platform sale

Congratulations! Your satisfied customers are giving you an opportunity to deploy an integrated suite or platform.

But is your team ready to sell it?

Even the best B2B sales pros can be uncomfortable moving from a solution sale to an integrated platform or suite sale. They have gotten where they are in your company by selling the smaller (but easier to win) best of breed opportunities. To help them move, you must provide them the confidence to win, the tools to enable their success, and the motivation to hunt for bigger game.

Here are some of the things you’ll need to get started on:

  • Introduce your sales team to the new buyer.  Platform sales almost always involve buyers higher up in the customer organization. Share what you know about on how these buyers think, what their aspirations are, and how their performance is measured.
  • Involve sales in designing the platform vision. Develop the platform roadmap with your sales team, not for your sales team. Rely on them to tell you what value propositions will ring the loudest, and what benefits, features and proof points they require to support them in the market.
  • Update your positioning story and messaging. It is time to burn the boats. You must re-position your solution as an integrated offering to business buyers, and de-position point solutions – including perhaps your own – as short-sighted investments.
  • Re-write the sales playbook.  Document the sales conversations that your sales team is likely to have, and give them a playbook that links messaging and positioning elements to each buyer type in their native language.
  • Enable your early customers’ journey. When introducing your platform or suite, acknowledge buyers of your point solution made the right choice at the time and let them off the hook. Provide them incentives to adopt your platform that reward their early trust in you.
  • Align your incentive package. Platform selling can feel like big game hunting to a sales team – high return, but high risk. Smart managers recognize that this change in risk and potential reward requires a change in sales compensation structure.

Again, congratulations. The most durable – and highest valued – enterprise technology companies make the leap from innovative point solution companies to platform or suite providers. When they do so, their overall cost of sales and marketing drops, and their revenue quality improves. The valuation increase can be dramatic.

Good luck!

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