Fail Friday (and learn fast!)
I heard a great fail story this week from a CRO at a $100m ARR SaaS firm
The company had been going after one of the biggest deals ever with a pharmaceutical giant. The fit was fantastic and they had their most experienced, highest performing rep leading the campaign
The rep even had a long term relationship with the business executive sponsoring the project
Procurement led evaluation and after an intense 9 month cycle with RFI’s, RFP’s, even a short POC – the CRO thought they had the deal in the bag. The quarter was hanging on it..
But after shortlisting to two, they finally got the news that they had lost the deal
When the dust had settled, the CRO and the rep met with their sponsor to debrief and find out what went wrong
Their sponsor told them it was really, really close. Pricing and functionality were very similar. He said the ultimate reason they lost was their competition crawled all over our organization and built relationships with the majority of key stakeholders
The rep replied ‘but we were explicitly told that were not allowed to do this and that we would be excluded if we did not abide by your procurement process’
There was silence in the room
This is one of the reasons I’m at cuvama – we are the fuel, the key enabler, that drives reps to go wide and high in their campaigns
Don’t be the seller who lost the deal ‘because procurement said we couldn’t talk to the business’
VALUE IS THE LANGUAGE OF CONSENSUS. Why is that SO important?
Buying groups are getting larger and more complex. Even smaller $50k SaaS decisions often involve 10 or more stakeholders. So if you’re a B2B seller and don’t have ‘guiding buyer consensus’ at the top of mind – then you’re probably toast. Period.
There’s truly no going back to the old world of meeting buyers and building relationships face to face. The B2B sales world has changed forever, full stop. As a result airlines, trains, hotels, car rental etc. will all need to adapt to survive – and luckily most of them will fundamentally change shape and thrive. And so of course will ‘enterprise’ software firms.. or will they?
The attributes required for successful enterprise software sales in 2021 have changed radically. I speak from deep experience. I’ve seen a seismic change in buying behavior in the last 18 months that has fundamentally changed the way we need to operate. That change is the growth in size of buying groups, not by 10% or 20% – but often by double or even three times the usual number…