Imagine if you could get your SaaS in the hands of 10 corporate clients who need your enterprise plan (or higher).
Suddenly, the MRR boost from a typical new user would jump. Landing even a handful of these “whale” clients can dramatically boost your revenue and credibility.
The problem is, even if you have a dedicated sales person, selling to a large business is rarely a one-off interaction.
The average buying cycle of an individual or small business is often a few months, but large companies can take up to a year or more.
So, if you want to sign more enterprise SaaS users, it will take some effort.
But not necessarily all of your time.
A recent study from Sirius Decisions of over 1000 B2B companies shows that large companies have three phases of a major buying decision.
So, how do 18-month buying cycles and 3 phases full of multiple decision makers not equal more time on sales?
That’s a good question with a well-researched answer.
In this post, we’ll go over 7 tips that will help you land more enterprise deals systematically… without spending all your time on sales calls.
Let’s get to it.
Tip #1: Wait (But Don’t Just Sit There)
This tip is brutally honest. Enterprise clients take way longer than the average bear to make a decision (as previously discussed). Understanding the cycle and the needs of your prospects will be key to making the deals to propel your company forward.
While you are waiting for memos to be sent and red tape to be meticulously rolled away, it’s important that you improve your overall funnel process.
Buyers making their way through the process are observing you, inadvertently testing your resolve to see if you are stable enough to trust with their business. It may sound like a proverbial answer, but here goes.
Running your company well is one of the best ways to garner the attention of large clients.
Tip #2: Create High Quality Content
If you’ve been at it for 3 to 5 years now and still have the same whitepapers, downloads, and lead magnets it’s time for a change.
In fact, you may want to create valuable content exclusively for your enterprise targets. Something that is relatable to your product, but genuinely useful and intriguing for 1 or more members of the buying team.
Example: A SaaS company offers inventory tracking/management that provides analytics that can save shipping costs, labor and shrink. The company puts out an Industry Report on updating fleets with a comparison guide on new equipment.
This content will only speak to the largest of prospects, and it will demonstrate loud and clear that this company knows their logistics.
Take Notice: The content wasn’t a direct sale, but all of the ingredients were there to attract the ideal client (saving money, shipping, freight).
Tip #3: Talk (a Decent Amount) More
While you can’t call Fortune 500 companies every day and try to get your “foot in the door,” you can keep talking. A lot.
Upping your content marketing game will be a huge factor in landing some of those big fish. There is a lot of water out there and the more nets, the better. Be careful not to exhaust yourself, as some bait works better than others.
During the education phase of an enterprise’s journey, tons of data will be consumed and processed. Over coffee, the team responsible for finding a solution (like yours) will discuss and share what they’ve learned about several potential products.
How much is your SaaS talking, and how loud does it speak?
Your sales pitch may be awesome, but if you don’t have content and case studies to follow up, then you might be forgotten before you even get to pitch.
Example: If you want some great inspiration, head on over to Hostanalytics and hover over their resource menu option. We can list out all of the types of content you can send through email marketing (or offer freely on your site), but sometimes it’s better to see someone doing it right, as they are.
Key Stat: Around 80% of sales happen between the 5th and 12th point of contact with a prospect. (Source)
Tip #4: Be Social With Enterprise SaaS Prospects
Talking about your SaaS can be very useful, but not as useful as other people talking about it for you.
Social media isn’t just for B2C, or even small to medium B2B. It can be a valuable part of your sales funnel that helps land big time deals. That being said, it’s (again) all about being smart. B2B companies average six social media profiles, but you want to know something?
Over 80% of all B2B leads come from LinkedIn. (Here are a bunch more B2B social stats for the stat hounds like us.)
Unless you lead an extravagant lifestyle living it up in the rainforests of Belize, leave Instagram to people selling t-shirts and jewelry. There is value in multiple social platforms, but we’re talking about landing a couple of clients that can have a significant impact on revenue, funding, and valuation.
Big Tip: When you publish content, make sure to share on LinkedIn. There are even arguments to republish content on Pulse and Medium.
“When you’re good at something, you’ll tell everyone. When you’re great at something, they’ll tell you.” – Walter Payton
Tip #5: Deepen Segmentation
Coming in at number five is our most technical tip. You may already have several decision team members rolling around your email funnel right now. At the heart of every decision (no matter how big the company), you’re really just dealing with people.
Those people are looking for the best solution for a very large business and need to be treated correctly.
If your funnel takes all your leads through a series of videos using your product to help them “double X” or “revolutionize Y”, it may be a bit too “small pond” for the whales on your list. The content we’ve been talking about creating (for the big leads), needs to be an option for them.
From the magnet that gets their email, to every piece of content delivered, your funnel needs a track for enterprise clients. If you don’t provide them the educational materials they need, your solution won’t make it to that meeting at Starbucks.
Resource: Our new Workflows update makes charting a path for your leads ridiculously easy. Seriously, check out this short video to see how it works.
Tip #6: Educate Yourself (and Your Team)
How much do you know about your big time buyer persona? If the buyer team decided to make a few spontaneous phone calls to their perspective solutions, how would your sales team fair?
Sure, they may have a script and a winning personality, but what about knowing the highest capacities of your product(s). Implementation? Large-scale onboarding?
Once prospects are educated and have deemed your product a possible solution, they’ll be barreling toward making a decision.
Months of positioning yourself could come down to a single phone call.
Depending on how you answered the above questions, you may need to do a little more research and prepare for potential inquiries. The good news is that necessary information on big companies is often low hanging fruit (readily available) and won’t require much digging to find out how your SaaS can help them.
Tip #7: Do Things That Don’t Scale
All of these items will help your chances, but there are a few more things that can help you prove you’re up for larger scale users. Typically, this will mean offering a custom solution for those who have a big operation.
SaaS companies are usually made with preset packages meant to guide customers into signing up on their own with automated onboarding and instructions. Enterprises aren’t going to be up for any of that.
Most enterprise transactions will be very hands-on and customized. All of the other tips were to get the sale, but this last one is the step that will make the difference in keeping your new whale. If you’ve done your research (previous tip), you’ll know how to handle them (needs, specifications, etc.), and you can design the best custom solution for them.
The good news is; these large clients are usually locked for a while (if you roll out the red carpet after the sale). All that energy and effort (that wasn’t exactly spent selling) will pay off in a big, long-lasting partnership that will propel your business forward.
Question: What have you found helpful when going after enterprise deals?