Maintaining a strong customer service mindset will help capture and retain SMB buyers. SMBs want a lasting partner that will provide high-quality, responsive support. SMBs do not have in-house experts to tell them how to use the product, so they lean on service providers for expertise. This leads to upsell and cross-sell opportunities.
"Loyalty is earned through the relationship established with SMBs," says Doug Novack, Managing Director of Business and Industrial Markets at Google. "Suppliers that are not only involved in the initial research stages, but also provide proactive post-purchase customer service are the ones best positioned to inspire loyalty and capture growth with the SMB segment."
What are the implications?
Selling to small-and medium-sized businesses can be a major growth opportunity. They are vast in number, accessible through digital channels, open to conversation and advice and, once a purchase is made, resistant to switching.
To capture this opportunity, “traditional enterprise-focused advertisers have to think more strategically about the growth value of the SMB market,” says Michelle Bandler, Managing Director Tech B2B, Google. Kevan Yalowitz, managing director – Software & Platforms Strategy at Accenture concurs: “Companies need up-front market, product and customer strategy to drive informed decision making as they go after this market. And these strategies should be based on actionable market insight from primary research, industry expertise and quantitative analysis.”
This research points to three important considerations as companies build strategies to more effectively succeed with SMBs. First, communicate a growth message. Offer value propositions targeted to unique business needs of SMBs and demonstrate how your product or services will help them fuel their growth objectives. Second, be there when SMB executives are searching for solutions to their problems. Companies need to be in the “dialogue” early in the company life cycle so they can support SMBs as they grow. Lastly, the conversation with SMBs needs to be about addressing business problems and opportunities; companies need a trusted advisor they rely on over time, not an order taker. And, once that relationship is established, the brand is well-positioned to win with SMBs.
Source: Google and Accenture SMB Study, US, August 2018, n=1,501 Companies with number of employees less than 500.