When it comes to transacting large, enterprise-grade deals, many things come into play.  

This months-long or years-long process is often driven by several points of contact and is orchestrated around a conglomeration of different business goals and solutions.

Thus, working through ways to facilitate and expedite this process can be confusing.

For enterprise technology sales in 2016, relationship building is more important than it ever has been.

As a sales person, your ability to establish a meaningful relationship with your customer is important - more important that it used to be. 

Establishing relationships with prospects by building rapport, trust, and empathy  is critical for bringing in new business and driving growth. 

Here are eight things to keep in mind to close enterprise deals in 2016.

1. Customers have access to more information than they ever had before


People now have access to virtually unlimited data right at their finger tips. To learn about company or a product, it is very easy to do an online search and pull up a plethora of information within minutes. Because of this, people make 50% of their decision before even approaching the company and talking to a sales person. By the time you get on the phone with them, they already know about your business and your product. Thus, the power is in the customer's hands more than before.  The assumption, when talking to a prospect, is that they have access to all the hard data and objective information about your company and competitors, if they choose to retrieve.  The onus is on the sales person more than before to leverage his own character to sway the deal in one direction.

2. Persistence is key

When you are around people for an extended period of time, or repeatedly over a period of time, you will naturally build an affiliation with them.  This happens with coworkers, classmates, and friends.

the same things happens in sales.

The more conversations you have with prospects, the closer and more trusting your relationship will become.

However, unlike the relationshiops you have with coworkers, the interested in communicating is not equal between your and your prospects.

Never rely on prospects to call you back. Always remember that you need them more than they need you. They have dozens of options as they choose between you and your competitors. You have only two options: you either close the deal or you don't.

5. People Buy From People They Trust

Customers choose companies not based on product, but on how much they like and trust the company. If you can build rapport with your customer, you will win the deal.  The product and price point is never as important as the individual they're buying from, when the deal requires a large amount of time and resources.

6. Up-selling and Cross-Selling Opportunities Depend on Relationships

Up-selling and cross selling opportunities come easily when you have established trust with your customer. If they trust you and believe in you, they'll take your advice.

7. Referral Business Results from Relationships

If your customer trusts you, they will refer their friends and colleagues to you. This is the most important factor in growing your brand for your company. People talk about relationships more than they talk about product, and word-of-mouth marketing will land you more referral business than practically any other measure.

 

Published on: Jul 13, 2016
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.