Chapter 29. Selling into Enterprise Markets

Think Lean Analytics only applies to consumer-focused businesses? Think again.

Sure, it’s easier to experiment on consumers—there are so many of them out there, and they make decisions irrationally, so you can toy with their emotions. There’s no doubt that cloud computing and social media have made it easy to launch something and spread the word without significant upfront investment, and consumer startups are media icons, even fodder for Hollywood.[136] Even business-to-business startups, such as SaaS providers, often target small and medium companies.

But a data-informed approach to business is good for any kind of organization. Plenty of great founders went after big business problems, and got rich doing so. As TechCrunch reporter Alex Williams put it, “While the enterprise can be as boring as hell, the whole goddamn thing is paved with gold.”[137] Enterprise-focused startups do have to deal with some unique challenges along the way, which changes the metrics they watch and how they collect them, but it’s worth it.

Why Are Enterprise Customers Different?

Let’s start with the good news: it’s easier to find enterprises to talk to. They’re in the phone book. They might have time for coffee. They have budgets. And for many of the people in these organizations, it’s part of their job to evaluate new solutions, meet with vendors, and share their needs to see if someone can solve them more explicitly. Armed with a decent caffeine allowance, you ...

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