How to stand out when selling to SMBs

It's hard to stand out in a crowded, hypercompetitive market... but you can do it. By using a needs-based marketing strategy and the power of dynamic data to differentiate yourself, you can gain a significant edge over your competitors.

The SMB market is huge and, consequently, full of opportunities for enterprises who sell to them – but the competition is intense. As a service provider, it’s getting increasingly hard to differentiate yourself from the competition, and your customers are starting to view your offerings as commodities. Whenever you offer something new, a competitor is quick to follow suit, and you lose your advantage again.

In other words, you’re struggling to find ways to grow in a red ocean.

To make matters worse, business owners typically consider offerings like insurance, payment processing, or software solutions to be necessary evils. They know they need them, but don’t view their providers as having their best interests in mind, and have no particular loyalty to them.

So, what do you do? How do you grow market share and reduce churn? How do you gain your customers’ trust?

You use a needs-based marketing strategy, built around dynamic data flowing from multiple sources.

What is needs-based marketing?

You may currently be using data to identify customer interest – for example, you know if someone visits your website. You may be using data to identify customer intent. You know if they’ve downloaded a white paper or brochure, or if they’ve spent time looking at your pricing. 

In a traditional marketing approach, that’s considered a solid lead.

But can you predict that lead’s likelihood of converting into a customer? Not really. You don’t know if they’re ready to engage, or why they’re interested. They may just be curious, or they may just be browsing to gain negotiating power with another provider. It’s not really a knowledge-based lead, it’s more of an assumption – and chasing assumptions is no way to rise above the surface in a red ocean.

Needs-based marketing is different. 

With needs-based marketing, instead of reacting to leads, you take a proactive, highly tailored approach. You seek out businesses who not only meet your ideal customer profile, but whose current business activities indicate a real need for your services. When you approach them, it’s because you have a genuine interest in helping them thrive, and you know there’s a very good chance that your offering will be the right fit at the right time.

By demonstrating an understanding of a business owner’s goals and their business needs, then suggesting ways to eliminate pain points (before they really start to hurt!), you can build trust and gain their appreciation.


And when you reach out well before any of your competition does, you gain a meaningful advantage that lets you grow market share.

In short, needs-based marketing is all about identifying a potential customer’s need at a particular moment in time, and having a genuine, mutually beneficial reason to contact them.

Imagine a retail business starts an affiliate marketing program, which results in a significant increase of traffic to their website. 

The marketing program is new enough that it is highly likely that commissions are still being managed manually, and successful enough that it is highly likely the program will remain in place. You reach out to the owner and demonstrate how a mass payment solution for their affiliates would save them time and effort when processing commissions. 

The owner is delighted and you both benefit from the interaction – they increased their productivity, and you gained credibility and earned new business without having to compete for it.

Of course, for all this to work, you need dynamic SMB data – which is the true differentiator in a red ocean.

Identifying needs through trigger events

Dynamic SMB data is created by continuously collecting, analyzing, and comparing data sets from multiple sources. You can use dynamic data to identify businesses that meet your ideal customer profile. You can then identify changes and lifecycle events in those businesses, and treat them as need triggers.

The Tarci continuous intelligence engine generates dynamic SMB data. We work with data sets from multiple sources and identify industry-specific triggers tailored to identify a need for each of our clients’ services.

Our comprehensive and continuous approach to collecting and analyzing data lets our clients decide not only what information indicates a need, but also when acting on that information is most likely to result in a conversion.

Tarci B2B data

Next steps

The SMB services market may be a red ocean, but dynamic data will be your beacon. By using early indicators of legitimate client needs, you have a real differentiator that will allow you and your SMB clients to thrive.

Fill in your email address below to learn more about how you could be using dynamic data to run strategic, needs-based campaigns resulting in high conversion rates. 

Read more about needs-based marketing here. 

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