What is the process of selling SaaS to a big corporation as a small startup? What are the usual purchasing guidelines for a manager that is convinced and wants to buy a certain service for his team?

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JASON LEMKIN

Here’s the one thing that’s not obvious from the outside: Big Companies have more lenient standards for “emerging vendors”.

Big Companies know that to work with early-stage startups, they have to assume certain risks. That the startups won’t be as stable financially. That they probably won’t be as robust or secure as more established competition. Etc.

They know that.

In fact, for example, in security audits, they often have a lower score they will accept. You can’t fail a security audit. But you don’t have to score as high as Salesforce does.

But … the flip side, is they don’t put more risky products right into core mission-critical processes, at least not quickly.

They mitigate these risks by doing POCs (Proofs-of-Concepts), deploying first to groups “at the edge” (where going down, having issue is less of a risk, etc.), and starting more slowly.

So be direct and honest.

You are selling your innovation and your commitment to it, as well as whatever clever functionality you have today that is 10x better than the incumbents.

But they know you are just a startup. The guidelines are more flexible.

So work with them.

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Published on September 28, 2017
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