Licensing Your Digital Products for Enterprise Usage and Custom Solutions
While many digital products are marketed to individuals and small teams, substantial opportunities also exist licensing products to enterprise companies for broader internal usage and customization. This guide covers considerations, benefits, platforms, and best practices for licensing digital IP to large organizations.
Whether you offer software, online courses, digital templates, data, or other virtual goods – a strategic approach to enterprise licensing will enable tapping into lucrative institutional budgets while protecting your intellectual property.
Evaluating Enterprise Licensing Potential
Not all digital products translate naturally for enterprise deployment. Assess market fit based on these key factors:
The more universally relevant the product is across diverse roles, teams, and industries – the greater its enterprise appeal. Niche is harder.
How readily can the product be configured or customized to align with specific enterprise environments, data needs, branding, access controls etc? Rigidity limits appeal.
Can the product integrate with essential enterprise systems like identity management, data warehouses, collaboration software, business intelligence dashboards etc? Important for workflows.
Ongoing Content Updates
Are new features, content, data etc added continually to justify ongoing license value? Stagnant products don’t warrant continuous licensing.
Does the product provide detailed usage analytics and administrative controls to manage licenses at scale and track ROI? Essential for oversight.
Security & Compliance
Are enterprise-grade security, privacy protections, compliance certifications, and SLAs available to satisfy rigorous institutional standards? Table stakes.
Evaluating these elements indicates whether pursuing enterprise distribution is a natural fit or if more institutional adaptations would be required before large organizations will consider adopting your digital IP.
Benefits of Enterprise Licensing for Digital Creators
There are multiple advantages to licensing digital products to enterprise clients:
Significantly Larger Deal Sizes
Instead of individual sales, you can negotiate sizable five or six figure license contracts with sizable organizations.
Broader Reach With Less Marketing
Influencing key decision makers taps into huge readymade bases of employee users under centralized purchasing.
Steady Recurring Revenue Streams
Enterprise licenses tend to be multi-year deals with ongoing support fees, not one-off transactions. More predictable business.
Gain Institutional Credibility
Prestige of being approved by Fortune 500 companies or major public sector agencies provides credibility for attracting other large clients.
Facilitates Investor Discussions
Proven ability to land and deliver on major enterprise deals strengthens your position when pitching investors.
Fewer Individual Customer Headaches
For certain digital products, avoiding thousands of consumer micro-transactions can be a welcome simplification.
Enterprise clients demand higher service levels and customizations, but present an enormously scalable distribution channel if you can clear their high bars for security, capabilities, and reliability.
Licensing Models for Enterprise Deals
Several approaches exist for structuring enterprise licensing agreements. Common models include:
Enterprise pays a single upfront license fee for perpetual usage rights. Potentially large lump sums but no ongoing payments.
Enterprise licenses product on annual contract basis. Locks in recurring revenue stream and built-in upsell opportunities each renewal.
License fees based on maximum number of simultaneous users supported. Scales cost with employee base size.
Per User Pricing
Fee charged for each individual named user account. Let’s you scale revenue based on expansions of user base.
Offer pricing tiers based on number of user accounts, usage volume, features included etc. Higher tiers enable targeting larger organizations.
Offer custom branded version of your product exclusively for that enterprise client, including their logos, color schemes, terminology.
White Label Licensing
Take your product “private label” where enterprise can brand as their own creation without your brand identity.
Evaluate which models align best with your product capabilities, market, and customer needs at an enterprise scale. Hybrid options are possible too.
Building an Enterprise Sales Strategy
Reaching large institutional customers requires dedicated strategies optimized for long complex sales cycles, including:
Dedicated Landing Pages
Develop sections of your website specifically focused on enterprise solutions, compliance, security, case studies, pricing, and sales contact options.
Target Key Roles
Identify the job titles most likely to be digital purchasing decision makers and tech evaluators for each product. Examples: CIO, Director of Learning & Development, CTO. Research where those personas congregate online and off.
Paid Targeted Ads
Run LinkedIn and display ads aimed at enterprise accounts and titles most relevant for your offering based on your ideal customer profile (ICP) research.
Enterprise SEO Keywords
Optimize pages for keyphrases like “software for banks”, “training for airlines”, “tech for universities” etc. to attract commercial buyers.
Sponsor and present webinars, virtual conferences, and targeted virtual exhibitions where your institutional buyers tend to network and exchange information online.
Industry Association Partnerships
Join relevant trade groups, speak at their events, advertise in their publications and leverage their relationships for warm introductions to member prospects.
Direct Outbound Sales
Proactively identifying high potential targets for emails, cold calls and demos based on employee size, budgets, tech stacks etc. Most time intensive tactic but can be very effective.
Allocating sufficient time, budget and resources for enterprise sales and marketing is necessary to capitalize on B2B opportunities.
Best Practices for Enterprise Licensing Agreements
Crafting effective licenses for large institutional clients involves navigating unique considerations, including:
Clear Product Scope Definition
Clearly specify which features, capabilities, content, and updates are included and excluded from license to avoid confusions as product evolves.
Explicit Usage Limits
Define limits on number of user accounts, geographic territories, usage volume etc. to prevent enterprise over-extending access while balancing their needs.
Customer Data Control Terms
Spell out how customer data can and cannot be used, retained, shared by you to satisfy internal security policies. Important for compliance.
Sufficient Legal Protections
Include robust liability caps, indemnifications, insurance minimums, non-competes, non-solicitations and other protections to mitigate enterprise risks given large contract size.
Require clients keep license terms, pricing, and product details protected from disclosure to competitors or partners.
Professional Services Scope
If offering customizations, integrations, or enterprise level support, provide detailed descriptions and SLAs around deliverables, availability, response times, escalation paths etc.
Define termination criteria like failure to pay, bankruptcy, data misuse, that allow revoking license to protect your interests in worst case scenarios.
Review agreements closely with legal counsel given financial magnitude and intellectual property at stake with enterprise contracts.
Making Enterprise Customizations
Larger clients often request tailored enhancements and integrations. Balance customization offerings between:
Common modifications like dashboard branding, data structure changes, adding standard integrations etc that can be commoditized at fixed pricing.
One-off development of new features, tools, content or functionality outside your roadmap but needed by large client. Bill hourly or value-based pricing.
For SaaS products, standing up entirely custom instance of your platform for a client so they don’t comingle data and users. Additional hosting costs may apply.
Formalizing customization practices into a partner reseller program equips others to package your tools into complete solutions for vertical markets. Revenue share.
Public Feature Requests
When multiple large clients request very similar capabilities, evaluate building them natively into your product suite available to all customers.
Keep customizations focused on configurable options that extend value while minimizing bespoke efforts that detract from core product direction.
Platforms to Showcase Enterprise Products
Specialized B2B software, SaaS and digital goods marketplaces exist to promote licensing to large commercial entities:
Top ecosystem for enterprise SaaS integrations with Salesforce. Rigorous vetting for security and quality.
Central platform for licensing apps and integrations with SAP’s expansive ERP, HR, analytics solutions.
Microsoft’s cloud marketplace allows licensing software and data services optimized for Azure environments.
Leading marketplace for digital workflows on the ServiceNow platform tailored for enterprise services management.
G2 for Business Software
Influential enterprise software review site. Profile presence signals enterprise viability.
Reviews and listings targeted to commercial buyers helps exposure to SMB and enterprise.
Major industry trade shows like CES, HIMSS, BlackHat, and vertical events offer booth presence to demonstrate enterprise solutions in-person.
Specialized B2B platforms tailored to institutional tech buyers are the best channels for making large entities aware of your licensing opportunities.
While tapping massive enterprise opportunities requires more customization and sales cycles, licensing digital products to large organizations can greatly scale revenue and credibility for creators. Assessing if your product aligns to institutional needs, structuring favorable but balanced agreements, making smart investments in customizations, and showcasing solutions on the right B2B platforms unlocks immense commercial potential. With deliberate enterprise strategies, digital products can expand well beyond individual consumers to become industry-standard solutions.
- 1 Licensing Your Digital Products for Enterprise Usage and Custom Solutions
- 2 Introduction
- 3 Evaluating Enterprise Licensing Potential
- 4 Benefits of Enterprise Licensing for Digital Creators
- 5 Licensing Models for Enterprise Deals
- 6 Building an Enterprise Sales Strategy
- 7 Best Practices for Enterprise Licensing Agreements
- 8 Making Enterprise Customizations
- 9 Platforms to Showcase Enterprise Products
- 10 Conclusion