More than 99.8 % of all companies worldwide belong to the Small and Medium Business (SMB) segment. SMB is defined as counting up to 50 million Euros in revenue and up to 1000 employees. The total buying power is tremendous and SMB customers are in need of innovative products, services and solutions as an advantage to grow faster and further (Source: Gartner Group).
However, many businesses focus on their top clients such as Enterprise, Corporate and Global accounts. These corporates are often fully aware of their purchasing power and thus have vast scope for pricing negotiation. Normally businesses generate large revenues with these accounts, but usually at a relatively low margin. However, high margins are the base for business health.
But how can high margin be achieved?
According to Nicolas Bocsi, Managing Director LIVINGBRANDS, “a frequently overlooked segment to achieve high margins is the above mentioned SMB market. Of course penetrating this segment requires a lot of effort. However, if you choose the right approach the market can be covered efficiently.”
According to Gartner and direct market feedback, interestingly enough, SMB clients are early adopters of new technologies, which make it a lot easier to conclude a first sell with them.
Plus, the decision-making process is quicker with smaller companies, since there are less people involved and decisions tend to be bolder.
One of our clients – a global market leader in the IT industry – perfectly sums this up: “I prefer selling 100 units through 10 customers at 10 % margin than selling them to 1 customer at 5 % margin.”
This requires a highly efficient sales engine with high market penetration and a dedicated product portfolio for the SMB customers. The idea is to ideally sell via phone and virtual meetings to avoid costly and time consuming customer visits.
Inside Sales Ensures Highly Efficient Market Coverage
Sales in the SMB segment are most efficiently realized through an Inside Sales approach – the ideal basis for perfect market coverage. However, there are many things you need to implement to do Inside Sales successful. Here a few key success factors:
- Integrated Marketing & Sales: apply push and pull strategies to generate demand. Regular sales activities should also be supported by complementary marketing and/or loyalty programs. The latter tend to be inexpensive as well as easy to implement and measure.
- SMB product portfolio: tailored products, services and solutions for the SMB customer are key.
- Dedicated Inside Sales resources: SMB accounts should not be added on top of already overloaded salespeople. Field and Inside Sales ask for two very different people profiles: while field sales include a greater human factor, Inside Sales people in addition require process-, tool- and technology know-how.
- Buy-In of all stakeholders, which means all involved departments and participating countries need to work closely with the project responsible executive and support the objectives.
- Performance Management: this includes a break-down of sales goals for each team member, the implementation of Pipeline Management, Forecast Management and review of sales KPIs on agent base.
- Achievable targets to keep sales staff engaged along with sales incentives to drive the desired results.
- Real-time market insights: the Inside Sales approach enables a live, unfiltered and fast overview of market disruptions and developments. This includes real-time information about customer needs and the competition, which again gives you the chance to immediately react on market changes and measure success.
LIVINGBRANDS: Our Differentiators
- B2B Sales Partner Of Global Market Leaders
Baldur Dürrwang, Chairman LIVINGBRANDS, comments: “LIVINGBRANDS is the designated sales specialist of the SELLBYTEL Group. We have delivered excellent global sales services for our partners for many years. That’s why 5 of the world’s 10 most valuable brands have entrusted us with their business. As a strategic sales partner to these experienced blue chip companies we have further extended our already vast know-how. And by leveraging these best sales practices, we are able to also consult other leading businesses regarding successful sales.”
- Highly Engaged Sales Teams
Many people ask us what our secret is to our success. Of course our success is based on our expertise in the planning, implementation and running of outsourced sales models. And we can also say that our success is based on our major expertise in Sales Management and People Management. This is all true, but incomplete. Why?
Nicolas Bocsi explains: “Even though the right processes, tools and management skills are the foundation for any successful project, sales has always and will always be “people business”. The best structure without the right talents would be lacking success. Our people are quite simply our most valuable asset and the face to our clients. Therefore we emphasize on who we recruit, because we know that the right attitude is key. Our entire organization has a sales DNA, from HR Specialists (spotting talents), Trainers (developing the talents), to Team Managers (developing and engaging the talent) to the Management Board.”
As a result we only work with the most dedicated and talented individuals. We offer them a pleasant and professional work environment (respectively please read our Sales Lab article), providing ongoing training schemes as well as attractive internal and external career opportunities. This means employees can develop vertically and horizontally within the company as well as directly towards our clients. The benefit for the latter is the direct access to a trained and motivated talent pool.
- Doing Both: Local Sales Teams Or Centralized Hub Models
When choosing the right outsourcing partner for your business, location is everything. This means you should be looking for a partner in a location that best fits your infrastructure and customer needs. As a global market leader with over 60 locations we can implement both global delivery models as well as local solutions for a single country. This includes onsite solutions on the client’s premises as well as full outsourcing at one of our global sales hubs. But how do we achieve all that?
Baldur Dürrwang respectively notes: “We have an enormous toolbox of knowledge, experience and talent. At our important hub in Lisbon, for example, 70 % of our more than 800 talented employees have completed higher education.”
So you can see that no matter how you want to approach your SMB business, we have the experience, locations and the skills to come up with a perfectly tailored solution for your business too.
Please contact Nicolas Bocsi Nicolas.Bocsi@livingbrands.de to jointly discuss your journey to a profitable business growth in the SMB segment!