Strategic growth in the SMB market

There are millions of small and mid-sized businesses in the US and the UK and, for financial service providers and other core services, the revenue potential is enormous. Unless you’re careful, though, the cost of acquisition can also be enormous - and not offset by the value the SMB ultimately delivers. To grow your share profitably, you need to be strategic, and you need to be focused.

A strategic approach to the SMB market

To grow your SMB market share, use this three-pronged approach: 

  1. Focus on growing businesses that meet your ICP, 
  2. Identify needs by vertical segment, and
  3. Become a trusted advisor to increase LTV.

Easier said than done, right? Well, by using the right sales and marketing automation tools in combination with the right data driving your messaging, you can actually implement this strategy on a wider scale than ever before.

Let’s break it down.

1. In a crowded market, target growth.

It’s true that the SMB market is made up of millions of businesses in different industries, with different goals, and at different maturity levels. As a core service provider, it can feel pretty overwhelming to know where to target first, especially in times of economic uncertainty. 

Think of your ideal customer profile. There are probably hundreds of thousands of SMBs out there right now that meet your ICP. So, let’s narrow it down some more. 

Focus your efforts on SMBs that are growing, and eliminate stagnant or declining SMBs from your list.

That’s the first step – focusing on growth. The second step is to take it industry by industry.

2. Identify needs by vertical segment.

Let’s say you’ve identified 500,000 SMBs that match your ICP and that have signaled growth over the past 12 months. Now, split those SMBs out by vertical segment. Out of those 500,000 SMBs, pull the largest segment – for example, the food services industry. 

At any given time, only a percentage of growing SMBs within that industry will have new needs – and that’s where you should focus your efforts.

Think about events that may cause those SMBs to need your solution. If you target growing restaurants that have a new location opening soon, for example, you can reach out with automated messaging acknowledging their expansion and suggesting whatever it is you offer that you think would contribute to their success. In this case, a new restaurant location opening soon may need a:

  • POS system
  • delivery platform
  • business loan
  • etc. 

The key is that whatever your solution, identify the events that could create a need for it, and focus there. Reach out to growing SMBs when the events occur, right when they are most likely to need you, with a relevant, timely offer.

Once you have that message crafted, you can tweak it and monitor results until you are happy with your response rate. 

You now have scalable expertise for that need in that vertical. 

With automated sales and marketing tools, you can continue to reach out to fresh lists of growing restaurants opening new locations – but since your messaging is already crafted, you can now focus on creating the right message for the next largest segment of growing SMBs and their trigger events. And so on it goes.

3. Become a trusted advisor.

Winning their initial business isn’t enough, though. You also need to think about lifetime value, and make sure that as your customers continue to grow, you grow with them. By focusing on developing strategic, long-term relationships and finding ways over time to add value to their business, you establish yourself as a trusted advisor. 

As a trusted advisor, you are far less likely to be replaced by another provider due to price – and you can grow the share you already have.

To establish trust, you need to proactively address changes to SMB needs. Demonstrate your understanding of their business by being the first to reach out when there is a change within the business – whether they are offering a new service, expanding, changing ownership, whatever. 

And remember to be transparent in your offer of support – make your suggestion very clear, and outline exactly what value the SMB can expect to gain based on your advice.

The need for fresh, SMB data

There is one common denominator across all three steps of this winning strategy – and that’s the need for dynamic SMB data.

To win, you must have:

  • Highly accurate SMB profiles and contact data
  • An understanding of which SMBs are growing, and which are declining or stagnant
  • Customized alerts of growing SMBs with newly surfaced needs that are relevant to your offering

At Tarci, our core competency is dynamic SMB data.

We use continuous intelligence to build and maintain holistic, actionable SMB profiles – as an SMB evolves, so does our data. That means that not only can we identify SMBs that match your ICP, but we can also tell you if they’re growing and monitor for ongoing changes that may result in the need for your solution.

To learn more about how you could use Tarci’s tags and events, read this article.

If you have any questions, or if you’d like to schedule a demo, please drop us a line – we’d be happy to talk.

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