The Beginner’s Guide To Enterprise SaaS Sales
Most business-to-business (B2B) SaaS companies start out by selling their products to small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs).
But you could only go so far with that market.
If you want your SaaS business to keep growing and make the big bucks, you have to aim bigger. At some point in your company’s maturity, you would have to start developing your product in order to cater to large enterprises.
However, the field of enterprise SaaS sales isn’t a walk in the park either.
There are certain characteristics of enterprise SaaS products that you have to take into account, and selling them would require a different set of strategies.
Everything would need to adapt—your SaaS sales processes, your customer support, customer success—everything.
In this article, we’ll discuss what enterprise SaaS sales is and some things you should know about it. We’ll also talk about the common strategies used in enterprise SaaS sales so you can get started on the right foot.
What Is Enterprise SaaS?
Enterprise SaaS products are software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions designed for enterprise-level businesses or organizations.
Their sizes may vary from small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) or large enterprises.
This usually includes big organizations with hundreds or even thousands of employees. Large enterprises may even have multiple locations.
In general, enterprise SaaS products are more complex and comprehensive than SMB SaaS products.
Here are some common characteristics of a SaaS solution intended for enterprise customers:
Every enterprise business or organization is different. Their processes can get pretty complex, which leads to very specific needs, processes, and workflows.
An enterprise SaaS product should be customizable to fit the customer’s requirements.
There should be options for tailoring the product according to their preferences. This way, they can use the software in a way that’s most efficient for them.
And since the enterprise SaaS product is designed to support their specific needs, it would be easier for them to achieve their goals with the software.
Enterprise customers may also want to customize their SaaS solution’s integrations. They would want the software to integrate seamlessly with their existing systems and tools.
Enterprises are often much larger than SMBs, which means they have more employees, customers, data, and processes.
An enterprise SaaS product should be able to support large-scale operations. It should be able to handle a large number of users and a lot of data across different teams, departments, and even locations.
In-Depth Reporting and Analytics
Since enterprise businesses or organizations are usually very complex, they need comprehensive data and insights to help them make informed decisions.
An enterprise SaaS product should have in-depth reporting and analytics features. It should be able to generate detailed reports that cover all aspects of the business.
What’s more, enterprise software should also have powerful data visualization tools to help enterprise users easily understand the data and spot trends or patterns.
Priority Customer Support & Customer Success
Enterprise customers usually have very specific needs, and they would need assistance in using the software properly. They would want to be able to get help from the software vendor quickly whenever they need it.
Because of this, enterprise SaaS products should come with priority customer support.
Enterprise customers should have a dedicated account manager or customer success manager who can address their questions and concerns as soon as they need help.
Security & Compliance
Enterprise businesses or organizations often deal with sensitive data.
A LOT of sensitive data.
So security is a top priority for them. They need to make sure their data is safe from cyber-attacks and unauthorized access.
An enterprise SaaS product should have robust security features to protect the customer’s data. It should also be compliant with the relevant industry regulations, especially GDPR.
Characteristics Of Enterprise SaaS Sales
With all the expectations and requirements coming from enterprise customers, how do you sell your SaaS product the right way?
First, you need to set your expectations. What can you anticipate when you’re trying to sell an enterprise software product?
Here are some pointers:
Complex Products = Complex Sales Processes
As we’ve mentioned earlier, enterprise SaaS products are usually more complex than SMB SaaS platforms.
This means that enterprise SaaS sales are also more complex.
This is why it’s important for enterprise SaaS sales reps to have a deep understanding of the product and the customer’s needs.
They need to be able to tailor their sales pitch and approach according to the customer’s situation.
Long Sales Cycles
The enterprise SaaS sales cycle is usually much longer than the SMB SaaS sales cycle.
This is because enterprise customers are more cautious when it comes to making decisions. They want to be sure that the software they’re buying is the right fit for their business.
They would also need to get approvals from different stakeholders and decision-makers before they can make a purchase. This can add weeks or even months to the sales cycle.
So if you want to close a deal with enterprises, prepare for the long haul. Not just in trying to promote your product, but to gain your prospect’s trust and build a strong relationship with them.
Naturally, an enterprise SaaS product usually has a higher price tag than an SMB SaaS product.
Not just because enterprise software has more functionality. It’s also because enterprise customers are usually willing to invest in a top-notch solution that can support their large-scale operations and meet all their specific needs.
So enterprise SaaS sales teams should focus on selling the value of the product.
They need to show the customer how the software can help them achieve their goals and improve their business.
Common Strategies For Enterprise SaaS Sales
As you can see above, the enterprise SaaS sales process may have its complexities and challenges. But if you manage to get past them, it can be very rewarding.
Here are some common strategies that enterprise SaaS sales teams use to close deals:
1) Target The Right ICP & Buyer Personas
The enterprise SaaS market is huge, and it can be difficult to know where to start.
This is why it’s important for enterprise SaaS sales teams to have a clear understanding of their Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) and target the right buyer persona.
They should focus their attention on enterprise businesses or organizations that are likely to benefit from using their software.
They can use account-based marketing (ABM) strategies to identify and target these high-value accounts.
2) Build A Strong Relationship With The Customer
Enterprise SaaS sales teams need to build strong relationships with their enterprise customers.
This is because enterprise customers usually take longer to make decisions. They want to be sure that they can trust the software vendor before they make a purchase.
So enterprise SaaS sales teams should show the customer that they understand their business and their needs. That, in turn, will tell your potential customers that you genuinely care about them.
And that will go a long way in closing them as customers and retaining them for a long time.
3) Use Consultative Selling Techniques
Consultative selling is a sales technique that enterprise SaaS sales teams can use to build relationships with their enterprise customers.
In consultative selling, the salesperson acts more like a consultant than a salesperson.
They work with the customer to understand their business and their needs. They then provide them with advice on how they can meet their goals without necessarily being aggressive in selling your SaaS product yet.
Your sales rep keeps on nurturing each lead with this technique until they’re finally ready to request a custom quote and make a purchase.
4) Aim For Multi-Year Deals
Enterprise SaaS sales teams should focus on closing deals that are worth more and last longer.
Enterprise customers usually have a budget for long-term projects. So enterprise SaaS sales teams should try to close deals that are worth more and last for multiple years.
What’s more, these businesses are most likely looking for a long-term relationship anyway. Switching to a new SaaS solution takes a lot of time, effort, and resources. Not to mention the learning curve that comes with it.
Having complex processes and an army of users, they wouldn’t want to go through all that again and again over a short period of time.
What’s more, remember that the enterprise sales process is longer than the usual sales cycles. That also means your customer acquisition cost (CAC) is higher.
Failing to secure multi-year deals with your enterprise customers can have a significant negative impact on your growth as a SaaS business.
5) Offer Tailored Discounts & Deals
Offering tailored discounts and deals can help you win your potential enterprise customers and even incentivize them to sign longer-term contracts.
Your sales team could work on a customized discount that would best appeal to each of your leads.
For example, you can offer enterprise customers a discount if they sign a long-term contract or pay for multiple years upfront.
You can also offer enterprise customers a discount if they agree to be a reference account or case study.
6) Focus on Customer Success
With a SaaS business model, sustainable growth isn’t just about acquiring new customers. Retaining your existing customers is even more important because it costs less than winning over new ones.
Not to mention the negative image formed when a lot of a SaaS company’s customers leave within short periods of time.
That’s why enterprise SaaS providers should also focus on customer success. They need to make sure that their enterprise customers are successful in using your product in reaching their goals.
7) Upsell & Cross-Sell Enterprise Customers
In the context of enterprise SaaS, upselling is when you offer your customers additional features or inclusions that may be beneficial for their current plan.
Cross-selling, on the other hand, is when you offer another SaaS product under your brand that complements the current one that they’re using.
Both upselling and cross-selling can help enterprise SaaS providers increase their revenue per customer and customer lifetime value (CLV).
One of the best ways to effectively upsell and cross-sell is to make offers based on their current usage or current changes in their companies.
For example, imagine you have an enterprise customer who just opened their first office in another country. It may be the perfect time to offer them some features that can help them manage their international team better.
Final Thoughts About Enterprise SaaS Sales
The enterprise SaaS market is huge and there’s a lot of potential for growth. But it also comes with its challenges.
To succeed in enterprise SaaS sales, you need to have the right strategies in place. You need to focus on selling to larger businesses and organizations that have the budget for long-term projects.
And most importantly, you need to focus on building a strong relationship with them rather than aggressively pitching your SaaS product.
A good relationship will help not just in winning them over as customers. But also retaining them for as long as possible.
Looking for more guides that can help you take your SaaS business to the next level? Check out our blog here.