What is Complex Sales & How Does It Differ?


If you thought traditional sales were complicated, you’re in for a surprise!


We have someone knocking at your door! Complex sales!


Does the phrase “Complex Sales” send your head spinning and beg the question: what is it?


In this blog post, let’s look at what “complex sales” means and how it differs from basic sales techniques. So, drop your calculators and grab notebooks, and let’s dive right in!


What Is Complex Sales?


Complex sales or enterprise sales is the process of selling to large businesses. The selling cycle is more complicated than traditional sales, and more risks are involved. 


Additionally, several departments within the company will be involved in the process from start to finish. It’s important to note that the selling process doesn’t end after the sale is made. 


This means that it is not easy to sell, and you must be very dedicated to doing it well. You also have to keep working even after the sale is made because the client will expect you to keep doing a good job.


When complex sales happen in a B2B setting, the companies tend to be large with lots of rules, have a higher price, and can take longer to finish.


Key Elements Of Complex Sales


Making successful sales is the foundation of a thriving business, but selling complex products and services is more challenging than selling simpler ones. It often requires interacting with multiple decision-makers, facing a longer sales cycle with more touchpoints, and dealing with greater risk.


To succeed in this environment, B2B businesses must understand these key elements for successful complex deal closings. 


  • Multiple stakeholders

Identifying stakeholders and understanding their influence on buying is critical to successful sales strategies. Depending on the industry, the composition of stakeholders involved and the hierarchy of decision-makers can vary. 


For instance, when selling technical software, the final decision-maker might be the Chief Engineering Officer. In contrast, if peddling a productivity service, this responsibility would belong to People Operations Executive instead. Convincing an entire team that your product or service has value is necessary for sealing a successful deal. 


This means ensuring buy-in from all layers within an organization, from the chief executive to relevant lower-level team members, including individuals you may never even meet. So, proactively managing these relationships and demonstrating value is imperative for success when selling complex products.


  • Longer sales cycle

A complex sales process is often associated with a longer duration, although the exact length varies from six to 24 months. During that time, it is necessary to clearly explain the product and its potential benefits to all stakeholders involved. 


This allows everyone to comprehensively understand what is being purchased, meaning multiple approvals will be required before the sale can be completed.


Taking this extra time allows for even greater assurance that each party agrees on the product’s advantages, making them more likely to continue working with you.


  • Greater risk

Knowing that complex sales are usually driven by buyer risk-aversion, it becomes necessary for the seller to address this need in their sales process. The seller should pay attention to their overall presentation and create clear and complete documents which both buyer and seller can refer to, making any doubts or queries explicit and easy to manage. 


Additionally, sellers should consider the buyer’s experience level with the product or service, as inexperienced buyers may need extra clarification or guidance through the buying process. Finally, a smooth transaction can be achieved by fully accounting for buyer needs and ensuring buyer satisfaction.


Final word – How Do Complex Sales Differ?


Complex sales take significantly more time and effort than traditional simple sales do. This is because complex sales are usually reserved for larger purchases that involve multiple stakeholders with specific needs, expectations, and deadlines.


Furthermore, complex sales often require various resources, such as special samples or prototypes, partner presentations, customized contracts, and detailed legal documents. These components pose new challenges that the seller must anticipate and negotiate to reach a successful outcome. 


Related: 15 Easy Strategies to Generate More B2B Leads


Successful complex sellers are well-versed in their product or service offering and understand how to effectively manage buyer relationships throughout the negotiation process that comes with complex sales.


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