B2B SaaS StartUps: Big Logos Are Willing First Customers

December 21, 2022 3 mins read

As a startup consultant, I have worked with many B2B SaaS founders who are looking to sell their solutions to large enterprises. If you’re in such a business, you need to understand two critical things that can help you succeed in this market.

Firstly, do not assume that big businesses are out of reach for you. In fact, it is easier to get a Fortune 500 company to be your first customer than it is to get a mid-level client. These companies are already familiar with how to do business with you, and all it takes is an advocate of a senior enough level willing to sign their name to your risk profile. Therefore, make sure you have a coach and advocate inside the organization whom you can talk to and build a strong relationship with, so they’ll go to bat for you.

To reinforce this point, take the example of Dropbox, which started as a consumer-focused product but quickly shifted to B2B. Dropbox’s first enterprise client was Fujitsu, a Fortune 500 company. Dropbox recognized the value of targeting such a company early on, and as a result, they were able to scale their business quickly.

Secondly, if you’re targeting the enterprise market, you need to prepare yourself and your team in advance of any conversation. This means understanding the enterprise-specific requirements such as security compliance, roadmap, SOC 2 and ISO compliance, GDPR compliance, privacy policy, and cookie settings. These are all things that you need to have in place upfront and should be the first page of your deck. By doing so, you demonstrate that you understand how to do enterprise business and mitigate your risk profile.

An excellent example of a company that has done this well is Zoom, which is a leading video conferencing tool used by many enterprises. Before they went public, Zoom invested heavily in building robust security and privacy features, which gave them a competitive edge in the enterprise market. As a result, they were able to sign up several Fortune 500 companies, including Uber, which chose Zoom over its competitors.

Finally, it’s crucial to educate yourself on compliance requirements, such as SOC 2 and ISO, to know what you can be doing in your organization from day one to put yourself in a good position. It’s much easier to start as a compliant organization than to try and roll it back in two or three years when you go for compliance. If you’re already compliant from day one, it gives you a competitive advantage and demonstrates to potential clients that you take their security and compliance seriously.

In conclusion, if you’re looking to sell your solution to large enterprises, don’t be intimidated by the size of the companies you’re targeting. Instead, focus on building a strong relationship with a coach and advocate inside the organization and demonstrating your understanding of enterprise-specific requirements. By doing so, you increase your chances of getting a big client early on and scaling your business quickly.

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