Marketing to small business customers requires a different strategy than marketing to large enterprises. There are several key differences, including shorter sales cycles and more simplified communication.
SMBs are also more willing to experiment with flexible or usage-based consumption models, such as cloud computing and infrastructure services. Combined with their ability to grow into larger companies, this creates a significant opportunity for long-term profit for service providers.
1. Invest in Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
There are 29 million small business owners in the US, making it a huge market for tech providers to target. However, it’s important to remember that SMBs have different needs from larger enterprises and require a different sales approach.
To succeed in this space, you need to create a CRM solution that adapts to your customers’ unique needs. The right CRM system will streamline client management, marketing and sales, and help you reach your customer retention potential.
SMBs tend to be more concerned about cash flow than other business types. This means that you need to be able to demonstrate your value proposition early in the sales cycle. For example, by offering flexible payment options or showing how your product can help them increase revenue, you’ll give them peace of mind and a reason to stay loyal to you.
SMBs can also be more sensitive to unsolicited communications. They may not want to hear from you if it’s not relevant for their situation, so it’s important to connect with them in the right way. For example, a leading North American telecom company used personalized communications to better understand SMBs’ digital experiences and their unique needs. This resulted in higher digital engagement and reduced service requests.
2. Create a Customer Experience (CX) Strategy
A great CX strategy is essential for connecting with customers in a way that delivers both business and customer value. According to a Treasure Data and Forbes Insights study, customers are more likely to purchase from brands that offer exceptional experiences versus ones that have the best product or price.
To develop a customer experience strategy, you must first understand your customers’ needs and goals. You can do this by collecting and analyzing customer feedback. This can be done through surveys, one-to-one conversations, focus groups, or a variety of other methods. Once you have this information, you can create personas that represent the different types of customers your company serves.
This will help you identify their key pain points and moments of truth. Then, you can map out a customer journey for each type of customer. You can then use metrics like net promoter score, customer retention rate, or average resolution time to monitor your progress.
3. Develop a Marketing Strategy
SMBs have a lot to worry about, from ensuring they are selling products that consumers want to buy to keeping their employees happy and motivated. They also need to ensure they have enough cash flow to cover expenses and maintain profitability. This means they are often more willing to take a chance on a new product or service than larger businesses, which can make them an attractive customer.
While it may be tempting for B2B marketers to focus on selling to large enterprises, that can lead to lost sales opportunities and wasted resources. Instead, focus on developing an smb marketing strategy to reach your target audience.
SMBs have shorter sales cycles than large companies, which can help them move through the process more quickly. They also tend to have simpler communication processes, which can make it easier for you to connect with them. While it’s important to keep in mind that unsolicited communications can irritate business owners, building a relationship and rapport with them can help you build trust and loyalty. This can be done by building a personalized email strategy and offering incentives like free demos.
4. Create a Lead Nurturing Strategy
Many B2B marketers are eager to push leads down the sales funnel and convert them into customers as fast as possible. However, this can backfire if you engage a lead too soon or if the lead is not ready to make a purchasing decision. A better approach is to create a nurture strategy and take it slowly.
Begin by collecting qualified leads who are interested in your solutions and services through forms on your website or by asking them to sign up for your email newsletter. This is one of the best ways to identify quality leads because anyone who fills out a form on your site has a genuine interest in your business.
The next step is to segment these leads based on their interests and demographic criteria. This will allow you to target them with relevant content that increases their conversion rates. Finally, be sure to use personalization tactics like addressing your leads by name and including their contact information in emails. This will build a deeper connection with your leads and boost customer loyalty over time.
5. Create a Retention Strategy
In the world of SMB marketing, customer retention is a big deal. This metric measures the number of customers you keep over time, and it’s a great way to measure your company’s loyalty. To increase your customer retention, focus on ensuring your customers are satisfied with your products and services, and be proactive in solving any issues that might arise.
SMBs typically have shorter sales cycles and less bureaucracy than larger businesses, making them a good target market for many sales teams. They also often have a smaller pool of competition, which means you can gain a competitive edge in the market.
Additionally, it’s easier to communicate with key decision makers in SMB companies, as they are usually more accessible. This means you can provide better support, which leads to customer satisfaction and a loyal relationship over the long term. Finally, SMBs don’t always stay small — they may grow into large companies, which opens up new revenue opportunities for your business. With internal and external digital data, you can make sure your offerings are aligned with your SMB buyers’ real needs and anticipate future opportunities.