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POV: The Unique Needs of Enterprises Can Be Non-Starters For Some Vendors

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February 23, 2023

6 mins read

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POV: The Unique Needs of Enterprises Can Be Non-Starters For Some Vendors

It’s no secret that enterprise-sized organizations have unique needs, but how often are these needs really taken into account by vendors trying to gain market share in that segment?

Beyond the obvious trait that most enterprises are large, often globally dispersed organizations, what other needs are unique to enterprises? While there could be lots of needs to call out, here are just a few that are often overlooked:

  1. Most enterprises need technology that can scale. While that seems obvious, you’d be surprised how many vendors have inflexible systems or systems that are based on hard coded data. Sad but true.
  2. As companies grow, security also becomes a key sticking point. Not only must the enterprise have secure systems in place for their data, but any vendor or technology they leverage will also need to meet this requirement.
  3. As mentioned above, a common trait of enterprises is that they are globally dispersed. And even if they are not currently, they likely have global expansion as one of their north star metrics.
  4. Enterprises usually have a buying committee and procurement process when evaluating new technologies. There’s likely a formal RFP in place and a number of stakeholders that have requirements that need to be met. Single-threaded conversations are the quickest way to find yourself ghosted in an enterprise RFP.

Let’s talk about each of these in turn and why they make a difference for enterprises.

Most enterprises need technology that can scale

It makes sense – enterprises are large and need flexibility in the technologies they adopt in order to scale. This flexibility can take different forms. For example, perhaps they need the technology to help automate workflows for them. Or maybe they need the technology to be customizable to fit their current state of business. Whatever the form, each enterprise will likely be different and the technology they adopt needs to be able to meet those needs. One technology that can help enterprises scale is an account-based marketing platform. For more on why, check out this ebook, “The Hidden Costs of Doing Nothing: Why B2B Enterprises Need an ABM Platform.”

Security is non-negotiable

Data breaches happen more than anyone would like and yet some companies are slow to adopt or unable to meet the requirements for stricter security measures. At Demandbase, an enterprise RFP typically involves answering a lot of security questions. We’ve invested in enterprise-grade security that maintains SOC 2 Type II and ISO 27001:2013 certifications, reserved for organizations that consistently demonstrate strong standard operating procedures. If you’re a vendor looking to expand into the enterprise space, consider whether your security is enterprise-grade or in need of additional investment.

Think global 

Corporate citizens are global and companies need to think globally to ensure long term success. Some technology platforms are just not ready to scale at the global level. Whether that means the product is in another language or the data in the platform can be separated for different business units or countries, there’s different ways that global enterprises go to market that need to be taken into consideration. Demandbase recently announced Workspaces, which allows customers to configure account partitions for their business units, keeping data and activities separated. What’s unique about Demandbase Workspaces is that it’s more than just filtering the data. Different business units can keep their data completely separate from other business units also using Demandbase so that insights and actions stay within a workspace or business unit.

Going beyond the individual B2B buyer

When engaging with an enterprise, it’s important to remember that more than one person is likely involved in a buying decision. A buying committee or buying group is usually established for an RFP to ensure that all stakeholders and parties leveraging the new technology have a chance to provide their requirements. This is where it becomes important to try and identify members of the buying committee to sway them in favor of your technology. This is easier said than done but luckily, go-to-market platforms like Demandbase have the right technology to help you find and target these buying committee members. The key is to multi-thread the discussion and prove to every stakeholder why your product best serves their needs.

For organizations looking to expand into the enterprise segment, understanding the above needs are important, but what can you do to actually find and target this segment? Since the buying committee is an important element of a deal, what can you do to find and engage members of the buying committee? To start, having the right technology in place can help your organization get ahead of the competition, especially if a target account has a global footprint. Let’s explore what the right technology can do for you:

Intent matters

Let’s start with intent. What is intent and why should you care? Intent is defined as the behavioral buying signals that a person is showing when they are researching your product or service. Many companies leverage intent provided by a third-party vendor like Bombora, G2 or TrustRadius. There are also go-to-market platforms, like Demandbase, that provide their own proprietary intent. Whichever direction you decide to go, it’s important to note that unlike traditional lead generation marketing, using intent means identifying a buying opportunity before a lead gen form is filled out. And as different individuals within a buying committee research solutions online, those buying signals help to signal who are the potential members of a buying committee.

Pinpoint the location of the activity

Some intent providers, like Demandbase, even provide the geolocation of that intent signal. This is super helpful if you are targeting an enterprise organization with many business units or if your organization has offices in different countries. Intent by geolocation helps you narrow down where the intent signal is coming from. 

Besides intent, it’s also important to know where your website traffic is coming from. Providing website traffic by geolocation helps you better understand which regional offices of multinational companies are engaging with your website. If coupled with other engagement activity, like in Demandbase, organizations can easily focus on a particular geographic area, and report on activity from within that geographic area (including engagement sourced from CRM and marketing automation in addition to unknown web visitor data).

Target the right buyer

Once you’ve identified that an account is in-market, targeting them with relevant messages is the next step. Demandbase Advertising optimizes bids by intent to prevent large accounts from being overly targeted. When you want to spend your marketing dollars efficiently, using Demandbase Advertising is the logical choice for this reason. On top of intent optimized bids, you can also supplement your advertising strategy with people based advertising from Demandbase. You can target using Known Contacts, Job Function, Job Level, and Persona to help ensure you’re targeting the right people at an account. Using this combination of intent and people helps organizations target the right buyers of an account for maximum efficiency. 

So if you’re thinking about moving up-market and targeting enterprises, remember that enterprises have unique needs. Meeting those unique needs, like being scalable, supporting different business units or identifying buying committee members will get you a long way in making the short list for your next enterprise RFP. Happy prospecting! 

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Ruth Juni

Director of Product Marketing, Demandbase

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