Selling to Bigger Buyers – What Works, What Doesn’t

Recently, we moderated a virtual panel discussion for the Sales and Marketing Chapter Chair of IAOP (The International Association of Outsourcing Professionals). The topic was selling to large companies. Our panel was made of up of a provider, advisor and buyer, representing Mindtree, a mid-tier IT services firm, Alsbridge, a global outsourcing advisory firm and USAA, a F500 insurance company. While you might think the lessons of selling outsourcing are different than selling technology solutions to business buyers, think again.  There are a lot more similarities than you think!

We asked questions about getting introductory meetings with buying executives from larger companies, how the buyer/seller experience has changed over the past 5 years, what buyers value in providers, common sales mistakes, key differentiators and more. It was a fantastic conversation. Even a little predictable. Here are some tips to Sharpen Your Edge:

  • Be findable – make your company and yourself visible to big buyers. That means overall market presence and solid SEO practices.
  • Be pragmatic and honest.  It’s always better to tell the truth and possibly partner up for a big deal than to bite off more than you can chew.
  • Be willing to do things that no one else will do in order to prove to them that you really want their business.
  • Be persistent, but professional. Buyers are extremely busy. Often times they won’t respond, but if you catch their attention at the right time with a message that resonates, you’ll hear from them.
  • Sales person/sales team differentiation is huge. People still buy from people. Pay attention to detail, be super responsive and articulate the unique value you provide to the customer in their terms.
  • Know your competition, understand your niche and target your efforts towards those areas where a larger provider doesn’t have great capabilities.

Buyers today are increasingly willing to work with a number of smaller providers because it enables them to achieve their business objectives in the best ways possible. And because they might believe they are not getting enough value and innovation from their current provider. That’s great news for most companies! Who are you selling to?

Don’t lose your Edge – Good luck and good selling!