What you need to know when selling to SMBs

SMBs' time is scarce and so is their budget - and yet, while they present a relatively low LTV compared to an enterprise, if you offer them what they need when they need it, they are most likely to convert to a customer quickly. But how do you know when to reach out and what they need?

Let’s start with the basics:

What is the definition of “SMB”?

Small and mid-size businesses are generally referred to as SMBs (or sometimes SMEs, with the E standing for enterprises).

The term describes businesses that range from 1 to 500 employees, and up to $50M in annual revenue. While there are many ways to segment SMBS, based on their line of business, and while they differ in specific needs, SMBs share a need for: (a) core services; and (b) services and products that are necessary for supporting growth.

Accordingly, selling to SMBs requires a B2B sales process that is suitable for their special characteristics.

The 2 basic rules for a successful SMB sales strategy

  1. Quick sales cycle: An efficient SMB sales strategy means a short sales cycle. Aim to identify the decision maker and approach them with the right offer based on their business needs for a short and efficient sales cycle. 
  2. Focus on SMBs on a growth track: Successful SMB sales teams focus on identifying businesses that have the potential to grow into larger companies, then keep them happy by providing them with the services and products they need throughout their life cycle. When you take that approach, you are building a strong customer base of SMBs that will continue and expand generating higher revenues for your company.

By building a sales process that implements these rules, you will find that your team will spend less time reaching out to SMBs that don’t have a need or budget for your products or services, and spend more time selling to growing SMBs.  This results in lower customer acquisition costs and higher lifetime value!

The 4 need-to-know tactics every SMB sales team must adopt

Imagine you run a chain of restaurants. You start your day with suppliers knocking at your door, employees not showing up for work, and your delivery van breaks down. At the same time, you get a call from a sales rep trying to sell you some new booking service. Yes, you did look into new booking services, but they catch you at the worst time, and start a long explanation about the many benefits of their service… what would you do? 

When selling to SMBs, it’s critical that you design your offer to address their business needs, so the more you know about a business, the better. Here are some basic principles to start with:

  1. Your pitch must be short and simple. Don’t get into long and technical sales pitches. Focus on your offer and explain how you solve a “need” or a “pain” that is crucial to growing their business.
  2. Demonstrate your solution’s success with success stories from similar businesses. Show them proof of your past success, either through case studies or testimonials from your other SMB clients.
  3. Build a rapport. When you’re constantly on the hunt for new business, it’s easy to start viewing your leads as names in your CRM platform instead of real human beings. SMB owners often need more personal attention, so do your best to connect with potential SMB customers before you go into hard pitch mode. You’ll find that forming a friendly relationship not only helps your SMB customer grow fonder of you, but you’ll learn more about their individual needs as well.
  4. Qualify your leads. The pool of potential SMB leads is a lot bigger than the pool of large enterprise leads, but that doesn’t mean all of these leads are likely to become paying customers. It’s important for your sales teams to properly weed out cold leads so you don’t waste sales resources chasing a dead end. Qualifying your leads is especially important in SMB sales, because many SMBs are newer businesses who may not have raised much capital or figured out their business model yet.

Tarci provides actionable, dynamic SMB data to enterprises across a wide range of industries, including financial services, banks, tech providers and insurance companies. Our continuous intelligence engine collects and compiles data and, with the application of powerful, industry-specific tags and events, monitors how SMBs are changing.

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