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How To Overcome SMB Inertia

overcome smb inertia
This past week, Mike Brown Jr. sat down with Kevin Petry, VP of Sales at Booker, to talk about how to overcome SMB inertia. Of all the experts we could have had on the show to discuss how to overcome SMB inertia, Kevin knows this problem first hand from a 30+ year career selling into small businesses. Before joining Booker, Kevin held sales leadership roles at FrontFlip, Groupon, Rubicon Interactive, and Entertainment Publications. He is an industry expert in SMB customer acquisition and retention having been involved in organizations that have acquired over a combined one million SMBs. Therefore, he has extensive knowledge in how to overcome SMB inertia. In order to better understand how to overcome SMB inertia, we examined four different reasons why a SMB might say “no” and developed strategies to overcome these specific challenges. The first reason we examined is if the SMB felt that they don’t have the budget to afford the software. Second, we assessed if the SMB is set in their current process. The third reason we looked at is if the SMB is too busy to purchase/implement the software. Lastly, we examined if the SMB already uses a competitor.

(1) SMB Doesn’t Have The Budget – If your software platform actually provides extensive value for a SMB, then the budgetary reason to not purchase/implement it is fairly easy to overcome. In that situation, you should convey the value of the platform and explain how it is almost self-funding. If the piece of software is not providing value to the SMB above and beyond the cost, then the relationship will not sustain. SaaS providers should be viewed as partners, rather than an expense. They want to help SMBs make more money.

(2) SMB Is Set In Their Current Process – Consumer habits are changing. Although a SMB might be set in their current process, you have to help your prospects understand the value of your software. You should recognize the areas that you can help a SMB. Salespeople need to modify their product pitch in order to convince small business owners of their software’s value. The customization of a pitch for specific leads is extremely important. In order to be successful in creating the right pitch, you need to have a deep understanding of the competitive landscape. Salespeople should listen to the challenges that customers face and, hopefully, explain how their product can help. If an SMB is still happy with their current process, then you should part ways and simply attempt to keep them on your radar because never really is forever.

(3) SMB Is Too Busy – Small business owners have so many different things coming at them and they struggle with protecting their time. Therefore, you need to convince them why they should be talking with you. It is extremely important to bring that up early in the conversation in order to generate enough interest to continue it. Having a solid conversation and respecting their time while maintaining a consultative sales process will yield the best results.

(4) SMB Uses A Competitor – It’s ok if a SMB is happy with their current solution. If you are bringing to market a product with much more functionality, then you need to convey the value you bring to your customer is far greater than their current platform. Identify up front if there is the potential for your customer to move away from their existing solution. Attempt to find that one thing the customer really wants or current solution lacks and focus your product pitch on that specific piece. Also, this kind of conversation will help give you insight into the potential of the relationship down the road. As salespeople, you always want to maintain smarter prospecting; therefore, you want to get that feedback. It is important to always ask the right questions, so you can build extensive market intelligence.

It is diffuclt to overcome SMB inertia. However, if you develop the right sales approach, it is possible to achieve success.

If you’d like to listen to the complete podcast with Kevin Petry explaining how to overcome SMB inertia, you can do so here.

Nic Poulos
Nic Poulos

Nic is a Principal at Bowery Capital based in New York. Prior to forming Bowery Capital, Nic was an Associate at AOL Ventures where he helped drive investment in and support of over 20 companies, primarily in the enterprise software space. Before AOL Ventures, he served as a Manager at Advertising.com, leading various business development initiatives focused around ad tech and sales. Earlier, Nic worked as a technology investment banking analyst at GCA Savvian Advisors in the firm’s Internet group. While there, he participated in the acquisitions of Broadband Enterprises and Register.com, as well as various early- and mid-stage private financings. Nic holds an A.B. in History from Princeton University.