Are you hitting the mark—or missing it—when it comes to providing small and medium business (SMB) buyers with what they want in the tech buying process?
Our SMB 360: Connecting the Dots Between Business and Technology Study reveals how vendors can improve the purchasing process for SMBs (Figure 1).
Figure 1: How SMBs Want Vendors to Improve the Purchase Process
As indicated, SMBs’ top three asks are for vendors to:
- Make it easier to get answers to their questions. Both small (1-99 employees) and medium (100-1,000 employees) put this at the top of their lists. Closely connected is SMBs’ growing desire for vendors to provide real-time chat and/or phone support on their websites, which comes in at number four. SMBs’ desires here are not surprising. Our survey data also shows that small businesses rank “figuring out which technology solutions can best help my business” as their number one technology challenge, while medium businesses rate this as their second most vexing tech challenge.
- Provide a consistent experience between online, mobile and offline channels. Due to the rise of cloud computing, SMBs have been shifting channel preferences to favor direct purchase channels for business solutions (Figure 2). However, as the chart indicates, SMBs are channel omnivores Multiple channels are likely to come into play—and SMBs want vendors to provide a consistent shopping experience across them.
Figure 2: SMB Primary Purchase Channels for Business Solutions
- Better articulate how the solution helps us achieve specific business goals. This also relates directly that knotty problem of figuring out what solutions will really help the business. SMBs want more than an explanation of features and functionality—and sweeping benefits statements. After all, almost all vendors promise that their solutions will help SMBs grow, save time and operate more efficiently. SMBs want vendors to provide specifics of how their solutions will help with relevant business growth, talent and customer experience challenges (Figure 3).
Figure 3: SMB Top Business Challenges
As competition for SMB market share continues to intensify, business solution vendors can’t afford to be complacent about the purchase experience they offer to customers. One negative experience—or unanswered question—can potentially undo the investments you’ve made to nurture them along the technology decision-making process. Take an objective look at the experience you offer to SMBs today—and tune up the experience to better meet their expectations.
© SMB Group 2019