Sampler founder Marie Chevrier on how your startup can sell to large enterprises

There are many initiatives regularly popping up meant to connect startups to enterprise — from the creation of incubators by large enterprises, to enterprises making their mark in the spaces where startups gather, it seems like it’s easier than ever to get in front of a potential partner.

But speaking at TechToronto, Sampler founder Marie Chevrier maintains that entrepreneurs need to have a plan when the time comes to actually launch a pilot program with an enterprise. Sampler helps brands distribute product samples online, and the company sells into massive conglomerates like L’Oreal and Mondelez.

“Enterprises want to spend on innovation, but they simply don’t know how to buy it. If you think about it, it makes sense because we’re all building something new and we’re all saying it’s the new this of that, so when we present our idea it’s not surprising that it’s simply not in the budget,” Chevrier said.

Often, companies will use a Test & Learn to see if the startup is a right fit for their company. The key to making the most of it, Chevrier said, includes setting clear goals, understanding how you’re measuring the success of the program, and figuring out the scope and duration of the program.

“If you can — right from the beginning — create a one-size-fits-all package. You want to be able to go to the brand and say ‘Hey, this is how we did it with this company, and it worked well. Then they’ll be reassured that you know how to do these things’.”

Watch the whole talk below: