Selling In Today’s Marketplace: The Forgotten Midmarket Segment

by Robert Driscoll on May 28, 2009

There is nothing sweeter to a salesperson that lands that new large customer from a competitor. You’ve worked months on your offer and stayed up many late nights and weekends and your hard work has finally paid off. Victory!

Now what?

How many times have you gone after the whale and forgotten about all the small fish swimming around you who have the same needs as the whale (granted, much smaller)? How often did you fail to catch the whale only to find out that you don’t have any other opportunities?

We hear over and over again that sales is all about numbers and that the more opportunities we have, the more sales we make, but it’s more than that. It’s about having as many realistic opportunities in your inventory where you’ve made offers that truly address your customers concerns. It’s also about creating offers not only to the enterprise accounts (i.e. the whales) but also to the ever-important midmarket accounts, those customers who have 100-999 employees.

This is a forgotten and often neglected marketplace within many sales organizations. Midmarket buyers who responded to a May 2008 study by IDC stated that three out of every four of them complained about the sales “hygiene” of field representatives in that:

– Sales does not communicate consistently or clearly
– Representatives forget the importance of follow-up and follow-through
– Answers are often incomplete or inaccurate
– The right people are not brought into the process despite buyers request

These same buyers said that companies should do the following with their sales teams:

– Train salespeople regarding the technical things they need to know
– Pay attention to the details in terms of information content about proposals and answers to frequent questions
– Ask customers how they work and what they need and when
– Don’t assume what is needed is known or what worked in the past is what is needed now

When you read through the second list, you probably said, “But I do that.” Maybe you do, but the reality is that we’re not consistent about it and we do what’s said in the first list more often than not.

When selling in to the midmarket segment you need to treat all of your customers like they are your largest customer and that the offers you are making to them are the most important ones to you. This goes a long way regardless if you are going after the whale or the small fish. Remember, that small fish could turn in to a whale one day if treated the right way.

Happy fishing!

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