Tackling the Middle Market: Top Tips

Guest Blog | Ian Gilyeat

Many b2b sales reps have a tough time successfully selling into the “middle market.”

It’s that hard-to-define space that lies somewhere between large enterprises and small business.

Inherent issues with mid-market companies

Part of the problem is defining the middle market. Once a definition is agreed upon, the market presents several unique challenges. Middle market companies are often hard to justify because they don’t warrant the expense of a dedicated account executive. What’s more, mid market companies want the service levels and customization privileges of much larger enterprises, but don’t deliver the economic punch of their bigger brethren to justify the extra work and resources. Middle market companies are also quite diffuse geographically, so it’s difficult to build a direct channel.

Middle market success strategy? Pick up the phone

The real answer to selling into middle market companies is the telephone and technology. Pick up the phone, schedule a Webinar and use the latest in Web-enabled video conferencing to get your message across.  Marketing automation, automated routing of scored leads and deeply integrated supply chains mean the inside sales executive has everything at his or her fingertips.

This is a highly profitable strategy and can be used on just about any industry.  It works with servers, software, service contracts, financial services, printing, publishing, telecom and others.  These are often billion-dollar sectors.

Here are some tips on tackling the mid market:

  • Identify the middle market companies in your industry.
  • Develop a small “swat team” of inside sales professionals.
  • Enable your inside sales team with the best technology tools.
  • Put sales execs on the phone and let them sell.
  • Pay sales reps well with no cap on their earnings.

It’s also important for b2b sales execs to note that, in selling to mid-market firms, a “lead” may identify interest, but executives trafficking in the middle market demand a relationship before they can think about converting.

They want to know you and trust you.


Ian Gilyeat is Chief Marketing Officer of I.R. Gilyeat & Co., which specializes in selling into mid-market companies