Chapter 12

A New Look at an Old Problem

Selling to Small- and Medium-Size Businesses

Ron Ref and Lan Guan

 

Chapter Summary

  • Segmented knowledge is critical; repackaging enterprise solutions for small business has minimal impact.
  • Vertical, customized solutions and the proper expectation are key.
  • Companies need to build “pathways” or route to market models that can efficiently serve the SMB markets.
  • Top-line and bottom-line considerations are key in the route to market model.

It's no secret that much of the growth in the economy and job creation in recent years can be attributed to the vibrant growth among small- and medium-size businesses (SMB). Taken together, the nearly 6 million U.S.-based small firms with fewer than 100 workers employ a total of almost 43 million people.1 Another 23 million people work for companies with 100 to 1,000 employees. And these small- and medium-size firms spend a lot of money: According to research firm IDC, worldwide SMB spending on information technology alone is expected to top US$610 billion by 2014.2

With the SMB market expected to grow significantly in the next decade, it is no wonder B2B companies are eager to find the most effective approaches for tapping this fast-growing but fragmented market. Because this market is so highly competitive and difficult to penetrate for B2B firms, it is a natural for the application of an Agile Selling approach.

To successfully tap the diverse SMB market, companies should utilize market data and customer ...

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