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How to Sell to an SMB

An elephant in the room

When selling to small and midsized businesses (SMBs), the first step is to throw out your big business playbook. SMBs face a unique set of challenges that call for different selling strategies. Most SMBs, for instance, don’t have the resources for a white-glove, high-touch service. Success in this market requires understanding the SMB customers’ needs and behaviors and providing solutions that address those pain points.

To get started, we’ve identified five key buying patterns across SMBs that can help sales teams grow their pipelines and increase their close rates.

1. SMB Customers Wear Multiple Hats

Unlike at large corporations, the first people you may speak with at smaller companies might be the buyer as well as the end-user. It’s also likely that the prospective customer has already researched your solution and expects you to understand his or her specific needs. It’s therefore critical to understand with whom you are speaking. Conduct your own research to understand the prospect’s role in the company and the content that he or she has already seen to make sure you’re delivering the most relevant information. 

2. Simplicity Is Key

SMB workers often juggle numerous tasks and have little patience for elaborate sales pitches. Therefore, the more complex the demo and the pricing structure, the more difficult it will be to close the deal. Increase your chances of winning the account by preparing easy to understand quotes and quick demos. Tools that connect marketing and sales data can also help you provide a consistent experience throughout the sales process. For example, Revana AQ360SM is an end-to-end solution that connects contextual data from a customer’s online interactions to routing, scripting, and sales conversion processes.

3. Reduce Risk

Keep in mind that many SMBs are cost sensitive and risk averse. Companies are also increasingly uninterested in long-term commitments with vendors. In addition to introductory trials and flexible contracts, case studies and a list of current clients can go a long way in building confidence that your solution is the right fit.

4. Make It Quick and Easy  

Remember that SMBs don’t have the time or resources to invest in highly customized, labor-intensive implementation processes. Solutions that work out of the box and require minimal support are more useful. Additionally, no one wants a solution that the company will quickly outgrow. Therefore, highlight ways that your solution can keep up with the SMB’s growing needs.

5. Stay on Top of the Customers’ Needs

Keep the customer relationship fresh by helping the client stay updated on emerging technology trends that could impact business. And of course, inform clients of best practices that could enhance the product or service that they already use.

Like any customer, SMBs want to know that you understand their needs and pain points. And with the right tools and approaches, selling to SMBs can be a valuable endeavor for all parties involved.

Read this case study to learn how we're helping a leading internet search company generate $1 billion annually from its SMB customer base.