Marketing Campaigns > Industry Analysts Briefings
Selling to Corporate Clients Using Industry Analysts
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Roni Einav, Former Chairman and President of New Dimension Software [acquired by BMC Software]
It is no secret that selling to large corporate clients such as the banking, insurance industries, conglomerates, governmental offices, large utilities, public healthcare institutes, and militaries can be a long and frustrating road. Selling to corporate business clients can be tough and complex, but you can shorten the sales cycle dramatically if you engage industry analysts wisely.
The decision process in corporate clients is different than small-medium enterprises. Let’s look at why selling to corporate or large-scale clients can be a complicated task:
- The buying decision must take into consideration various factors and different internal divisions may have conflicting agendas.
- No single person is usually responsible to make a decision; instead, decisions are handled by committees of people that represent the different interests in the company.
- Decisions are usually evaluated on the lower management levels before they are escalated to higher levels with recommendations. The bidding procedure is strict and requires long time to be processed.
- Personnel turnover is high, especially over long period of times and thus it is very difficult to establish a long-term client-vendor relationship.
- For large organizations, it is often easier to choose a solution from a big well-known brand than from a small-medium enterprise, that the corporate client has not heard of before. Moreover, it poses a personal risk on the decision makers if the solution outcome is negative.
So how can small-medium businesses shorten the cycle of selling to corporate clients? One of the proven ways to reduce this process is by getting on the very first shortlist of invited companies to bid for the tender. The earlier you can get to the initiator of the Request for Proposal (RFP), the higher your odds to win it. But is it possible to create inside information that your company can offer the specific solution that corporate clients are looking for, even before the RFP is sent out?
An effective way to get a head start is “preparing homework” in advance, to be in good shape when you face an RFP. Small-medium enterprises trying to sell to corporate clients usually do not have enough resources to promote themselves, or make enough noise to attract the attention of large corporate accounts. Instead we advise some of our client to use 3rd party support.
As opposed to investing substantial and unnecessary resources to attract corporate attention, small-medium firms can target industry analysts in their field, and convince them that their company’s solution/capacities can best address the current needs of corporate companies. If a company can convince experts that are highly trusted by the corporate arena that the solution is innovative and has the ability to execute in the current market conditions, it boosts the odds of inclusion into industry analyst report (see sample reports in the resources section). These reports are usually being read and considered by corporate companies, before they even submit an RFP and it enables large accounts to easily shortlist companies submitting an RFP.
At Direct Objective, we have experience assisting firms prepare for industry analyst briefings, ensuring their innovation, differentiation and ability to execute will be clear, concise and enlightening for the industry analysts. Industry analysts are bombarded with request for briefing and do not have the time to address every company, so yes: the first impression counts.