Enterprise sales done right – lessons from AcceptEmail’s CEO Peter Kwakernaak [video]
AEGON, Santander, T-Mobile and AB InBev are some big name corporate companies that many startups would like to have on their list of clients. But how to you do enterprise sales right in the first place? And if everything goes well how do you expand internationally to go after the really large ‘whale’ companies like the ones you can find in the USA for instance? In this episode of HitEnter Samir Saberi talks to Peter Kwakernaak, the CEO of the billing and payments platform AcceptEmail about his company, enterprise sales and the larger fintech ecosystem.
Doing enterprise sales right
The aforementioned companies are actually clients of AcceptEmail, but as Kwakernaak attests, it wasn’t easy to get them on board: “We said give us a shot before you send it to collection an agent and give us a try”, he says. The company had to build the relationship with their corporate clients from the ground-up, beginning ‘at the end of the chain’ providing evidence in every instance that the platform worked. “If you can show that you have done it before and if you’re trying to be the standard you will get there eventually.” Having one or two customers per sector that can back that your offering provides great value for money might just be the break you need because ‘they look at each other and talk to each other.’
Kwakernaak argues that though you’re providing an innovative platform talking to innovation managers might not be the best enterprise sales strategy. “Innovation managers are not very much on our screen. We definitely go directly to the business owners”, he says. Arguing that innovation managers are often focusing on the big picture and not focusing on straight forward problems.
For startups wanting to expand internationally following existing clients might be a good strategy to follow, although even then it’s not easy. “It’s not a walk in the park, but still a valid strategy to go for”, says Kwakernaak going on to discuss the intricacies of doing enterprise sales right in the US. Kwakernaak: “You can sell to an American company without actually seeing anybody. People are very efficient, but you have to do multi-level selling and that could take some time.”
As the CEO of a successful fintech startup Kwakernaak expects that the most interesting trend in the fintech ecosystem will be instant payments. “I think that that’s going to happen. “We all expect that our payments go from person A to person B in splits seconds and not in days”, he says.
This episode of Hit Enter was brought to you by StartupJuncture in association with KPMG Innovative Startups. It was produced by Hit & Run Media Productions and hosted by WeWork Amsterdam.
KPMG is a global network of firms providing Audit, Tax and Advisory services. KPMG has a global Innovative Startups initiative. The team in the Netherlands is led by Daniël Horn and Ghislaine Bowier and aimds to bridge the gap between corporates and startup.
Large organizations do need startups to accelerate innovation and there is great value for companies that success to tap into the speed, focus and applied creativity of startups. KPMG helps large organizations worldwide to find the right startups and develop new products and services. The team helps large organizations with their innovation strategy and supports the setup of successful collaborations.
Meanwhile KPMG Innovative Startups develops new products and services with startups, primarily in the data & analytics and fintech space. In the venture program technology companies work directly with KPMG service lines to create new sustainable value for business worldwide.
If you have a startup and you would like to explore the synergies with KPMG, click here. If you like to learn more about events and activities of the team, follow the Linkedin Innovative Startup page.