Being fast and easy to adopt, PLG tools are popular among enterprise users—with many different teams across the business using the same tool without knowing it. Consolidating these smaller accounts into a single enterprise contract can be a sizeable revenue driver for PLS teams, which is why we often hear questions like:
- When is the right time to consolidate a company’s team accounts?
- What would an enterprise account consolidation playbook look like?
- How can we run our consolidation sales plays more efficiently?
We covered these questions (and a few more!) during the final installment of our Product-Led Sales playbook webinar series, “Enterprise Account Consolidation Playbook.” Read on for a rundown of common enterprise account consolidation scenarios and tips for building your own playbook.
👉 New to building Product-Led Sales playbooks? Head over to this blog to master the basics with a clear, simple playbook framework.
Running enterprise account consolidation sales plays
Enterprise account consolidation is a common playbook we see PLS leaders build out after free-to-paid conversion and upsell and expansion playbooks, which help set the foundation for a PLS motion. Compared to these two use cases, enterprise account consolidation strategies are more nuanced, focusing on accounts with multiple teams that use the product independently of each other.
Done right, a successful enterprise account consolidation play closes the gaps between siloed teams across an enterprise. It shifts the conversation away from tactical user support to drive strategic buy-in from executive stakeholders.
Building winning playbooks: enterprise account consolidation
Like most Product-Led Sales playbooks, enterprise account consolidation playbooks can vary quite a bit across the space. There are countless ways to build a playbook, but we find that simple and straightforward works best. Consider the following best practices as a helpful starting point.
1. Use a simple framework
Build your enterprise account consolidation plays using the “Signal → Messaging → Action” framework. Each stage is defined below, and you can see what it looks like in action in our free-to-paid conversion and upsell and expansion playbook examples.
- Signal: The user behavior triggering your sales play
- Messaging: The value that reps should communicate to the customer
- Action: The steps or tactics needed to run the sales play
2. Identify your top enterprise account consolidation plays
Determine what enterprise account consolidation plays you plan to run and their signals. While sales plays vary based on pricing and business models, we see these four scenarios the most:
Scenario #1: Interest in enterprise-only features
This is a common scenario in accounts where usage is growing significantly. It might present itself as an enterprise IT team looking for more secure access via SSO functionality. Or a desire to lock down user permissions and restrict admin functionality. Both of these scenarios indicate that it may make sense to consolidate across the board.
Scenario #2: Number of siloed workspaces
Most enterprise teams have no visibility into the types of tools that other teams are using. If the sales, marketing, and engineering teams at That Big Enterprise are all using your tool—but not collaborating inside it—there could be a strong opportunity for a larger, more comprehensive plan.
Scenario #3: Percentage of total employees using the product
We’re seeing a lot of PLS leaders paying close attention to this signal, especially those with productivity tools where any employee can be a potential user. Think of this like a total account addressable market, and the sales play kicks off when a percentage of users, relative to the total employee count, reaches a defined threshold.
Scenario #4: Active decision makers from different departments
Another interesting signal to watch for is user adoption among directors, VPs, and C-level across different teams in the organization. This engagement often indicates that the product is sticky and valuable enough to negotiate a consolidated company contract.
3. Craft the right messaging
Once you’ve determined your top sales plays, craft sales messaging for each scenario. In other words, how should sales reps approach companies that fit into each of these buckets? A few examples of what this could look like:
- Value message #1: Ease of collaboration that increases network effects and productivity among teams. In some scenarios, you might spot opportunities to integrate more tightly across different teams that usually work closely with each other, such as sales and marketing teams. This could open up new communication channels for sharing feedback, as well as crowdsourcing best practices.
- Value message #2: Centralized billing that simplifies finance and procurement and/or bulk discounts for high usage. With more scrutiny on 2023 budgets, finance and procurement teams may appreciate greater control over expense and line items. Consolidating three bills from three teams into a single, predictable expense line item can become a win-win for everyone: You get to negotiate a longer-term contract with better terms for the buying company.
- Value message #3: Security and governance that gives IT teams oversight of data and role permissions. This often becomes a key message when account usage reaches a certain point in the organization, and IT teams need centralized control for granting access and de-provisioning employees who leave the company. Playing into this value is typically one of the biggest differentiators for negotiating an enterprise plan.
- Value message #4: Support that provides users with dedicated account managers to train employees and troubleshoot issues. This is a classic carrot for a lot of enterprise deals, as bigger, more consolidated enterprise plans often include a priority support queue. In exchange for upgrading to an enterprise plan, PLG companies will provide a higher level of support with faster response times.
4. Determine the right actions for each play
Next, outline the actions that reps should take to move the sales play along. Actions will vary based on how you set up your motion, but some common actions we see are:
- Review current account usage. Reviewing and understanding current account usage is key to running a successful enterprise account consolidation play. You’ll want to know how many teams use the product, the number of users within each team, if any users are champions, and whether any decision makers are also end users.
- Email your champions and the decision makers. Since you’ll be negotiating a higher contract value through a centralized purchasing process, you’ll need to speak credibly about the value people get at the individual user and decision maker levels. You want internal advocates to vouch for the product, as well as direct access to the decision makers.
- Create an upsell opportunity. Assuming initial conversations go well and the opportunity is likely to progress, a rep will want to create an upsell opportunity in the CRM.
5. Build and automate your playbook
Finally, build out your playbook using an automated Product-Led Sales platform like Calixa. Most enterprise account consolidation plays are triggered by specific user behavior, which is why combining your sales and product data in Calixa makes running and responding to enterprise account consolidation plays easier than ever.
By alerting reps about new sales plays automatically, Calixa outlines the specific actions they should take to run the play, such as those in the example below:
- Review current product usage
- Create an upsell opportunity in Salesforce
- Email the decision maker and champions
With actionable sales plays and easy access to data, sales reps can respond to the right opportunities and consolidate enterprise accounts more quickly and confidently to drive better revenue growth.
👉 Learn more about Calixa's Playbook Automation System.