Q: How is low/mid-ticket sales different from enterprise sales?

They are very, very different.

If I had to boil down how to filter potential sales professionals based on just 1 controlling criterion, it would be deal size.

Enterprise sales:

  • Reps often hunt many of their own deals
  • Reps often get 1–10 leads per month
  • Reps have to build relationships with many stakeholders in an organization
  • Reps have to get out in the field (generally) and meet prospects in person in their offices
  • Reps often have to in whole, or in part, build their own pipeline. Sometimes with SDR help. But they often have to attack potential large accounts with limited help.
  • Long sales cycles make it hard to tell if a rep is going to do well, or is just talking a good game
  • Often just have to manage a handful of potential deals, and maybe 2–3 meetings a week
  • Often just close 1–2 deals a quarter
  • Enterprise Reps often have a lot of help in sales — from solution architects and sales engineers helping answer customer questions, to the CEO joining pitches for the big deals
  • Expect much higher compensation / OTE in general, and often a large draw until their first deal closes

SMB sales:

  • Reps generally are given 50-100+ leads a month from marketing / demand gen.  Sometimes even more at very low ACVs.
  • Reps try to close deals in 1–3 calls, and if possible, in < 30 days
  • Reps have to be good at managing a vast number of leads and prospects
  • Reps often have to do 4–5 demos a day (an order of magnitude more than an enterprise rep)
  • Reps are generally given leads to close by marketing and/or SDRs and don’t build their own pipeline.
  • Reps often don’t get much help and have to do it all on their own
  • Generally, need to close 8–12 deals a month for larger SMB deals, again even more for small deals (>10x more than an enterprise rep)
  • Comp is generally lower, and draws are less important as they’ll often be closing deals in their first 30–45 days

Mid-market sales are … in between. In the middle.

As you can see, the underlying skill set, pace, and way relationships are built and value provided is very different.

Try to hire reps that have sold at your price point before. That trains them in 90% of the toolkit they’ll need to sell your product. Even if it’s a very different product.

A bit more here: 12 Of The Most Common Mistakes Made Building Your First Sales Team | SaaStr

(note: an updated SaaStr Classic post)

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