If you’re new to technology sales in the small business segment, you may be tempted to think that reaching its decision-makers is pretty simple. It can be, but not so fast.
While selling to small business decision-makers can be much simpler than technology sales in a Fortune 500 environment, the fragmentation among small businesses means you need to have a well-thought-out game plan to avoid wasting time and resources.
With that in mind, here are three tips for succeeding in this space:
Focus on Selling a High-Trust, Long-Term Relationship. While both online and traditional print advertising can reach certain small business decision-makers, success with technology sales is usually more about selling a high-trust, long-term relationship. As a result, traditional offline networking through organizations, targeted trade shows, and seminars tend to reach the desired small business decision-maker earlier in the sales cycle, leading to a much less price-sensitive buyer and a much more value-conscious buyer.
Avoid a One-Size-Fits-None Approach. As mentioned earlier, small business is definitely not homogeneous. Most small business segments are highly fragmented. Small business is too broad of a target to reach with a single strategy unless you're in a Fortune 500 company with a multi-7- or 8-figure annual marketing budget (or more). Most IT companies get much better marketing and technology sales results by focusing on one subset of the small business market at a time, such as small businesses with 10 to 50 PCs, or a vertical market such as legal, hospitality, or healthcare.
Customize Your Approach when Selling to an IT Manager. In most small businesses with fewer than 50 employees, you're generally selling to a non-technical small business owner or manager in companies. However, when the decision maker is an IT manager, in larger small businesses, you need an entirely different approach, as these two kinds of decision-makers have vastly different needs and pain points, and require a completely different marketing plan and sales pitch.
Regardless of whether you’ve been selling to small businesses for years or just getting started, use these three tips to ensure you’re allocating your time and resources wisely.
What’s your favorite technology sales tip for reaching small business decision-makers? Got an idea for #4? Please share your thoughts in the comments area below.
And if you're serious about reaching more of the right SMB decision makers, especially if you also sell SaaS or IaaS, enroll now in our free 7-day eCourse: Go-to-Market Strategy 101 for B2B SaaS Startups and Scaleups.
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