Excited about your newly launched SaaS startup or scaling up your small business? Congratulations! Now, setting the euphoria aside, ask yourself some hard questions.
Have you considered the right sales model to resonate with your young business? What about your ideal sales team, customer base, customer experience, customer journey, and annual sales turnover? Have you given thought to that as well?
Asking yourself these pertinent questions will define your startup success not only at the point of market entry but also when you decide to scale your business later. Thus, you must ensure you can answer them thoroughly without leaving any room for doubt.
That said, the sales model you adopt plays a decisive role in making or breaking your business. To avoid adding to the pile of flopped startups, you must think critically about all the lead generation strategies you can leverage.
In other words, you have to think outside the box if you want to run a sustainable SaaS business in a highly competitive landscape. That’s where an enterprise sales model comes in.
Just because you are a small business, you cannot limit your thinking to small things. You should start thinking like a large business with ever-expanding business operations. This kind of mindset will open you up to mind-blowing possibilities sitting in the enterprise market.
The point is that adopting an enterprise sales model or working with solid enterprise sales teams can potentially place your startup on a sales trajectory that’s not only unshakeable but also unstoppable if you know what to look for.
Read ahead to learn why enterprise customers carry your biggest growth potential, how the enterprise sales process works, how to find enterprise customers, and how to grow and nurture the best enterprise customer experience.
So, Who is an Enterprise Customer?
Are you a small or midsize company looking to scale to a higher level? Well, think of an enterprise customer as your stepping stone or springboard to that next level.
That means, unlike an individual customer or buyer, an enterprise customer is typically a large-scale customer, say a company with over 200 employees and an annual revenue surpassing the $50 million mark.
As opposed to small and medium-sized businesses (SMB), enterprise customers are mostly characterized by larger contracts and long sales cycles. Moreover, transactions with enterprise customers entail other complexities like multiple stakeholders, sales teams restructuring, cash flow red tapes, and so on.
That said, despite the complexities of enterprise sales, they are always worth the trouble thanks to their huge revenue potential. In other words, one big transaction with an enterprise customer can translate into an enormous revenue boost for your sales efforts.
What’s more, transacting with enterprise customers could also amount to a significant boost in your brand reputation. Thanks to their size, enterprise customers boast a vast network of partners and any indication of a positive customer experience could go a long way in cementing your customer relationships with them.
A perfect example of an enterprise sales arrangement is our SaaS company, Kennected selling the best-in-class LinkedIn Automated Prospecting Tool for lead generation, or what we like to call Cloud Kennect to multiple enterprise customers.
This prospecting tool is intuitively infused with the latest AI technology to provide our enterprise customers with the friendliest enterprise solutions to boost their lead generation efforts. Driven by customer satisfaction, our utmost goal in the world of SaaS is to provide an unrivaled enterprise customer experience.
We understand how an exceptional customer experience is crucial for your enterprise sales staff too. Therefore, on our end, we always go above and beyond to afford you, our enterprise customer, the best customer experience through a seamless customer journey full of support and helpful insights so you can transfer the same to your customers.
What are Enterprise Sales?
Having understood who is an enterprise customer, we now switch gears to enterprise sales. Sometimes referred to as complex sales, enterprise sales involve transacting in large contracts commonly associated with extensive sales cycles, multiple decision-making layers, and greater risk potential compared to SMB sales.
If you are running a startup, usually your first level of business sales centers on transactional sales. Generally, such sales involve shorter sales cycles, carry lower risk, and are primarily fueled by your sales and marketing efforts alone. However, as you level up and start dealing with enterprise customers, you migrate to large-scale corporate transactions.
Owing to their magnitude, enterprise sales require enterprise customers to create enterprise accounts. From these accounts, you can track the sales cycle on an ongoing basis and based on the derived insights, consistently improve your customer experience.
In addition to providing a positive customer experience, an enterprise account can as well enhance your business relationships by monitoring your small business customer lifetime. Essentially, the customer lifetime value (CLV) of your enterprise customers tells you how much revenue a given customer has generated for your business throughout your relationship.
Through such a fundamental business metric, you can tell how well your product or solution fits your target market, how much brand loyalty it attracts, and the accompanying revenue. Based on these insights, you can then channel all your efforts into building a better customer experience.
With that in mind, the enterprise sales process is a rather straightforward one. Say you are a services firm targeting several enterprise customers with a self-service software or technology solution. Your sales team will engage the enterprise customers through different contracts. Then, before closing the sale, your team performs a software demo to let the customers know how their businesses will benefit from the software. This usually marks the first step in establishing a good enterprise customer experience.
Is enterprise sales ideal for your startup?
Despite the longer sales cycles involved, an enterprise sales model may still appeal to startups. Take for instance a SaaS startup.
If you are building a technology system or solution that fundamentally influences the success of a large corporation, an enterprise sales model might do you a lot of good. Similarly, if your software solution strategically affects the direction of the primary business activities in a corporation, you might be better off with an enterprise sales model.
A good example would be supply chain management blockchain software. Picture this: if the software proves to save manufacturers significant amounts of money, they would be willing to pay for it.
So, you will need to engage the full dynamics of the enterprise sales model to pitch to them. As you pitch, the unique model also affords you the needed groundwork to build an exceptional customer experience right from the get-go.
What is the Enterprise Sales Model?
While most SaaS startups start with self-service sales models and transactional sales models, evidence from successful SaaS companies shows the possibility of adopting an enterprise sales model right from the onset and still excelling at customer experience.
The truth is, when dealing with a rather technical solution or product, the first two basic models may not suffice to close a deal. However, with an enterprise model, you not only get to pitch the product but also provide ongoing integration, training, and enterprise customer support.
The only downside is you have to deal with higher customer acquisition costs and lengthier sales cycles, although worth it.
Having said that, before adopting the enterprise sales model, what considerations should you make? Here are the most crucial ones:
Onboarding process: Is it seamless or will it slow down your enterprise customers?
Customer support: Do you provide real-time access to 24/7 emergency support services? How else do you guarantee an excellent customer experience?
Data security: How safe will the company data be? Is there a way to restrict data access within the organization?
Process automation: Is it a time-saver for the company or adding more workload to your customer’s teams?
Proven ROI: How much value does your solution bring to the enterprise customer? Can you show proof?
Social proof: In addition to profit proof, how many other enterprises are using the product? Are their results good? Is your enterprise customer experience proven?
From these considerations, you can already tell enterprise sales demand a lot more effort and critical thinking than both self-service and transactional sales models.
That means, unlike the self-service and transactional sales that entirely rely on marketing to earn a lead, enterprise sales go beyond marketing. An enterprise sales model rides on forging and nurturing solid long-term relationships with your enterprise customers.
Therefore, you cannot just stop at closing the initial deal and hope to succeed. You have to invest more time, effort, and resources in cultivating the relationship until it matures into a long-standing partnership.
In other words, you have to continually provide a healthy customer experience to keep your customers happy and social proof solid. While this may sound daunting at first, when you start reaping, the payoffs come in leaps and bounds!
So, if your SaaS product comes with a sharp learning curve or is difficult to implement, you should arm yourself with a highly skilled sales team. To succeed in your enterprise sales, the team must be well versed in your product. This allows them to successfully pitch and close deals despite the overwhelming corporate pressure.
Being high-ticket enterprise solutions, how well your sales team explains your product’s functionality or how well they dumb down the technicalities or complexities defining the product determines whether or not you end up succeeding in enterprise sales.
Another thing about enterprise sales is that you must be willing to exercise some patience. Generally, this sales cycle may get complex and even span up to several months from lead acquisition to lead conversion.
How do you Find Enterprise Customers?
Want to grow your business? Start by growing your network. The faster you can grow your network, the quicker you can grow your brand connections.
To attract and network with enterprise customers, you must be ready to present a strong brand case. That’s a function of many things including brand positioning, customer relationships, and brand superiority, just to name a few.
That said, what are the proven ways to find enterprise customers faster?
Networking in business never gets old. Neither can you claim you have networked enough. As you network, you get to meet new people allowing you to raise brand awareness faster and become more personal with individuals.
You can start by joining a local chamber of commerce, trade association, or other networking organizations. You can also go as far as social networking through our automated tool to grow your circle.
Whatever you do to network, just ensure you go at it with a helping attitude rather than looking at what you are getting from the relationship. The wider and deeper you network, the more you are likely to land a referral to an enterprise customer.
Free Trial Offers
Afford your enterprise prospects a first-hand customer experience with your product with a free trial period. This instantly allows you to convey the product’s value and gives your prospects an opportunity to picture themselves enjoying its benefits.
In other words, a free trial product offer lets your prospects see what exactly they are signing up for before fully committing. As they personally experience your product, they can make a more informed buying decision without feeling pressurized or patronized.
Do you understand the full potential of your existing enterprise customers beyond just purchasing from you? Well, based on the customer experience you afford them, they can as well turn into your brand ambassadors.
However, it doesn’t just happen automatically. You have to be intentional about asking for referrals from your clients. A satisfied enterprise customer wouldn’t mind referring your product if you approached them about it.
In addition to asking them directly, you can also weave the request into your sales process. For example, as you send follow-up emails to your customers to gauge their product experience, you can attach another follow-up email requesting a referral.
You can also incentivize your customers with a subscription discount in exchange for a referral. The discount may then extend beyond the purchase to build a healthy customer experience.
Strengthen Your Online Presence
Just like individual customers, even enterprise customers start their search for new businesses or solutions online. That means your website must be easy to find.
To boost site visibility, leverage proven search engine optimization strategies and techniques. A good one is making your site mobile-friendly by professionally designing and optimizing it.
Additionally, you can also focus on consistently providing high-quality, industry-relevant content on your website targeting enterprise customers. Preferably, provide clear product demos and a quick way to access the free trial version of the product.
Empower your Enterprise Sales Process with the Right Enterprise Solutions!
If you are aiming for enterprise customers for your business, that means you are looking to scale. To do that successfully, you should arm your sales model and enterprise sales personnel with the right enterprise tool of the trade.
In addition to empowering your enterprise sales staff with scalable lead generation tactics, our technology-driven solution is also designed to generate quick results and consistent trackable performance.
So, what’s stopping you from scaling your business operations and customer base? Equip your business with Kennected automated solutions today and scale with confidence!