"Done right, the commercial segment can be one of the most profitable market segments. For the company, it is an asset. It builds the brand, increases the user base, and expands market share. Having a high-velocity, and predictable commercial segment can also de-risk your business from the inherent volatility with enterprise sales."says Jen as she underlines the potential in commercial sales.
The conventional sales wisdom in B2B SaaS is to primarily chase big enterprise deals while undervaluing smaller commercial opportunities. However, dismissing the commercial segment is shortsighted. For most SaaS companies, commercial deals make up the majority of volumes and provide speed of revenue that complements the longer sales cycles of enterprise deals and can drive substantial revenue impact.
In the current economy, where buyer CFOs are hitting the brakes, B2B SaaS sales leaders can rise to the occasion and change the perception of commercial sales by adopting value selling.
It’s largely the high-volume, high-velocity nature of these deals. Sales reps keep calling, and following up, with no time to breathe in between. There’s just no time to sell on value.
And often, there’s a lack of skills too. Most commercial sales reps are fresh recruits to the company, or earlier in their sales career, without extensive experience in value selling. Training, deal reviews, and knowledge hubs are not enough to enable them to drive buyer discoveries.
There’s also a trust deficit. With the speed at which commercial deals move, often sales reps have not had a chance to win buyer confidence early enough. The usual calls and emails have become background noise. Buyers are way too smart. They filter out what reps say and claim. Gartner says buyers spend only 5% of their time in the buying journey interacting with reps. And Hubspot research indicates only 3% of buyers find sales reps trustworthy. Trust is key to selling on value.
Add to this the maddening variety in the commercial segment. It is so difficult to industrialize the sales motions. A 50-person law firm, a 500-person retail company, and a 1000-person health center are all commercial segments. Yet their needs vary by size, industry, and use case. You cannot use a blanket sales template.
Then what are the sales reps sharing with buyers? Everything except a clear value proposition! With no time to articulate value, sales reps typically send naked price quotes or mail merge proposals. Some throw in readily available technical and pricing information. Such content is divorced from buying context. And thus it often hinders instead of helping business buyers make decisions.
Naturally, the buying team is also out of sync. It is usually the buyer champion who is most competent in aligning them. Without a strong and personalized value proposition, the buyer and the buying process lose steam. You see, there’s no common enemy to fight, then there’s nothing to bring people together on the purchase.
All of these often make commercial segment buyers feel that they are getting second-class treatment. Even when commercial sales level up with enterprise thanks to their volume and speed.
"The single biggest reason commercial segments fail is sales motions aren’t adapted to maintain personalized buyer engagement without trading off volume and speed. Crack this, and this segment will become an asset for your company,"says Jen Brannigan, CRO, ExecOnline
So then, how do you sell on value in the commercial segment? The good news is, you don’t have to hire more reps or upskill existing ones to do this.
We collaborated with Jen to put together a comprehensive guide for all B2B SaaS commercial sales leaders. In it, we share six practical tools to help commercial sales leaders sell on value at scale, without more hiring or training in this economy.