What Collateral and Content Do You Need To Sell Enterprise SaaS?
By Anna Talerico
May 02 2019
The theme of my conversations recently seems to be SMB SaaS moving to sell into the enterprise. One question that comes up when planning a move like that is what type of collateral and content is needed to sell to enterprise accounts.I am always pleasantly surprised by the forethought the question demonstrates. While it can seem in the weeds, it’s executional details like this that often go overlooked, which causes a lackluster rollout and low salesperson adoption of the new strategy. So often a company leadership team makes changes in direction without thinking through the operational tasks needed to bring the strategy to fruition.More sales enablement resources are indeed needed (in most cases) when moving into the enterprise market. Not a ton more, but more. Sales cycles are longer, buying committees are bigger and price points are usually higher. The complexity of implementation, training, support and integration increases as well. These characteristics of the enterprise sale can be supported by the right resources.Having sold an enterprise SaaS product, and subscribed to many as well, this is my short list of what is needed to sell an enterprise SaaS, and why.
- Case studies
- Social proof is important, as is peer validation and it reduces perceived risk in buying. Case studies also help the customer visualize their potential outcomes and use of your product. Stories are compelling motivators for prospects.
- 1-pager+ on product
- A “bottom of the funnel” buyer has already decided they want a solution and will want to jump to specifics of your product. Of course, you will want to focus on their goals, current state, future state, business problems, etc. But if you aren’t armed with specific product information at the ready it can be a turn off for these buyers. They tend to be fast-learners and want instant answers.
- 1-pager+ on benefits
- You won’t send a product document to someone who doesn’t yet know they need or want your product. A simple, clear overview of the benefits of your product can help with your “middle of the funnel” prospects, and even some of the “top of the funnel” as well. This document shouldn’t be focused on features at all. Keep the attention on business outcomes, problems you can solve, etc.
- Combined “brochure” on features & benefits
- Probably doesn’t need much explanation. A combined brochure is helpful, especially for trade shows where you need to be armed with information for any stage of the buyer’s journey.
- Sales presentations
- For many sales, a deck won’t be necessary. But, you always need to be prepared to give a presentation when asked to (this usually happens with little to no notice, so being ready is the name of the game). It can also be helpful to run through a very brief deck when you have a large group of stakeholders in a meeting so that everyone is starting with the same basic understanding of who you are and what you do. Any presentation should have a stand-alone version of the slides that can be sent to a prospect and understood by a variety of different stakeholders who may get their hands on them. Sales presentations get passed around a lot inside of organizations, and so think about these as storyteller pieces of content, rather than traditional sales slides.
- Recorded demos
- For the enterprise, there may be many, many demos during the sales process. And coordinating schedules can be complex. While it is always preferable to do a live demo, it’s helpful to have a recorded version of your demo(s) as well. Many buyers prefer this, so they can watch at their convenience.
- Thought leadership: blogs, ebooks, whitepapers, videos, etc
- Hopefully, this goes without saying. You will need content about your space that is separate from your product content. That’s not unique to the enterprise, as SMBs will expect it to some degree as well. How much you need depends on the market and your buyer.
- Interactive content experiences (calculators, assessments, quizzes, etc)
- I always have a soft spot for interactive content, because it provides so much insight into the buyer’s journey and helps salespeople understand their buyer through contextual clues. If a prospect downloads a PDF, all we know is that they downloaded a PDF and not much more. It might get read and distributed, it might not. But when a prospect completes an assessment, takes a quiz, uses a calculator, and navigates through an online e-book, all of that behavior and data can be surfaced to sales. This accelerates the sales process and makes for a better buyer experience as well.
All of the above can be digital, not necessarily actual printed collateral. In my experience, you don’t need much printed material—everyone wants a digital web-based experience or a PDF that can easily be passed around. Perhaps a single “leave” behind for salespeople who do in-person meetings, and something sales can mail to get the attention of key prospects.The exception would be if you do trade shows (in an enterprise SaaS you usually have to do trade shows), then you should have printed collateral to give to booth visitors. I usually like to have a thought leadership piece, as well as a combined features/benefit brochure, in the trade show booth. This helps me hit a prospect no matter if they are high funnel (awareness) or low funnel (ready for product and solution details).
What’s most important about enterprise sales content
What matters most is that everything is designed to stand-alone, and communicate to a wide audience. There are many stakeholders across the organization that may participate in your sales process, and so everything needs to be designed to be understood, digested and meaningful for a wide variety of role in the organization, and different awareness levels as well. You just never know where your content will end up, and what context will be available. People will see your content that you never interact with as a seller, so your content needs to sell for you.