You found product-market fit. You gained traction. Now you’re up for a new challenge.
You’re ready to move up-market.
Let’s talk about obstacles you may encounter when selling up-market and how to solve them.
Your new buyers will be different than your current buyers.
Confirmation bias is the enemy of product-market fit. The messaging that got you to $1M ARR won’t be the same messaging that gets you to $10M and beyond. Likely, your existing product marketing does not speak to the pains, needs and motivations of enterprise buyers. Assuming your current marketing materials will do the job means missing an opportunity to prove your value in a new market.
- Conduct buyer research. Through research and in-depth conversations, seek to understand potential buyers’ pains, needs and preferences. Don’t undervalue research — it’s critical to identifying needs you may not know exist and helps you narrow in on the words that will resonate with buyers.
- Update your product marketing strategy. If you invested in product marketing early in your startup’s journey, the foundation may not entirely change. But enterprise buyers face different challenges than small to medium sized businesses, so you’ll need different words to resonate with them. Update messaging in activation copy, product copy and key marketing/sales materials. Once you understand buyer needs, identify how your product fits in their lives.
The market may not need what you want to give it.
You’re ready to move up-market. But is the market ready for you? Great product marketing helps you attract buyers. But if your product isn’t fit for enterprise customers, you won’t engage or retain them.
Enterprise buyers expect a product that bends over backwards to fit their needs. If your product is ready, but your messaging doesn’t translate features into benefits that enterprise customers want and understand, you’ll struggle to attract buyers.
- Invest in market research. Understanding the landscape you’re entering will prepare you for what’s next. Market research is the best way to keep tabs on trends and get a holistic view of the market you’re entering, which removes the guesswork.
- Be specific about your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP). “Enterprise” isn’t going to cut it. Industry- and buyer-specific characteristics are still in play. Know exactly who your product is for and how it adds value to them. Use specific inputs to generate specific outputs.
- Stake your claim. Positioning answers 1) who is our ideal buyer, and 2) what are their needs. You must claim a niche in the market and show ideal buyers how you’re solving their needs in a way that competitors can’t.
You can’t ignore brand.
Your visual identity is more than just a logo and a tagline. A successful brand employs the right words and visuals to excite your buyers, create your desired perception in market, and give your team something to rally behind. When your ICP changes, your brand should too.
- Seek brand strategy help. Most B2B SaaS startups don’t have anyone dedicated to brand in house —and that’s okay. Brand strategists understand your product and the market inside and out, and, with the help of brand designers, translate your personality and value into exceptional visuals that make customers believe.
- Fill in the gaps and activate. Once you’ve updated your brand, make sure you have people on your team who can activate it in all the right ways. To serve enterprise customers, you’ll want to focus on go-to-market and sales enablement materials, refreshing your UI, and updating your website to include all of the changes you’ve made.
Moving up-market can expand your market and grow your business. But if you ignore the differences between your existing market and the one you’re trying to enter, you’ll struggle to find success.
- Don’t assume your new buyers are like your current buyers. Instead, invest in buyer research and update your product marketing strategy.
- Don’t assume the market needs what you want to give it. Instead, invest in market research, be specific about your ICP and stake your claim.
- Don’t ignore brand. Instead, seek out brand strategy help, fill in the gaps and activate.
Looking to move your B2B SaaS product up-market? Find out how our product marketing and brand experts can help you gain traction in a new market.