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Alex Shevelenko
Content thumbnail Guide to Breaking into the Enterprise Market

actually heavily locked down—this despite everyone believing in the current bottoms-up market for sotfware tools. Selling into a cost center in a top-down manner means you are enabling a spreadsheet jockey to be leaner, more compliant, more efficient and so on. Founders should focus on landing the head of the department they’re targeting, but your sales department will need to engage the rest of the team to fully close the sale, so everyone’s on board with the purchase. If you’re product-led, you’ll want to frame your value proposition as ‘we make your life easier’ in some way. It’s relatively easy to identify the right buyer persona, but to land the sale, you’ll need to arm those buyers to answer questions they’ll encounter from legal, procurement, management and so on. If you’re selling into a product group, the buy decision likely will be based on a cost-beneift analysis. The phrase “I could build that in a weekend” has been uttered more than once. The group will need to know what it would cost them to build a solution from scratch, not just in terms of actual dollars, but in terms of time, speed to market and ongoing maintenance—and then compare that to the cost of simply buying your tool. Your job is to help them do this math. When selling to a product group, your target buyer is the product manager or engineering leader. To win over this buyer, you’ll need to ensure you’re aligned with their product schedule. You’ll also need to remove technical barriers to adoption, such as APIs, excessive documentation and so on, to avoid an engineers’ rebellion. You’ll also need to build a ifnancial model that scales with the customer. Question 2: Are you ready to sell to the enterprise? Whether you’re selling to a product group or a cost center, enterprises will have certain expectations based on the stage of your company. If you’re a seed stage or Series A company, an enterprise is betting on your domain expertise and agile team of technical all-stars. Ultimately, they’re betting on the founders. In exchange, they expect support—and will want you to prioritize building out features they need. (continued on next page) 7

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