Ever wondered how to sell to corporate clients? Follow these 4 steps for the ideal end-to-end sales process.
Selling to corporate clients has lots of different considerations, from establishing the right client and identifying their exact needs to the different types of outbound sales. As a venue, you probably liaise with corporate clients daily and it’s important that you build a relationship with these customers. The team at HeadBox has nurtured relationships with hundreds of global blue-chip companies, who use HeadBox Business (our Strategy Meetings Management Provider) to manage their entire company meeting and event spend. In doing so, we’ve identified some key processes to follow in order to provide a good service to our clients which in turn benefits our business. We’ve pulled together a list of four key things to consider, that will help you when selling to corporates.
1. Identifying the right contacts
Identifying the right corporate decision makers is the first and probably the most important step in the sales cycle. If you can’t find the right contacts or people to talk to then the rest of the process will quickly become redundant. Knowing your companies target audience is imperative in ensuring a successful sale. For you as venues that might be event planners, PAs or EAs, whoever you are targeting, ensure you and the rest of your team are on the same page. At HeadBox, we identify corporate decision makers in 3 main ways:
LinkedIn Sales Navigator
This is an incredibly powerful tool for prospecting. LinkedIn is the go-to professional social media network so it makes sense that fantastic connections can be made with corporate decision makers in the industry you are targeting. The power of social media and posting on this platform has helped us get some of the biggest meetings in HeadBox’s history.
Cold calls are often not peoples favourite jobs but they are one of the most effective ways of retrieving information and ‘pains’ of the customer you are trying to sell against. It is a lot more effective to speak to someone over the phone than it is to send a cold email, which will most likely be deleted or marked as spam. Cold calling enables you to start building a relationship from the offset and allows you to really understand their needs and then allows you to target stakeholders once you’ve built up enough knowledge of their current situation.
It’s important to remember throughout this stage of the sales cycle that you are building a relationship with prospective clients. The marketing team at HeadBox help with this process as they produce some amazing content which our sales team regularly send to corporate prospects. It’s very important that your sales and marketing teams are aligned so that you have excellent collateral when speaking to senior corporate decision makers.
2. Setting Timelines
This is the be all and end all of the sales processes. It’s important to maintain timelines. Whether that’s diarising a follow-up call to organise a meeting or diarising a time to loop back after the meeting, it’s imperative that you stick to this. Once you have agreement from the person you’re selling to, a timeline stops the deal from going cold or from you becoming an annoying salesperson where you are pestering them for answers or further calls.
I’m sure you’ve all been there, I know I have, when I forget to diarise a follow-up call, then suddenly a couple of days go by, you call them, email them 3 or 4 times and then before you know it, you’ve become that annoying salesperson.
Diarising the timeline
Follow up with a diary invite including the following:
- Location of meeting and number for call
- Agenda for the call
- Including the result that you are hoping to achieve from the call
- Discuss the package you wish to proceed with
- Confirm the payment terms of your package
- Confirm what the process is for contract signature and the timeline for contract signature
“We generate fears while we sit. We overcome them by action.” – Dr Henry Link
Buoyancy is the idea about creating rational optimism by asking yourself the 3 Ps:
- Is this “No” Permanent?
- No means not now. Selling to corporates is often a long process which means just because they say no at first it doesn’t mean it’s a permanent no, you might have caught them on a bad day, or they might have to speak to their boss first
- Is this “No:” Pervasive?
- No. Not everyone will feel the same as this particular client. There may even be different people in the same company who would say yes
- Just because one person says no, does that reflect the thoughts of the entire company
- Is this “No” Personal?
- Almost certainly not. It’s highly unlikely that you will do anything on a cold call that would make someone say no as a result of you personally
4. Using networking events
Organising engaging events to invite prospects to is another fantastic way of meeting potential customers outside of a work environment and have a more informal chat about what they do and their current structure. You want to break down the barrier and understand them on a more personal level. They’ll be much more likely to meet with you after emailing them the following day or week when back in the office.
Showcase events at your venue are a great way to get interest from prospective corporate clients. Why not try something different and instead of inviting different people from different corporates why not offer your Space to a team from one company so the event feels more intimate and exclusive? This is a sure fire way to drum up interest and spread the word about your venue in a corporate company of value. Our top tip for these events is don’t oversell, you want to let prospective corporate clients relax and enjoy the evening, and in turn, your fantastic Space.
So, they are my tips for selling to corporates. Following a strict schedule is important and remember don’t forget those critical timelines.