomInfo is a go-to-market tool designed to help businesses find, acquire, and grow their customer base. It equips sales and marketing teams with accurate contact, firmographic, technographic, and intent data.
  • Clay: Clay is a data enrichment tool that enables growth teams to scale personalized outreach efforts effectively. It can synchronize leads from a CRM or prospect from scratch, building targeted lead lists.

Speak Your Prospects Language

One of the best ways to make a meaningful connection with your prospects is by speaking their language. Learn the industry-specific jargon your ICP’s speak, understand their biggest business challenges, and align your messaging accordingly.

You can achieve this by reading financial statements, analyzing earning reports, listening to podcasts key leaders have been on, reading thought leadership pieces written by the stakeholders, and engaging in industry forums and discussions. This helps you stay current on trends and issues that matter to them, and communicate in a way that resonates. 

Understanding your Buyer’s Process

Early on in the sales process, find out about who else needs to be involved in the decision making. This includes anyone from the decision-makers to the end-users who might influence the final purchase. As you do this, make sure you know what kind of information each stakeholder is looking for — and have it ready to go. This will help you maximize every interaction and add value at every touchpoint. 

Ask your champion or main contact how long, on average, procurement takes. Understanding how long it takes to reach a decision will allow you to time your follow up strategy accordingly and manage your pipeline effectively. 

Also, make sure you don’t overlook their security needs. You don’t want the deal to be stuck in limbo because you didn’t do your due diligence and validate what security features are most important to your enterprise stakeholders. With the rise in data breaches and cybersecurity threats, companies are more vigilant than ever about the security postures of their vendors. 

Be proactive: familiarize yourself with the necessary security features, prepare detailed documentation, and be ready to undergo security audits if required. Addressing security concerns upfront will not only smooth the path to a sale but also build trust, reassuring your prospects that partnering with your company does not expose them to undue risks.

Refining the Enterprise Sales Process

When it comes to enterprise sales, success hinges not just on what you sell, but how you sell it. To make a lasting impression that is powerful enough to convert prospects into buyers, you need to build trust, craft a compelling narrative, and use account plans and mutual action plans (MAPs). 

Building Trust Through Expertise

Every meaningful relationship is built on trust — personally and professionally. Enterprise sales is no exception. To establish trust, you need to not only know your product inside and out, but also understand the industry you’re srving. 

Familiarize yourself with the specific needs and challenges of your prospects and come to every interaction prepared to offer thoughtful, well-informed responses. For instance, a rep in the automotive industry should stay updated on current trends like electric vehicle innovations and advancements in battery technology.

This industry expertise enables you to engage meaningfully with stakeholders, building trust and rapport. By anticipating potential concerns and offering proactive solutions, you position yourself not just as a vendor but as a strategic partner. When prospects see you as an ally in navigating their challenges, they are more likely to collaborate with you. 

Crafting a Compelling Sales Narrative

As buyers become more informed and decision-making involves more stakeholders, crafting a compelling sales narrative is crucial. Instead of leading with product features, focus on storytelling that connects emotionally and logically with your audience. For example, if you’re selling to an enterprise medical devices company, your narrative could focus on how your solutions enhance patient safety and improve surgical outcomes. Illustrate a scenario where your technology enabled a hospital to significantly reduce recovery times and increase the accuracy of diagnostics, ultimately leading to higher patient satisfaction and a stronger reputation for the facility. 

This approach is known as value selling. Value selling is when you take a customer-first approach to sales. It highlights the tangible benefits a product or service offers, and positions reps as advisors who carefully research prospects to understand their actual needs, roadblocks, and goals.

This method requires reps to put themselves in the position of their prospects and imagine what the buyer journey is like. By doing so, they can offer relevant insights and solutions to the buyers' issues. This approach helps in addressing the prospects' immediate concerns while also building trust and long-term relationships.

Using Account Plans and MAPs

Mutual Action Plans (MAPs) and Account Plans are two strategic tools widely used in sales, especially in enterprise environments where sales cycles are complex. 

Account Plans provide a comprehensive overview of each customer or prospect. They detail the company's background, key players, pain points, previous interactions, and potential opportunities. An Account Plan might outline, for example, that a technology company is struggling with data breaches and is in desperate need of better security solutions. It would list key decision makers, the current technologies they use, their budget, and past issues with other solutions (if known). 

In contrast, MAPs are collaborative agreements between the rep and the prospect outlining the steps required to move a deal forward. They include specific milestones, deadlines, and responsibilities for both parties. MAPs detail information such as initial demos, stakeholder meetings, technical assessments, compliance checks, and a final decision date.

Account Plans are useful throughout the customer lifecycle, particularly during initial engagement. These plans assist in gathering key information such as company size, industry, and specific needs. They also prove invaluable for ongoing customer management, helping you stay informed of any changes within the customer’s industry, strategic shifts in priorities, and updates to key contacts.

MAPs guide the sales process from start to finish. They are particularly valuable in complex sales scenarios, providing a clear roadmap of next steps and mutual expectations for both the sales rep and the prospect. This keeps everyone aligned, with a clear understanding of timelines and responsibilities. As negotiations approach the final stages, MAPs keep the sales process organized and enable both parties to address any roadblocks or challenges collaboratively and without delay. 

Enforcing Standards Across Your Team

Now when it comes to enforcing standards across your team, there are several strategies you can employ: sales enablement, ongoing training, and driving adoption of your chosen methodology. Each of these elements plays a crucial role in ensuring that your sales team not only understands the strategies needed for success in enterprise sales but also consistently applies them in every interaction.

  • Sales enablement: This is all about providing your team with the tools and information they need to succeed. It includes access to things like sales automation tools, CRM systems, and updated content libraries filled with easily accessible information such as case studies, product updates, and competitive analysis decks. 
  • Ongoing training: If you want to teach your reps to fish, you need to train them on an ongoing basis. It’s easy for skills to dull or for outdated information to linger. That’s where regular training sessions come in. They help your reps stay sharp and well-informed about product changes, market shifts, and your chosen sales methodology. To enhance these training sessions, incorporate role-play scenarios that mirror the real challenges faced by enterprise clients, alongside workshops and expert-led seminars.
  • Methodology adoption: Sales methodologies are strategic frameworks that help reps sell products and services more efficiently. These methodologies include specific steps sellers can take to navigate the sales process, from initial contact with a prospect to successfully closing a deal. There are a variety of different methodologies you can choose from (read this blog to learn more), but integrating it effectively can be challenging.

Doing so requires you to lead by example and integrate it into your team’s daily routines so it becomes as normal as breathing. To achieve this, your job is to make sure everyone understands the methodology’s purpose and why it’s beneficial to the organization, and the individuals employing it. 

To keep adoption consistent across your team, offering coaching sessions and incorporating its practices into your sales meetings and performance evaluations. Reward team members who successfully use these methodologies to close deals, reinforcing their importance. Over time, these practices will become second nature to your team, leading to more consistent and effective sales efforts.


Mastering enterprise sales is no small feat. It requires not just understanding the product you're selling, but also deeply knowing the industry and the unique dynamics of each potential client. As we've explored, setting up a solid foundation with well-defined ICPs, embracing the power of detailed account plans and mutual action plans, and continually engaging in meaningful conversations tailored to your prospects' specific language and needs are all crucial.

Remember, in enterprise sales, every interaction counts, and your ability to effectively personalize and align your approach with the buyer's journey can significantly differentiate you in a competitive market. The stakes are high, but so are the rewards. Implementing structured sales enablement strategies, committing to ongoing training, and adopting proven sales methodologies can help you grow your bottom line and reach your organization’s strategic goals.