Enterprise customers are demanding.
Long sales cycles, filled with requests for custom features and integrations, can monopolize your developers and your sales team. If a contract falls through, a lot of time and money will fall through with it.
But the move upmarket doesn't need to be such a struggle. If you're willing to slightly alter your sales strategy, you can quickly impress new clients and close enterprise deals.
Enterprise clients present three primary challenges to growing B2B companies:
- Legacy technology stacks: Enterprises prioritize stability and often favor products from companies that have long histories in their industries.
- Intensive security demands: Enterprises handle large volumes of data that make security breaches especially risky.
- Unique needs: Enterprises have numerous stakeholders who need to be satisfied, some of whom will demand simplicity and others customization.
With Auth0's B2B federation, you can shorten the sales cycle with compatible infrastructure, ensure that the connections between your product and their employees are secure, and address their unique needs with custom configurations.
Offer Compatibility Options to Shorten Your Sales Cycles with Enterprise Customers
The bigger an organization gets, the more internal and third-party tools — all potentially built on different stacks with different protocols — are likely to be in use. The person you're initially selling to might not even know all the infrastructure complications lying in wait.
A primary example is identity and access management (IAM) providers. Your ability to integrate with whichever provider your customers use can drastically shorten or lengthen the sales cycle. If they use Active Directory (and hundreds of thousands do), you'll need to implement that before you can close the deal.
If you let the sales cycle stretch out (already estimated at 3-6 months for deals that exceed $100,000 in annual contract value), your internal advocate might move to a different position or company, or the benefits of your initial pitch might not remain relevant. Meanwhile, you might be losing out on other opportunities as you pay expensive developers to make your back end work with theirs.
Worse, if your next customer has a different back end, you'll have to do it all over again.
Auth0 offers B2B federation that integrates with 10+ IAM providers. With a few lines of code, you can configure any enterprise connection, including Active Directory, LDAP, ADFS, SAML, and more.
B2B federation provides the technical compatibility that makes your product more trustworthy and easier to use. By configuring your app with Auth0, you effectively configure it for numerous providers at once.
A sustainable enterprise sales strategy builds from one company to the next, so you don't need to start over each time.
"Auth0 offers B2B federation that integrates with 10+ IAM providers. Active Directory, LDAP, ADFS, SAML? Bring it on!"
Show Enterprise Customers They Can Trust You
High-profile data breaches have made enterprises increasingly risk-averse. To a wary enterprise, another partnership might seem like another vulnerability. New products, though they might be valuable, risk widening an enterprise's attack surface.
Enterprises are more likely than SMBs to have security and compliance teams that will take a critical look at your product. These teams need more than assurance. Their input for your service-level agreements will go beyond up-times and scalability and into strict security parameters and compliance standards.
If you provide federation through Auth0, however, maintaining security and compliance in the authentication process is much easier. Auth0 combines the simplicity of a federated identity provider with customizable security features. Your customers can enable tools like multi-factor authentication (MFA) and reinforce compliance procedures as necessary.
With MFA, your enterprise clients know that access to sensitive materials won't be granted to anyone with a username and password. Despite these barriers to malicious access, administrators can approve requests easily across a variety of devices.
Guardian, Auth0's MFA application, also provides Mobile SDKs for iOS and Android that enable you to build a white-labeled MFA application that matches a customer's branding.
Auth0 is compliant with a wide range of security, privacy, and compliance standards, such as HIPAA BAA, SOC 2 Type II, and PCI DSS, so you can demonstrate an understanding of your customer's industry-specific needs.
If you're competing with other products that have similar value propositions, the trust you build with enterprise customers can tip a decision in your favor. With Auth0 backing you, it's easier to address concerns from security and compliance teams. The faster and better you can satisfy these stakeholders, the closer you can get to completing a deal.
"Auth0 is compliant with a wide range of security, privacy, and compliance standards such as HIPAA BAA, SOC 2 Type II, and PCI DSS that lets you cover your customer's industry-specific needs."
Sell across Organizations with Single Sign on and Customization
Selling to an enterprise requires selling across levels and pleasing different parties. Your point of contact might be excited by the core value proposition, but the project managers might be worried about its execution. If all decision-makers aren't in agreement, a deal months in the making can fall apart.
Authentication can be a significant hurdle. IT staff, for example, might resist a new product if it threatens to increase their account-management workloads. Other stakeholders might resist the sheer addition of more credentials to memorize.
Single sign-on (SSO) can dispatch these concerns. With Auth0, employees will only have to enter their credentials once.
Enterprises have a higher volume of users and tools, so the ability to sign on once is compelling.
Safari, a company that provides access for corporate learning materials, leveraged Auth0's SSO capabilities to expand to enterprise customers. SSO cut support calls for account management without Safari having to dedicate specialized resources. They have since added numerous enterprise customers, differentiating their offering with easy authentication across desktop and mobile devices.
If you need to make integration and usage even smoother, Auth0 also provides customizable Rules. With this customization engine, you can make unique authentication and authorization stages for the customers that need it.
You can use Rules to assist migration by reusing information from existing databases, maintain a white list for particular users, notify systems of login attempts, and more.
Moving Upmarket Requires a Renewed Strategy
Moving upmarket is more complicated than aiming your sales team at a different target. While you might be able to validate product/market fit with smaller companies first, moving to enterprise clients requires significant planning.
Moving too fast can threaten your stability. A big contract might seem like a win at first, but without a diverse customer base, too much of your sustainability might hinge on a single large customer. If you shift your business to serve only a few clients, then your future belongs to those contracts—and that's a position no one wants to be in.
Closing deals with enterprise customers means closing the gap between a legacy provider's track record and your ability to meet the needs of your customer. The better you can tailor your product to their needs, the more you'll be able to shorten the sales cycle and build more valuable relationships for the long-run.
Auth0 by Okta takes a modern approach to customer identity and enables organizations to provide secure access to any application, for any user. Auth0 is a highly customizable platform that is as simple as development teams want, and as flexible as they need. Safeguarding billions of login transactions each month, Auth0 delivers convenience, privacy, and security so customers can focus on innovation. For more information, visit https://auth0.com.