Posts Tagged small and medium business
Every major technology company client we have worked with during the last 5 years has asked one question – how can we sell to the Small and Medium (SMB) customer segments? This increased interest in the SMB market place is born of self interest.
- For every enterprise client (revenue >$2B), there are 144 potential customers with revenues <$250M
- In the US, alone, manufacturing firms with <1000 employees generated close to $1 trillion in revenue in 2009 – down significantly from 2007 but still substantial.
Multiple business data research firms have documented the fact that SMB firms spend a larger percentage of their revenue on technology but spend more carefully. Our research finds that as a group they –
- Value technology solutions not technology tools
- Suspect that existing technology solutions do not address their specific business challenges
- On the surface, face the same challenges as enterprise customers. However when examined more closely, SMB challenges are more compelling and require different solutions
- Trust their peers more than technology professionals
- Are lagging adopters
- Buy when they feel a “direct relationship” to the vendor –
Feel the vendor is invested in them!
Technology vendors who want to have a successful Go-to-Market strategy need an approach that is specific to the SMB market segment they want to penetrate. This begins with a solid understanding of the market segment – issues and opportunities, total market size, competition, cross industry alliances and existing suppliers, etc.. Next, a great Go-to-market-Strategy is only as good as it’s implementation plan —
- A tailored product offering and the value proposition
- A multi-channel marketing strategy
- A multi-channel sales strategy
- An effective executive to executive communication plan
- A best-in-class post-sale customer service and technical support capability
- A strong set of ROI measures
- A set of well-defined plan milestones
- An extra dose of patience to sustain a longer selling cycle
Technology vendors who master the differences in selling to the enterprise and the SMB market space have a great opportunity to increase their own market share and to improve their Bottom Line by developing a new and loyal customer base.
@Cordi and Associates
All Rights Reserved 3/2010
Our research proves that an effective WIN/LOSS ANALYSIS process IS the 21st century “CANARY IN THE COAL MINE”
Want to know how your business plan is working? Our experience shows that competing effectively in a fast-paced global economy requires a disciplined win/loss analysis process that takes into consideration every aspect of sales effectiveness. Win/loss analysis should be conducted at least quarterly and in the current economic uncertainty preferably on a monthly basis. Sales, Marketing and Operational Management should examine all aspects of the Go-to-Market process.
- Measuring the health of the sales pipeline
- Calculating the return on marketing investment
- Segmenting customers and then targeting specific customer segments
- Discovering early indicators of shifting demands – product-based or market-based.
- Managing and sharing internal sales best practices
- Conducting a forensic transaction analysis on so-called “big deals” after their close.
By comparing the results of the win/loss analysis to the revenue plan management can quickly determine whether they are on track to meet or exceed their plan or need to make adjustments to that plan immediately –
- Increasing or slowing manufacturing to meet product demand
- Speeding or slowing new product introduction
- Expanding or revamping advertising
- Adjusting sales personnel etc..
An effective win/loss process is an essential tool in the quest to maintain focus on Bottom-Line Excellence even in the most challenging of economic conditions – just as the 19th and 20th century coal miner was warned by the canary of unseen danger below — .
@copyright Cordi and Associates
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED 3/2010
What is a small or medium business to do in the current, unstable global and (US) national economy? I was reminded yesterday, while reading the Businessweek small business e-letter, of just how unclear the path to economic recovery is — or whether we are on the road to recovery at all? No two “economic experts” agree —
- It’s a V shaped recover and we have passed the bottom
- It’s a W shaped recovery and the double – dip is coming in the second half of 2010 or in q1 2011
- The US economy needs another stimulus plan (I have lost count. Is this the 4th?)
- Government stimulus plans have had little or no impact on economic recovery
- When government stimulus is withdrawn later this year, the unemployment will rise
What is the owner of a, just for a practical example, $50M plant nursery that sells to big box retailers to do?
- Small and medium business should be acting aggressively to be prepared for a surge in demand in second half 2010
- n Small and medium business should delay hiring and building inventory until there is more evidence of consumer demand
How about neither?
The smart nursery owner needs to plan for either, both, or neither eventuality in the next 12 months by focusing on the only important measurement – bottom-line profitability. A consistent record of profitability in good and bad economic conditions is the key to great customer confidence, employee loyalty and flexible, affordable, available credit.
Bottom-line profitability doesn’t just happen. It is the result of careful analysis and planning. It does not take a lot of executive time, but it does take executive focus. To learn more just click here http://www.cordiconsulting.com/thought_leadership.html
Washington Post Technology Page (2/3/2010) ran the headline “AOL posts profit, but subscribers dwindle”.
Disciplined customer segmentation and analysis will help a struggling company to reduce their operating expense by prioritizing their marketing and selling activities on the limited number of customers who produce the most revenue. The analysis may not provide an exact statistical 80%/20% breakdown but it won’t be far different.
When a company focuses on its most valuable customers it accomplishes two things:
Improves customer loyalty and, potentially, wallet share
Creates a model for increasing the total number of high value customers
$50M companies that aspire to be $1B companies need to build processes to continually monitor who their key customers are and why they are key customers