Home Blog Small, Mid-Market, or Enterprise? A Definition That Could Make or Break Your Product Marketing Success.

Small, Mid-Market, or Enterprise? A Definition That Could Make or Break Your Product Marketing Success.

January 14, 2022 Edwin Kooistra

“Which target is better to focus on: SMB, mid-market or straight to the enterprise?” This is one of the first and key strategic questions many tech founders ask. 

After all, prospects are all suffering from similar pain points and seeking similar solutions, and so you should be able to apply the same sales process of selling tech products for all target customers, right?


Even if the world of sales continues to change and evolve, old-school sales tactics don’t always work, and many new ones are causing challenges— but there is still one sales tactic that every product marketer should master: relationship selling.

What is Relationship Selling?

As the name generally implies, it’s all about the connection and relationship you build with your potential buyers.

With only 3% of buyers trusting sales reps, missing out on building a rapport with a buyer and cultivating a healthy relationship in the sales cycle means missing out on long-term revenue and the ongoing health of your business.

To build trust, you need a custom-fit product which often means designing a strategy around specific price points, buyer personas, or product tiers. A customer willing to pay $100k for a product likely won’t follow the same cycle as a prospect with a $10k budget.  

Let’s take a look at how enterprise sales differ from SMB and mid-market sales.

Small, Mid Market, or Enterprise Sales?

Yes, relationship selling still matters in high-velocity sales motion, but not the same way when working with enterprise models. The SMB deal boils down to developing a product that doesn’t need to be sophisticated but at least solves a problem for the greater market and then distributing it to everyone who is best suited to use it. You work with single decision-makers, so no significant risk is there and no need for a congress act to get the deal done. 

Enterprise Marketing

Where SMB deals need short sales cycles with a transactional structure relying on volume and optimization, enterprise sales strategies are the complete opposite. 

With more decision-makers coming into play, the buyer journey is more sophisticated, longer, and at greater risk. 

Mid-Market Marketing

Mid-Market deals represent the grey area that is very hard to define. They are still about finding the buyers who are the best fit for your product while prioritizing product discovery and delivery. In other words, a transactional approach won’t work here, and you’ll still need to tweak your product for your buyer as well. 

This brings us to the conclusion that a “one-size-does-fit-all” mindset doesn’t do the work required. Instead of fitting an existing product to as many buyers as possible, you need to build a custom solution for individual customers. 

Buyer Driven Product Marketing Strategy

There is no single go-to-market strategy for all companies. An enterprise sales strategy can drive more revenue for a company with more complex customer groups, while a small-market or a medium-market sales model may be a better option for another company. 

Some product providers should go directly to the consumer, while others must seek partnerships in order to scale. The ultimate driver in which sales strategy you consider must be the type of prospects you have or hope to engage.

Cater to their needs and fears and develop a strategy that makes them see your product as the right choice. And, here comes the role of proper product positioning and its influence on potential customers’ perception for a complete product experience (CPE). Read more about the 6 Steps for a Successful Tech Product Positioning.

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Edwin Kooistra - Product Marketer & Founder

Technology can be a huge differentiator but leveraging emerging technologies can be challenging. After my degree in Business Information Technology I decided to work on the provider side of Technology, because I believe Technology providers play an important role in guiding enterprises on their digital journey. Besides helping tech businesses to optimize their growth and go-to-market strategies, I also like to write about the topic. I hope you find it useful!

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