How to go after (and close) enterprise customers as a startup
If your tech startup is going after enterprise customers but struggling to get meetings or build traction, this article is for you. We sat down with Hesus from WeSavvy to talk enterprise sales, personal branding, and building credibility.
We sat down a few weeks back to speak with Hesus Inoma, co-founder of WeSavvy and now running his own Thinktank-as-a-service at hesusci on approaching enterprise customers as a startup, personal branding, and building credibility in a short amount of time.
We spoke about the importance of personal branding, and that it is no longer binary whether you choose to spend your time promoting your company brand vs your own personal brand - as well as how this greatly impacts how others perceive you.
I believe we live in a world where it's no longer uncommon to that a potential customer may choose one solution provider over another purely because of the personal brand of the humans behind the company, both from a familiarity and from a relatability perspective.
One of the other interesting things we touched on as well was the importance of speaking the customer's language. Startups are quick to mention all the "cool" features they've slaved for many months on developing.
Plausible yes, but in the same time it's important to always frame any solutions or features for that matter in terms of the core metrics that affect the bottom line of the departments in questions.
Especially in the classic scenario of unknown startups pitching business to bigger enterprises, where brand recognition may not yet be a factor - emotions are always an effective way to build commonality and urgency to take action.
Specifically, highlighting the importance of the problem they have, and not just the greatness of the solution.
We realized that those who win big in this scenario take the time to also highlight how their solution will make the decision maker (or influencer) personally look good.
Often times startups feel daunted going after enterprise clients, but one of the things we've learnt with Hesus is that most times their mobility and ability to move fast is often what attracts those enterprises to run proof of concepts in the first place, as was his experience with WeSavvy.
Finally, we spoke about how it's not enough to have an elevator pitch prepared, and then quite commonly you should be preparing a tailor made pitch for the specific person you are planning to meet with.
Rather than thinking of it as a pitch, you may also consider it an opportunity to dive deep on their challenges, and team up with a capable partner that will be able to help them move faster, with more innovation, and of course the timeless value proposition - save money (or make more of it).
On selling to anyone in 2019:
On how to get big customers to take action with your startup:
On company branding vs personal branding:
On how to build credibility as a startup in front of enterprise prospects:
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