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Brian Sullivan

I taught the subject of “Personal Selling” as an adjunct professor at Loyola University Maryland for twelve years. The academic-industrial complex required the use of a textbook in class, and occasionally, I used it, often to point out the crazy ideas that Ph.D.’s who write textbooks have about the business world.

As sales managers, we’re all familiar with the conversation. One of your sales reps is making the case to pursue an opportunity and you question why. “It’s a big deal” is the response, “It’s right in our power swing”. Or perhaps, with candor entering the room, “I really need to win this”. And these are all reasons, of course. But what do they really mean? What’s the real business sense for your firm in pursuing the deal? And what’s the business risk?

In selling to enterprise accounts, the sales cycles can be long and drawn out.

Enterprise pursuits pose many significant challenges for selling organizations, not the least of which is that these large, potentially game-changing deals attract the very best of the competition.