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Enterprise SaaS sales model

It’s crucial to know which SaaS sales model is best suited to your company. It is the foundation for planning your sales process, hiring your sales team, and knowing when your company must evolve its sales approach. Enterprise sales is among the sales models used by SaaS companies. See how it works and whether it’s for you.

What is an Enterprise SaaS sales model?

The enterprise sales model is typically used for higher priced, low volume software. SaaS products sold using this model are generally full-scale, cutting-edge, and require extensive configuration to deploy.  

The target market for enterprise sales is mid-to-large companies that can afford the high cost of the sophisticated solutions. The solution is used organization-wide or by entire departments or teams.

Enterprise SaaS sales teams are often organized by geographies and sell to different customer segments. Salespeople spend months working with prospects on sharing product demos, answering their questions, and meeting executive stakeholders.

Benefits of an Enterprise SaaS sales model

Enterprise sales involves the transaction of a high-value product or service at a higher price. Every closed deal makes a big difference to revenue. Annual contracts are a common feature of enterprise level sales, and as such, provide financial security to providers. SaaS sales reps focus on deal size rather than the quantity of deal wins.

In contrast, a self-serve sales model deals with high volume, lower-priced products. It attracts customers using the freemium model and free trials. The focus is on converting as many accounts as possible to boost annual recurring revenue (ARR). The business model is characterized by a small customer support team and shorter SaaS sales cycle.

With maturity, a SaaS business may evolve to a transactional sales model. The most scalable of the three models, it involves a higher average selling price, a bigger sales team, and a comprehensive product marketing plan. The focus is on building a sales pipeline with content marketing.

Challenges of an Enterprise SaaS sales model

The enterprise sales model has a long sales cycle. Gartner has described as a ‘long, hard slog’. A strong lead generation strategy that brings in qualified leads is paramount to prevent efforts from going to waste.

A hands-on approach to sales is typical for this model. It includes live demos, tailored onboarding, ROI calculations, and a customized deal structure. You’ll need to build the sales capacity necessary to engage multiple decision-makers in conversations and follow-ups on a single deal. Enterprise customers will also require more training and integration support. A dedicated account executive for each customer will be necessary.

As you acquire new customers, your operational costs will go up. The use of more marketing or sales channels will also drive up your customer acquisition cost (CAC).

Is it for you?

The enterprise, transactional, or self-service model? Customer self-service works for simpler SaaS products and when potential customers require limited support. The transactional sales strategy is a possibility when you go up-market and add more features to your B2B Saas product.

Enterprise sales is rarely a model used by start-ups. Use these questions to determine whether the enterprise model is for you:

  • Do you offer cutting-edge tools targeted at big brands?
  • Do you have a feature-rich automation solution that automates strategic processes for mid-to-large companies?

Enterprise sales is also called complex sales. Its high stakes nature necessitates an effective SaaS sales process, pricing model, and sales team. The impact on business from delayed revenue or deals falling apart due to unpredictable challenges also require scrutiny to decide whether it is the best SaaS sales model for your company.