Enterprise software companies are often regarded as the “holy grail” of the technology industry. Some of the biggest companies in the world fit into this bucket, including Microsoft, Oracle, Salesforce, and Adobe. It stands to reason, then, that if you can pitch your startup’s services and sell to enterprise software companies, you could quickly become the unicorn startup that you’ve always envisioned. Keep reading to learn what you can do to turn that vision into a reality.
Get creative with your marketing
The average success rate of both cold-calling and emailing is just around 1%. You’re not going to reach the status of a unicorn startup if these are your primary methods of contacting enterprise software companies.
To reach the goals for your startup, you need to think outside of the box with your marketing campaigns. Doing so will be the best way for you to get the attention, respect, and interest of the companies you’re targeting.
Many different marketing methods can be effective while also distinguishing your company from the competition. Here are some options you might want to try:
- Start with an exclusive beta program to benefit from scarcity-based marketing
- Get featured in major publications
- Start a podcast and host industry leaders on it
- Create workshops featuring startup leaders that enterprise leaders know and respect
- Run a contest that gets your brand trending on social media
Understand Your Targets’ Business Models Intimately
Research is an important part of any B2B sales process. But it’s critical for startups looking to target some of the largest players in the software industry.
You won’t get a second chance to make a first impression with the enterprise software businesses that you’re targeting. When you get that chance, you must make the most of it.
Doing your research will enable you to do that. Before your meeting, you should have an in-depth understanding of how your target’s business model works and where your startup’s products fit into their long-term plans.
Identify Your Target’s Pain Points
This goes hand-in-hand with the last point about doing your research. Before meeting with an enterprise software company, you should have a solid understanding of the pain points.
This is important because pain points are your way into large software companies. These are specific problems that the company faces, preventing it from growing at its desired pace.
You want to position your startup as the company that can resolve those pain points in the most efficient and effective way. If you can back up that sentiment with hard data and proof from previous clients, it won’t matter that your company is still in the startup phase. If the enterprise software company believes that you can get the job done, they’ll hire you to do it. Simple as that.
Consider Adopting A Freemium Model
The freemium model is a technique that massive companies like LinkedIn, Dropbox, and Hulu have successfully used. It involves giving users access to a basic version of your service at no cost but then charging users who wish to access your entire tool.
The benefit of the freemium model is that it helps early-stage companies attract large userbases without having to convert all of those users into paying clients right away.
It may feel counterintuitive to give away some components of your service for free. But when you do so, you allow enterprise software companies and other clients to trial your product risk-free.
If you believe wholeheartedly in the strength of your solution, then the freemium model could be right for you. Using it will help you pull large companies into your orbit. When a company experiences firsthand how beneficial your service is, it may choose to become a paying client of its own accord.
Even if this strategy isn’t your first choice, it’s worth keeping in mind. If you try to reach enterprise software companies through more traditional means and fail, you may want to pivot to the freemium model as a backup plan.
Offer A Customized Solution
Enterprise software companies expect solutions that are tailor-made to address their unique needs. Suppose you’re not in the business of offering customized solutions already. In that case, you’ll likely need to adjust that approach if you want to become the unicorn startup that partners with large enterprise software companies.
A customized solution doesn’t necessarily need to be a complicated one, either. What’s most important is that you can tell your targets that you’re able to adjust the services you provide to address their unique circumstances and requirements.
This point also goes back to the earlier statements about your research and understanding your targets’ pain points. With that understanding, it becomes much easier to articulate what a customized solution might look like for your targeting prospects.
Develop A Reputation For Your Brand
Large companies are more likely to listen to pitches from brands that already have some recognition in the marketplace. That means building a strong reputation for your startup could be the secret to getting your foot in the door with some of the enterprise clients you’re targeting.
A major key to this is establishing a story for your company. You need to articulate why your company exists, how it was founded, and where it’s going in a simple way that will resonate with your target audience.
Once you have that story established, building a brand image around it becomes much easier. As you go, you will also want to establish a presence on the social media platforms and channels your clients use. This may mean publishing informative industry-related posts on LinkedIn or getting active on Twitter.
Keep in mind; it takes time to create a brand image that sticks to your company. You shouldn’t expect it to happen overnight. But the sooner you get started, the sooner you can benefit from the reputation that you build.
Whitepapers are an underutilized marketing tool that your startup may want to look into to improve its standing with its target audience.
Whitepapers give you the chance to showcase your industry expertise and the value proposition your company provides. When done well, whitepapers can be leveraged to build up an enormous amount of credibility in your target market. They’ll also give you something impressive to point your targets to when they want to know more about how your startup fits into the broader industry ecosystem.
Work With Outside Sales Reps
At the end of the day, it’s important to keep in mind that you may simply not have the right team in place to sell your products or services to large enterprise software companies. There’s no shame in admitting that. Many startups simply don’t have the cash flow needed to bring on the specialized sales reps required to close deals with large companies.
If you come to this conclusion, it doesn’t mean you should stop targeting enterprise software companies. Instead, you may need to work with an outside team or an individual who’s closed deals like yours.
A Final Note On Selling To Enterprise Software Companies
Solidifying a deal with an enterprise software company can be challenging as an early-stage startup. But doing so is by no means impossible.
The most important thing to do is to keep at it. If your attempts fall short, try something else. Failure often provides us with the best lessons in life and business. So make sure that you’re using your failures to your advantage and using them to get better.
Get The Data You Need To Make Your Next Sale By Using LeadLander
Whether you’re selling to large enterprise software companies or small and medium-sized businesses, you need a healthy stream of data to identify new prospects and get them into your sales pipeline. That’s why you should consider trying LeadLander.
LeadLander was created by a group of seasoned lead generation and sales development experts to deliver more leads to your salespeople. It’s a platform that will provide you with a wealth of information about the people and businesses visiting your website.
With the information that LeadLander provides, you can:
- Identify new leads you haven’t discovered yet
- Improve the accuracy of your pipeline
- Receive real-time alerts for new and returning prospects
- Validate interest from cold calls and sales outreach
- Discover the most effective pages on your website
- And much more
If you’d like to give LeadLander a try, visit our website. We’re currently offering a free 14-day trial that you can sign up for without a credit card and cancel anytime. We’d love to help you work towards your sales and marketing goals and look forward to hearing from you to get started with that process.