Profiting in the SMB Space

The small and midsize business (SMB) market (1 to 99 employees) offers many opportunities for driving significant channel revenue growth in the coming years. The challenge for VARs is understanding that companies in this market have unique business requirements and technology needs that are sometimes overlooked.

Begin with the Fundamentals. When selling to SMBs, you’ll need to leverage core selling strategies such as understanding customer needs, uncovering pain, and providing solutions that address what you have learned. However, to be truly successful and profitable selling to SMBs, you will need to adapt your selling strategy in order to develop a winning approach to convert prospects into paying customers. Let's take a look at a few examples of how to expand your strategy to best engage SMB prospects.

More rewards. You may work just as hard on an SMB sale as you would for an enterprise account. But because of the size of the account, the overall sales cycle can often be shorter, which could mean more overall transactions and thus more rewards.

Understand market trends. SMB market trendsIt’s important to be educated on current trends and how technology fuels changes in what, where, and how technology is purchased and used. If these market drivers are understood, it is easy to see how they can directly impact SMBs. The result can often mean significant new revenue opportunities for you that can be repeated with other customers.

The decision maker. A major benefit of working with SMBs is that you are working directly with the true decision maker – the owner of the company. Often, there is no IT staff which provides even more opportunity for you to be recognized as a strategic adviser to the company.

Become an advocate. By working directly with the decision maker, you have the ability to fully understand the company’s challenges and needs and to obtain a precise view of what the customer wants to achieve. As noted above, such a holistic view provides the context needed to present a strategic technology solution.

Keep it simple. Provide technical solutions that are easy to configure and install and require minimal support and service resources. SMBs do not have the time or resources to invest in long, arduous IT implementation processes

Maintain flexibility in pricing. With economic uncertainty in our current business environment, SMBs are very cost sensitive. For some sales, you may have to lower your profit margins, minimize upfront capital investments, or provide an all-inclusive pricing model to get the deal done.

Drive loyalty and decrease churn. Retaining customers and reducing churn is the simplest way to increase long-term profitability. By understanding a customer’s lifetime value, implementing CRM programs, and proactively reaching out to your base, you’ll deliver on your brand promise and exceed your customers’ expectations.

Not all SMBs are the same or created equal. To achieve high performance and capture the growth opportunity locked within this lucrative market, you will need to adjust your pitch constantly and use traditional and creative means to improve the customer experience and create customers for life.

For more information on how to reach small- and medium-sized businesses more quickly and more effectively, contact


About the Author
As Vice President at TBI, Ken Mercer oversees all sales and operations within the organization. Ken is also active in leveraging his extensive network services expertise to consult with TBI channel agents on large enterprise opportunities and serves on the advisory boards for many of TBI's service providers. You can contact Ken at or connect with him on LinkedIn.