How does a SaaS company reach enterprise buyers? Enterprise decision-makers have unique problems they need to solve, but they don’t always have time to experiment with a platform or sit through dozens of software demos to find the right solution.
Abadesi Osunsade, the VP of Global Community & Belonging at Brandwatch and Notion’s CEO and Co-Founder, Ivan Zhao, share their secrets on how to grow an enterprise audience by building a community around your brand.
A Different Way to Approach Enterprise Leads
When it comes to creating an enterprise pipeline, Notion takes a unique approach. Zhao says, “Our business model is B2B SaaS, but our sales motion is similar to a consumer-like company…there’s a lot of B2C elements to it.”
Notion has found the most success in attracting larger, enterprise-level customers through the recommendations of their internal team members that use Notion in their personal lives. For example, the use of Notion at Square began with just a few teams, but eventually, the entire company started using the platform and became a full enterprise client.
Zhao furthers his point by emphasizing that: “This B2C plus B2B motion gives us a lot of sales efficiency. But in order for us to pull off this motion, we have to have a strong consumer brand, not just a business brand.” Part of this means investing in fun and approachable marketing, like social media and group forums.
Osunsade adds, “When you have a B2C angle, you’re actually getting a lot of those B2B leads from your happy B2C customers.”
Building Community: Start With Ambassadors and Champions
To build a thriving user community around your SaaS brand, Zhao emphasizes the following essential elements:
- Product Flexibility: The product must be easily adaptable to serve a wide variety of customers. Your users must be able to create their own product relationship that’s unique to them and suits their particular needs.
- Aligned Interests: Your business interests should align with your community’s interests. Zhao says, “You cannot build a community that’s just about helping yourself. You really have to understand what motivates the people who spend time engaging [with] your product.”
- Nurturing Your Community: Notion employs full-time community builders. Their job is to coordinate with the community, listen and relay feedback to the team to keep the product at peak performance and to foster a positive customer-business relationship.
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Community & Enterprise Growth: Tactical Advice and Observations
It’s one thing for potential buyers to hear positive things about a product from a business, but it’s quite another to hear it from other users. The Notion team actively designs their enterprise community effort around two angles:
- The Notion Consultant Community: This group is comprised of individuals who sell their Notion templates and who help SMBs and enterprise companies set up their Notion workspaces.
- Notion Champions: This approach is still a bit experimental, but this group is made up of Notion fans who want to bring the platform into their mid-size to large companies. Notion intends to connect these like-minded fans to keep the conversation flowing and, hopefully, promote large-scale business adoption.
Furthermore, Notion enhances the appeal for enterprise buyers who are extremely busy and need to solve specific problems. They incorporate elements like Slack channels in their enterprise communities, so there isn’t a confusing or lengthy process to find answers, and they don’t need to download or learn to use brand new tools.
- Don’t take ubiquity for granted. Every touchpoint matters.
- Enable storytelling. This will appeal to enterprise clients as you scale.
- Always add value. Align your business goals with your user community.