SMB Consulting criteria
Often times, we read business headlines about large companies reorganizing how they attack the small to medium business or SMB channel market. Although it is rarely mentioned the recommendations will typically be made by an SMB consulting company. The SMB consulting firm will make recommendations that can affect many departments of a large company including sales, marketing, distribution, customer service, manufacturing, packaging, and others. Are all of these changes always necessary when a large company attempts to sell to the lucrative smb channel market? The answer is yes, because the smb market represents a complex, fragmented market where most competitors get stuck. Stuck means that they spend a lot of money and resources at the smb channel, but never see a return relative to their expectations.
It is during this period of frustration that a Fortune 1000 or large company will engage an SMB consulting firm to help them better understand why their results are subpar. The smb consultant will examine all aspects of their efforts and give them a variant perspective on why the smb customer is not reaching in to their pocket and purchasing their product or service.
Many times, the lack of understanding of the smb customer is due to the fact that large company executives have never actually operated a small to medium business. The smb consulting company will give the larger company a better grasp on what the smb customer actually wants. It is rare for a large company to actually speak one on one with smb prospects or customers to find out what they really need. Instead, the typical approach is to assume that the smb customer wants to buy the same products other customers in other channels buy.
So, the same exact offering is ported over from the government sales channel, large company sales channel, or even retail / consumer sales channel. The same offering at the same price point with the same packaging will not resonate with the small to medium business owner. This is the start of the frustrating cycle. It would all be alleviated if the large company strategy was crafted after a core understanding of the smb customers needs and wants.
The smb consulting firm will often explain that smb prospects and customers can be won over with the following criteria:
– SMB customers want products or services that are relevant to their vertical market.
– SMB customers want products or services that will help them grow their revenues.
– SMB customers want products or services that will help them reduce their expenses
– SMB customers want products or services that create a better quality of life for the owner entrepreneur.
Once the above needs are addressed in a product, the smb consulting firm will craft a strategy and help to execute it. It is all done with the goal of increasing the large companies revenues from the small to medium business channel customer. The exercise of discovering what is missing can be difficult and rewarding at the same time. It is a strenuous process because the recommendations will never be easy to implement. The organizations will often ask themselves how committed they really are to the smb channel in order to implement some of the smb consultants recommendations.