How SaaS Startups Can Secure Their First Enterprise Client

Denis Shatalin
Founder of SaaS Camp
Did you know that the SaaS market is projected to be worth over $195 billion in 2023?

In this fast-paced, competitive world, SaaS startups are making significant impacts by providing creative solutions to complex problems. But to grow and thrive, these startups need a consistent flow of customers and the ability to retain them. This is where enterprise clients come into play.

Imagine having a client who brings in the same revenue as ten or maybe a hundred clients combined. Sounds great, right?

But securing your first enterprise client comes with its own set of challenges. If you're a SaaS startup looking to secure your first enterprise client, you're in the right place. Our SaaS accelerator program is designed to guide you through these challenges and help you achieve your goals.

Let's dive in to understand these challenges and how to overcome them.

How to Win Your First Enterprise Client

1. Digging Into The Problem

Before you even start building your SaaS product, it is essential to understand the problem that you are trying to solve. What are the pain points that your target customers have? What are their needs and wants? A deep understanding of the problem allows you to develop a solution that truly adds value to your enterprise client.

Here are some tips for understanding the problem you are solving:

  • Listen to the market: Social media platforms like LinkedIn and Twitter, and SaaS review websites like Caterra, G2 and TrustRadius are the best way to find the problem your potential customers may have.
  • Read Industry News and Analysis: Reading industry news and analysis can be a great way to understand the problems that enterprise clients are facing. This can help you to position your product as a solution to their problems and to build credibility with potential customers.
  • Use surveys and questionnaires: Collect quantitative data about the problem. Ask your target customers about their pain points, needs, and their willingness to pay for a solution.

In addition to understanding the problem you're solving, it's also important to be able to manage multiple stakeholders and get to the decision-maker. Enterprise clients often have a complex decision-making process, and there may be multiple people who need to be convinced of the value of your product. By understanding the needs of these different stakeholders, you'll be well on your way to securing your first enterprise client.

Now after finding the problem, it's time to identify who will benefit from it the most.

2. Know Your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP)

Knowing your ICP is like having a roadmap to your most valuable customers. It's more than just knowing which industries or company sizes fit your product. It's about understanding their needs, behaviors, and challenges.

Here's how you can identify your ICP:

  1. Understand Goals: Get to know what your customers are trying to achieve and the challenges they face. This helps you tailor your product to their needs.
  2. Build a Profile: Create a detailed profile of your ideal customer, including their industry, company size, role, challenges, needs, and goals.
  3. Stay Updated: Keep up with the latest trends and challenges in your industry to anticipate your ICP's needs and adapt your product.
  4. Engage: Talk to potential customers about their challenges and needs to gain valuable insights.
  5. Analyze Customers: Look at your best customers. Those getting the most value from your product are likely part of your ICP.
  6. Use Data: Analyze data from your sales and marketing campaigns to refine your ICP.

Remember, identifying your ICP is an ongoing process. As you learn more about your customers and your market, you should continually refine your ICP. This will help you attract and retain the most valuable customers for your business.

With a clear understanding of your ICP, you can now craft a compelling value proposition.

3. Craft an Effective Value Proposition

Your value proposition is your promise to your clients. It's not just about what your product does, but how it can help them beat their competition, grow their business, and solve their problems.

Here's how to create a strong value proposition:

  • Pinpoint the problems your product solves: Understand your customers' challenges and make sure your value proposition addresses these.
  • Show the benefits of your product: How much time or money can it save? How can it help them grow? Make these benefits clear.
  • Use case studies and testimonials: Show how your product has helped other businesses. This proves your product works.
  • Support your proposition with data: Use studies or statistics that show the benefits of using your product.
  • Explain how your product helps achieve goals: Your value proposition should clearly state how your product can help your customers reach their goals.

Let’s take an example of Stripe, they are showing the number of businesses that are using their payment platform from startups to large enterprises.
Screenshot of Stripe website homepage. Stripe is a payments infrastructure platform that helps businesses of all sizes accept payments online.
They also use case studies with stats, like the one of 'Missguided,' a fashion retailer that saw a 70% reduction in checkout abandonment after integrating Stripe.
Stripe payments infrastructure platform Blog Missguided Customers
This is just one example of effective value propositions. When crafting your own value proposition, be sure to focus on the specific problems that your product solves, quantify the benefits of your product, and use case studies and testimonials to support your claims.

Having a compelling value proposition is a great start, but it's equally important to demonstrate your industry expertise.

4. Showcase Industry Expertise

As a founder, it's important to know your industry inside out. Keep learning and stay updated with the latest SaaS trends and challenges. This helps you understand what your clients need and tweak your product to meet those needs.

Here's how you can show off your expertise:

  • Write about industry trends on your blog: This helps you share your knowledge and promote your product.
  • Speak at industry events: This lets you network and share your thoughts.
  • Join discussions on social media: This helps you connect with potential customers and share your insights.

For example, entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk uses content marketing to build a following and promote his businesses. He's known for his engaging videos where he shares his insights on marketing and entrepreneurship.

Showing your expertise is one thing, but you also need to get people to buy your product.

Get People to Buy: Here are few things you can do:

  • Offer free trials or demos. This lets people try before they buy.
  • Create content that solves your audience's problems. This could be blog posts, videos, or infographics.
  • Run paid ads. This can help you reach more people and drive traffic to your site.
  • Partner with other businesses. This is a great way to promote your product.

By doing these things, you can show off your expertise and get people to try your product.

5. Embrace Selling and Authority

To succeed in the SaaS market, you need to be good at selling and show you're an expert in your field. This means being able to explain why your product is great and showing your knowledge by doing things like publishing whitepapers or speaking at events.

But to make a sale, you need a plan. Find out which companies could use your product, then make a strategy to turn them into customers. This could involve keeping in touch, personalizing your communication, and showing you understand their needs. Remember, making a sale is about meeting your customers' specific needs, not just showing off your expertise.

Now that you've established authority, it's time to engage with the right people.

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6. Engage with Right People

Creating a strong connection with the right people is crucial in enterprise sales. This means figuring out who's making the big decisions and understanding how to interact with them effectively. But it's not just about identifying these individuals, it's about building a relationship with them that we’ll cover in the 7th point.

Here's how you can do it:

1. Active Listening: This is all about really paying attention to what the other person is saying. Show them that you're interested and empathetic, and ask questions to make sure you've understood them correctly. This helps you avoid misunderstandings and tailor your solution to their specific needs.

2. Mirroring: This technique involves reflecting back the other person's words, tone, and body language. It helps you build trust and rapport, and it shows them that you understand and respect their feelings.

3. Regular Communication: Keep the conversation going. Regular chats show that you're reliable and build trust. Keep them updated on what's happening and always be ready to answer their questions.

4. Feedback: Don't forget to ask for their opinions and use their feedback to improve your services. This shows them that their thoughts matter to you and helps to strengthen your relationship.

Remember, when you're selling to big enterprises, you're not just selling a product. You're promising to help them succeed with your product as a tool. Building a strong relationship is the first step towards the growth of mutual collaboration and success.

7. Build Strong Relationships

Creating solid business relationships with key players isn't just about transactions. It's about forming strategic partnerships for mutual success. To help you understand this better, we've broken it down into seven simple steps:

1. Identify Key Players: Recognize who the major decision-makers are within the company. These individuals could be top executives, department leaders, or project heads. Understand the group dynamics and manage the group effectively.

2. Understand Their Needs: Each key player will have unique needs and expectations. Engage in dialogue to understand these needs, demonstrating empathy and a genuine interest in their challenges. This involves understanding the customer's problems and investigating their needs.

3. Provide Value: Show how your product or service can contribute to their success. Use evidence, such as case studies or testimonials, to prove you can deliver on your promises. When demonstrating the product, show how it can solve the customer's issues and meet their needs.

4. Foster Communication: Regular, open communication builds trust. Keep key players informed about any important updates, and be available to address their concerns. This includes knowing who to send information to, who needs to be included, and how to handle gatekeepers and decision-makers.

5. Be Dependable: Fulfill agreed deadlines, deliver on promises, and demonstrate integrity in your actions. Dependability builds credibility and trust.

6. Request Feedback: Regularly ask for feedback and use it to enhance your services. This shows key players that their opinion is valued, strengthening the relationship.

7. Sustain the Relationship: After a sale, continue to engage with key players. Regular check-ins, updates, and showing an interest in their ongoing success will help maintain and strengthen the relationship. This involves getting a commitment from the customer, which could be in the form of a financial commitment, a deal, or an exchange.

When selling to large companies, you're aligning your growth with theirs, offering more than just a product. You're committing to help them succeed with your offering as a tool. A strong relationship forms the foundation for robust onboarding processes and outstanding customer support.

With a strong relationship established, it's time to develop a robust onboarding process.

8. Develop a Robust Onboarding Process

A successful onboarding journey sets the tone of the enterprise client relationships. It’s not only about product understanding, but also deep engagement.

Here are key points to consider:

  • Design a clear, user-friendly process that aligns with client challenges, encouraging interactions and dialogue to tailor your solution.
  • Utilize visual aids like diagrams or explainer videos to ease understanding and engagement.
  • Provide customized training sessions - one-on-one, group training, webinars, or on-site facilitating two way communication and feedback.

Remember, engagement is vital for successful onboarding. Build more than just business transactions, build relationships.

Now, with a strong onboarding process in place, it's time for outstanding customer support.

9. Deliver Outstanding Customer Support

Delivering outstanding customer support is a cornerstone of client satisfaction and retention, especially when dealing with enterprise clients. Implement customized support strategies tailored to the needs of your enterprise clients. This can involve a comprehensive knowledge base and self-service options for easy access to information.

Delivering outstanding customer support involves more than just answering client queries. It means being available when your clients need you, whether that's via multi-channel support via email, phone, or live chat. It also involves proactive support, where you reach out to customers before they encounter a problem.

Remember, feedback from your clients is crucial in improving your support services and ensuring their satisfaction. This can help you prevent issues before they occur and improve client satisfaction.

Ready to Win?

Securing your first enterprise client as a SaaS startup is no small feat. It requires strategic planning, understanding your ideal customer profile, building a strong product, and delivering outstanding customer support, among other things. But with the right strategies and a bit of persistence, it's definitely achievable.

So why wait? Join our SaaS accelerator program today and take the first step towards securing your first enterprise client. We’ll help you with all the necessary tools and guidance you need to attract more enterprise customers like we already did with more than 50+ amazing SaaS founders.

You could be the next success story!
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✋ Hey, it's Denis! Thanks for reading :) If you want my help with your startup, the quickest way to reach me is at I upload my best content on YouTube. Let's connect on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.