SMB customers often have different needs, expectations, and pain points than enterprise firms. This can make it challenging for marketers to target these buyers effectively.
Leading providers recognize this trend and are taking action. Here are some of the best practices they’re using:
Generating SMB Leads
Generating leads is the first step in the sales process. Marketing and sales teams should work together to create an ideal customer profile (ICP) and a buyer persona to help them identify great-fit leads. Once they have a clear picture of who their ideal customers are, they can start to develop a powerful SMB lead generation and qualification strategy.
Sales reps should also focus on understanding the unique pain points of SMB buyers. For example, they may need to use a more direct approach since SMBs are typically time-poor. They also often have limited budgets, so they can’t afford to pay for heavy customization or deluxe packages. In addition, many SMBs have a single decision-maker who makes all purchasing decisions. It is important to identify and speak with this person when evaluating prospects.
SMBs are highly sensitive to price increases. In fact, research shows that 40 percent of smallest SMBs are likely to switch providers if their prices increase by even a small amount. It is therefore important to understand your target market’s pricing sensitivities and provide them with flexible pricing options to meet their needs.
It’s also vital to qualify SMB leads based on their firmographics and other data, so you don’t waste valuable sales resources pursuing irrelevant prospects. This will help you close more deals and build long-term relationships with your SMB customers.
Identifying SMB Buyers
Whether they are local businesses or new startups, SMBs have unique needs and challenges. These differences can impact how they make purchasing decisions and what they value in their sales experiences. Developing a comprehensive understanding of the specific challenges and needs of SMB buyers can help tech providers tailor their solutions to meet those requirements.
For example, SMB buyers often have limited procurement capabilities due to their size and resource constraints. This may mean that they do not engage resellers, VARs, and direct channels as frequently as larger enterprises. Instead, they may opt for centralized marketplaces and self-serve options. They also tend to prefer best-of-breed products over bundled offerings.
Additionally, SMB buyers are typically risk averse. As they are often bootstrapped and unsure about their future, they want to ensure that any investments will provide value for their business. They are also more concerned about cash flow than their enterprise counterparts.
While these characteristics may seem like a daunting prospect for a sales rep, it is possible to overcome them through the right marketing and sales strategy. SMB sales cycles are shorter and simpler than those of enterprise companies, which can make them more suited to certain types of technology products. For example, a platform that automates the administrative processes of running pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns can be well-suited to this market segment.
Qualifying SMB Leads
With 33 million small and mid-sized businesses accounting for over 99% of all organizations, it’s no secret that SMBs represent an enormous pool of potential customers. But what’s often overlooked is how SMB sales can differ from business-to-business (B2B) or enterprise selling in terms of pain points, sales tactics and sales cycle lengths.
As such, SMBs often require a more direct approach from marketing and sales teams to gain their attention and trust. Because most SMBs have fewer employees, decision makers are usually the owner or CEO. With limited time and resources, this group is also more risk averse than larger companies, making them more cautious about new sellers and solutions.
This makes it especially important for SMB marketers to prioritize lead qualification by identifying and prioritizing incoming leads using firmographic data. Ultimately, this allows sales reps to have meaningful conversations with the right people within an SMB’s organization and close deals faster.
In addition, because most SMBs are time-poor, it’s essential that marketing and sales teams understand the best times to reach these prospects. For example, many SMBs work in service industries and are typically servicing clients during peak hours. In this case, it’s critical that salespeople know when to reach out and speak with a prospect to avoid interrupting their client-focused day. By focusing on the unique needs and challenges of each type of SMB, sales reps can develop trusted relationships that result in long-term revenue.
Developing SMB Sales Strategy
To be successful in SMB sales, it’s important to have a strong strategy for nurturing leads, overcoming objections and closing deals. A clear plan for these stages can help you track the effectiveness of your tactics and identify opportunities for improvement.
Start by defining your ideal customer profile and buyer persona. Then, use these insights to create a powerful, repeatable process for quickly identifying and qualifying prospects with the budget, need and intent to buy. This allows your reps to focus their efforts on high-intent leads and avoid wasting time on low-probability prospects that won’t convert.
Small and mid-sized businesses often have less cash on hand than enterprises, making them more cautious about new products and services. But that doesn’t mean they won’t be willing to invest in a solution that can deliver real value and help them grow their business.
SMBs also have shorter buying cycles than enterprise companies, which means you can potentially close more deals if you can develop a compelling value proposition and create a seamless purchase experience. And because these customers are likely to have limited financial resources, they’re more receptive to offers that allow them to pay for what they need now and spread out the cost over time. To make this work, you’ll need to have a clear understanding of your customer’s pain points and business challenges. smb marketing