TeleNet has a large high-tech client that rolls out marketing initiatives to companies of all sizes in all industries. When we reach out to larger accounts on their behalf, it easy to get a purchasing conversation going because Enterprise size businesses typically have a dedicated IT budget and a clear purchasing plan from one year to the next. The same could even be said for mid-size business; but SMB is different. Why? Because they are usually running on much tighter budgets, and do not see the same economies of scale in the near term as larger organizations.
So what the best approach for getting mindshare with smaller businesses? Stay in front of them.
I have created a list of things to keep in mind when marketing to organizations that do not have an established buying cycle. However, the primary objective is always to be there when they have a need. In SMB timing is everything.
- When calling smaller businesses, be persistent and try to reach the Director of the department. It likely he/she is really the only person who has a view to whether or not a budget can be created if one is not established
- Have some finance offers on tap to make purchases easy
- Smaller accounts like kits and bundles at discounted rates
- Focus on services to help with integration, implementation and maintenance
- Smaller accounts like incentives, find something free and of value to help grease the wheels
- Position your products and services as helping to grow business and increase not only performance, but revenue too
- Vary the type of touch executed to the contact: email, call, voice mail, promotion.
- Prepare the next touch. When you make a call or correspond via email, ask for a timeframe to re-contact the account and set-an expectation. Stay top-of-mind with the contact
- Be patient, don’t be pushy and be sensitive to the challenges that are being experienced
- Illustrate that your product or service can help productivity without increasing head-count, if that a strong argument
- If budget continues to be an issue, focus on how much it costs to keep things