Facebook iconSaaS Sales Strategies for Small vs. Enterprise Customers
WhatsApp Icon (SVG)
BlogsSaaS DevelopmentSaaS Sales Strategies: Targeting Small vs. Enterprise Customers

SaaS Sales Strategies: Targeting Small vs. Enterprise Customers

Dec 1, 20235 min read
by Murtuza Kutub
SaaS Sales Strategies: Targeting Small vs. Enterprise Customers Hero

Did you know that companies with less than 100 employees make up over 90% of businesses worldwide according to the World Bank?

Given this huge small business landscape, it's no surprise that many SaaS companies focus their SaaS sales strategies on this segment versus large enterprises. 

However, small businesses and enterprise customers have very different needs. SaaS companies must tailor their outreach accordingly to find sales success. This post compares small business and enterprise sales SaaS customer profiles and outlines effective sales strategies for each type. 

Understanding Small Business Customers

Small businesses have unique needs and challenges that inform how SaaS companies should approach them. For example, a 10-person marketing agency will have a very different use case and budget compared to a Fortune 500 retailer with a 200-person marketing department. Small businesses often lack dedicated IT staff and have smaller overall budgets. 

In terms of a sales strategy for SaaS targeting such customers, the focus should be on simplicity, affordability, and immediate value. These businesses often make quicker decisions, driven by immediate needs and budget constraints, which should be a key consideration in your approach.

However, they tend to be more nimble in adopting new technologies. For a SaaS company, small businesses represent a volume opportunity requiring high-touch sales and onboarding support. An example is a SaaS email marketing platform that offers scaled pricing tiers and dedicated support reps for its small business segment. 

Strategies for Selling to Small Businesses

When selling to small businesses, the key is consultative selling and exceptional customer experience. Here are some proven SaaS sales strategies for the small business segment:

Personalized Outreach - Small businesses value personal attention. Tailoring your SaaS sales strategies to address their specific challenges creates a connection. Personalized emails, tailored demos, and direct phone calls can be effective

Focus on solving pain points - Understand their top frustrations and challenges, and tailor your pitch to address them. Spend time asking questions about their current workflows.

Offer free trials - Small teams want to vet new tools completely before buying, so free trials are extremely appealing. Make signing up frictionless.

Provide onboarding support - Small businesses need more hand-holding getting set up and learning your platform. Invest in onboarding resources and proactive check-ins

Get creative with pricing - Tiered plans, introductory discounts, and annual contracts improve affordability. Offer bundles and add-ons once they start seeing value.

Promote through peers - Word-of-mouth and peer referrals are highly influential for small biz owners. Identify happy customers who can organically endorse you.

Leverage social media - Small business owners hang out on Facebook Groups, LinkedIn, Twitter, and more. Meet them where they are online.

Understanding Enterprise Customers

Imagine a world where every business, big or small, uses the same strategy for everything. It wouldn’t make much sense, right? This is especially true in the SaaS sales strategies

In small businesses, the focus is often on cost-effective and efficient solutions, while enterprise sales SaaS sectors are more complex, involving multiple stakeholders and a longer decision-making process

Selling to enterprises requires a different approach than SMBs. Enterprise sales cycles are longer and more complex. You need to establish trust and credibility with multiple stakeholders. Rather than quick self-serve purchases, enterprise deals may take months and require custom pilots, demos, and negotiated contracts.

For example, a 50,000-employee global bank will vet vendors much more rigorously than a local retailer with 50 staff. Keywords: sales strategy SaaS, enterprise SaaS sales process

Enterprise sales are very relationship-based. You have to meet enterprise customers, have multiple calls to explain the value proposition, and tailor pricing. SMBs are more self-serve - you can pitch them through your website and trials

Enterprise deals require an understanding of regional dynamics as well. For instance, Slack offered 80% discounts in India since $10 per user was too expensive for most companies. Adapting to local markets is key for global SaaS enterprises.

Strategies for Selling to Enterprises  

Successfully selling to enterprises requires a strategic focus on relationships, value, and persistence. Here are proven tactics:

Customized Solutions and Consultative Selling:

When it comes to b2b sales strategy examples, the focus in enterprise sales SaaS is on providing customized solutions. This involves a consultative selling approach, where understanding the specific needs and challenges of each enterprise client is key

Identify key decision makers - Map all stakeholders you need to influence from IT, business units, and procurement.

Communicate business value - Quantify ROI and impact on operations. Enterprise buyers care about concrete results.

Get executive sponsorship - Having a senior internal champion accelerates complex sales.

Offer pilots and demos - Let key users test the product live before full rollout.

Highlight security and compliance - These are mandatory for enterprise deals. Provide audit reports

Be flexible on contracts - Negotiate terms and pricing structure. Build partnerships.

Stay persistent through cycles - Follow up diligently through long sales processes.

Selling to enterprises in the SaaS space requires a strategic, relationship-focused approach, with an emphasis on customization, value delivery, and long-term partnership building

Understanding the unique characteristics and needs of enterprise clients is key to developing successful SaaS sales strategies for this segment.

How to Balance the Approach

The enterprise SaaS sales process vastly differs from selling to small businesses, and each requires a distinct approach

Firstly, understanding the fundamental differences in these segments is key. Small businesses often look for cost-effective, easy-to-implement solutions that solve their immediate problems

In contrast, the enterprise SaaS sales process involves multiple decision-makers and a focus on long-term, scalable solutions. Enterprises are usually not just buying a product; they are investing in a partnership that will grow and evolve with their business needs.

Incorporating flexibility in your product offering is another vital aspect. Providing scalable solutions that can be tailored to suit a wide range of business sizes and types will broaden your appeal. This flexibility also demonstrates to potential customers that your SaaS solution can grow and adapt to their business, whether they are a small startup or a large corporation.

One of the successful B2B sales strategy examples is offering tiered pricing models. This approach can cater to small businesses with limited budgets while also providing more comprehensive, higher-priced packages for enterprise clients who require extensive features and support.

These strategies allow SaaS companies to structure their sales and marketing to effectively attract both types of customers.

Challenges and Solutions

Tailoring sales strategies to different customer segments comes with inherent challenges. Here are some common issues SaaS companies face:

Long Sales Cycles in Enterprise Sales

Enterprise deals typically involve longer sales cycles due to the complexity and scale of the solutions required. The key to managing this is patience and consistent engagement

Building a relationship with potential enterprise clients through regular follow-ups, understanding their evolving needs, and staying present in their decision-making process can lead to successful conversions.

Customization Demands

Enterprises often require customized solutions to fit their specific needs. To address this, invest in a flexible product architecture and a skilled technical team capable of tailoring your product to various requirements

Offering customization as a part of your enterprise sales SaaS pricing strategy can significantly enhance your appeal to larger clients.

Balancing Cost and Value

Finding the right pricing strategy that appeals to both small businesses and enterprises is challenging. For small businesses, emphasize the immediate value and ROI of your solution

For enterprises, focus on the long-term benefits and how your product aligns with their strategic goals. Offering tiered pricing models can also cater to a broader range of budgets and needs.

Final Thoughts

Whether it’s a small business looking for an immediate solution or an enterprise seeking a long-term partnership, each customer segment presents unique opportunities and challenges. Sales strategy SaaS must be flexible, adaptable, and customer-centric, focusing on building relationships and tailoring solutions to meet varying needs.

And if you're looking for expert guidance in formulating and executing effective SaaS sales strategies, F22 Labs is here to help. With our SaaS development services, you can craft a sales strategy that resonates with both small businesses and enterprise clients, driving growth and success for your SaaS venture.


  1. World Bank SME Finance: https://www.worldbank.org/en/topic/smefinanceto

Author Detail

Author-Murtuza Kutub
Murtuza Kutub

A product development and growth expert, helping founders and startups build and grow their products at lightning speed with a track record of success. Apart from work, I love to network & Travel.


Next for you