MIT Sloan School of Management Sales Conference update:


 On April 25, I was honored to serve as the moderator of a stimulating panel discussion at the 2008 MIT Sloan School of Management Sales Conference entitled Enterprise Sales: Winning Complex Large Accounts.  The panel consisted of some industry heavyweights including:

  • David Chan, Chief Operating Officer, Rainbow Semiconductor

  • Lee Levitt, Program Director Sales Advisory Service, IDC

  • Michael Lock, Director, Enterprise Sales, Google

  • Steven Meyers, Director, Sales, Pega Systems

It turned into a spirited discussion.  After I kicked things off with the first question, the audience took over asking question after question until our time was exhausted.  In the end, we covered as best we could, three areas of interest to attendees:

  1. Identifying and managing diverse stakeholders

  2. Techniques for winning large and complex accounts

  3. How to turn those sales into long-term relationships

Some brief observations from the panelists:

  • The sales process has changed.  Customers know more about your product and or service than they ever will.

  • Sales cycles are longer.

  • More decision makers are involved in decision making than ever before.

  • It’s still personal.

  • Speed of business has increased.  Large companies are not built for speed and have trouble keeping up.  Yet they have a desire to be fast.

  • Google trying to make sales less complex.  Smaller transactions and grow the accounts.

  • Always formulate ROI.  Why should they buy?  What’s the USE case?

  • Maximize existing relationships … opportunity management.

  • Walk away if it is not a fit.

  • After the sale, handholding is an essential component.

  • In Government sales, secrecy is a problem.  Develop an ally and feed them all the information so that they can help you make the sale.

  • Foreign companies selling into large US enterprises don’t face the same hurdles as US companies selling internationally.

  • If you don’t ask the question, you won’t get the sale.

  • Prioritize sales opportunities.  Focus on high probability prospects.  Get rid of those that have a low probability of closing.

  • If there is no pain, there is no opportunity.

The session can be heard here.

The entire conference can be heard at

Sheldon Sachs

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