In an effort to garner a larger share of the small to medium business channel market, large companies will often examine their SMB strategy and try to align it with their overall corporate strategy. Most Fortune 1000 or large companies have well-developed revenue channels and a firm, solid revenue base across them. These entities will have a clear strategy that works well for retail customers, large enterprise customers, government / municipal customers, and such. However, most of these larger companies struggle with a clear winning strategy for the SMB customer. Often times an smb consultant will be engaged to help craft and execute an smb strategy that will drive higher incremental sales growth to the smb channel.
An smb strategy will start by looking at the three C’s of the ecosystem. The Corporation is the first “C”. This is the company that has retained an smb consultant and is trying to improve their results to the smb channel. The second “C” is The Competitor. This involves a deep examination of the competitors that sell similar products or services to the same smb channel. The third and final “C” is The Customer. This refers to the final smb customer that both the corporation and the competitors are aiming at and hoping to win business from. A proper smb strategy will look at all three of these key components. More importantly, the smb consulting firm will look at the key value proposition being delivered by every company to the customer. Comparing the value proposition across all of the players in the ecosystem is important regardless of the product or service being sold to the smb customer. Additionally, the differentiators are closely examined. Is the pricing better or the functionality different? Is there a particular competitor with greater differentiation and better pricing? These are only some of the considerations that the smb consultant will look at when crafting a proper smb strategy.
Next, the smb strategy will shift to an analysis of how the marketing department is directing their efforts to the smb customer. In typical fashion, most Fortune 1000 or large companies will attempt to market at every single corporation with less than one thousand employees. They fail to understand that segmenting the smb customer base is vital. Most of the smb customers in the system are irrelevant. Proper segmentation as a core smb strategy will help to identify the growing and hyper growing companies in the smb market. These are the cherished and often ignored customers in the smb channel. It is the growing and hyper-growth smb customers that will become tomorrow’s large companies. The earlier a large enterprise wins the business of one of these smb channel customers, the more established their relationship will be and ultimately the greater the likelihood of having a growing customer who will spend more money with you.
The crafting of a proper smb strategy can help to make the lives of corporate managers much easier. When they view the strategy from the perspective of their target, the smb customer, they tend to develop a more holistic strategy that results in a win-win paradigm for both the vendor and customer.