3 Tips for Selling to the SMB
Selling into the SMB is a completely different beast than selling to enterprises. Many sales pros coming from the enterprise look down on selling into the SMB. But is that fair?
If you sell into the SMB:
You can have short sales cycles – 30 – 90 days is not unusual
You can always reach the decision maker – the business owner, or business management
You have less competition – so many competitors are gunning for the enterprise
There are 20 million SMBs in the US – so you’ll never be lacking leads.
The challenge with selling to the SMB is that, if you’re not careful, you can consume enterprise-like resources on getting SMBs to sign up. So how can you make selling to the SMB a productive process?
You have to understand that SMB owners are now becoming some of the most innovative, creative and most technologically-savvy people around. Their hunger for emerging technology is ever-growing, and they’re not afraid to share that.
You often find yourself listening to a list of requirements prospects want. Not only have they thought of what they want, but they’ve already devised a workflow around those features. Incredibly admirable imagination and craving for all things tech, but selling to them is just rough!
So what can SMB focused tech companies do to sell more successfully?
Be adaptable / Validate Listen and brainstorm with your (potential) clients; don’t ONLY try to sell them. The ideas and workflow plans they’ve constructed are the ones that allow them to “live” inside of your technology and become more invested. I’m the first one who will tell you to sell more with less, but sometimes, their requests just make sense. Often times, their suggestions have an affinity to another feature that immensely strengthens your current offering.
Solve their problem, don’t create more: Us tech-heads have a tendency to get a little ahead of ourselves and create something thats freakin’ awesome and futuristic on paper, but crap in real life. SMBs are not bigger corporations who have = $$ to spare on things they don’t need. Their goal is simple — To procure the best product for the least cost that won’t interrupt their daily grind. Work with that; don’t build flying cars until they’re ready. I’m ready though, so if you build that, call me! 🙂
Know when to be blunt. As sales pros, sales leaders or executives, we all want the sale, every time! And while it’s tough, if their requests simply don’t align with your company’s vision and timeline, disqualify them and move on, fast. Remember, they don’t have time to begin with, and if you waste it, you’re not helping yourself or your company’s.
In the end, coffee is for closers, and we all know you love coffee!
(photo credit – flickr user dellphotos)