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Bredin Fastcast: Selling to SMBs in 2017

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How do small and medium businesses (SMBs) want to be sold to? Where do they first learn about products and services, where in the purchase process do they want to engage with a salesperson, and what kind of content and resources do they review at each stage of the buying cycle?

To answer these questions – and to help you sell more effectively to SMBs – we recently surveyed 315 U.S. SMB principals. The results are instructive; there are some great learnings on which content formats to use at different points in the sales cycle, when to have a salesperson make contact, and how best to stay in touch with warm prospects and with customers.

In this new report from Bredin, the SMB marketing experts, you’ll find unique insights on:

The SMB business outlook
2016 SMB business outlook
Critical role that peers play in awareness, research and the final purchase decision
Tactics that work best to make SMBs aware of your offerings
Tools SMBs use to research products and services for their business
Ways that SMBs make a final purchase decision
Role that SMBs want a salesperson to play in the sales process
Ways (and timing) that SMBs want to hear from you before they’re ready to buy

Published in: Sales
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Bredin Fastcast: Selling to SMBs in 2017

  1. 1. Selling to SMBs in 2017 January 19, 2017 Bredin, Inc. www.bredin.com 617-674-7882
  2. 2. Increasing SMB Acquisition, Engagement and Retention 2 Content Marketing Ÿ Market Research
  3. 3. Give SMB marketers a current perspective on how SMBs want to be sold to •  How SMBs learn about products and services for their business •  Who leads the purchase decision-making process •  How and when SMBs want to engage with your sales team •  Which content formats work best at each stage of the sales cycle •  How they want to stay in touch with you during the purchase process – and after they buy 3 Research Objective
  4. 4. Methodology How •  15-minute online survey via the Bredin.com/smbpulse Who •  315 principals of U.S. companies with <500 employees •  115 with <20 employees (97.7% weighting) •  100 with 20-99 employees (1.9% weighting) •  100 with 100-500 employees (.3% weighting) •  Any industry •  See slides 45-49 for participant demographics When •  November 28 – December 2, 2016 1 2 3 4
  5. 5. Detailed Results
  6. 6. Analysts like Forrester or Gartner Social media site Online forum / discussion board My external team – e.g., my accountant, attorney or local technology consultant / reseller Business news media / review sites / blogs My internal team – e.g., my IT manager, financial manager, HR manager, etc. In a store Other business owners / peers / colleagues Direct from vendors – e.g., email, websites, trade shows, sales call from representative, etc. 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 6 SMBs are most likely to learn about your new offerings directly from you New Product Awareness n=310 Rated 1 or 2 In general, where would you say you first learn about new products and services for your business? (please rank from most likely / important to least likely / important)
  7. 7. Analysts like Forrester or Gartner Social media site Online forum / discussion board My external team – e.g., my accountant, attorney or local technology consultant / reseller Business news media / review sites / blogs My internal team – e.g., my IT manager, financial manager, HR manager, etc. In a store Other business owners / peers / colleagues Direct from vendors – e.g., email, websites, trade shows, sales call from representative, etc. 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 1-19 20-99 100-5007 Larger SMBs are more likely to use social media and forums New Product Awareness Sources: Company Size n=310 Rated 1 or 2 unweighted In general, where would you say you first learn about new products and services for your business? (please rank from most likely / important to least likely / important)
  8. 8. Analysts like Forrester or Gartner Social media site Online forum / discussion board My external team – e.g., my accountant, attorney or local technology consultant / reseller Business news media / review sites / blogs My internal team – e.g., my IT manager, financial manager, HR manager, etc. In a store Other business owners / peers / colleagues Direct from vendors – e.g., email, websites, trade shows, sales call from representative, etc. 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 18-34 35-49 50+8 Millennials rely most on their team; Gen X, their peers; and Boomers, their vendors New Product Awareness Sources: Respondent Age n=310 Rated 1 or 2 In general, where would you say you first learn about new products and services for your business? (please rank from most likely / important to least likely / important)
  9. 9. 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% eBook / guide / handbook Instagram Pinterest Twitter Outdoor billboard or signage Audio podcast Radio Infographic Blog Banner / display ad Press release Case study LinkedIn Facebook YouTube Interactive tool Forum or discussion board White paper Analyst report One-off email TV Webinar / webcast External / third-party consultant Research report Video on vendor’s website Print newsletter Postcard, letter or catalog in the mail Newspaper / magazine (print or online) Email newsletter Online review Call or meeting with vendor sales representative Product section of vendor’s website Resources section of a vendor’s website Event or trade show In-house staff Peer / colleague 9 Product Awareness n=314 Top-two box On a scale of 1 (very unlikely) to 5 (very likely), please rate how likely you are to first learn about products or services for your business via each of these specific sources / formats. Peers are the leading source of new product information
  10. 10. 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% Instagram Pinterest Twitter Outdoor billboard or signage Audio podcast Radio Infographic Blog Banner / display ad Press release Case study LinkedIn Facebook YouTube Interactive tool Forum or discussion board White paper Analyst report One-off email TV Webinar / webcast External / third-party consultant Research report Video on vendor’s website Print newsletter Postcard, letter or catalog in the mail Newspaper / magazine (print or online) Email newsletter Online review Call or meeting with vendor sales representative Product section of vendor’s website Resources section of a vendor’s website Event or trade show In-house staff Peer / colleague 1-19 20-99 100-500 n=314 Top-two box unweighted 10 Product Awareness: Company Size Staff, events and sales reps are most important to larger SMBs On a scale of 1 (very unlikely) to 5 (very likely), please rate how likely you are to first learn about products or services for your business via each of these specific sources / formats.
  11. 11. 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% Instagram Pinterest Twitter Outdoor billboard or signage Audio podcast Radio Infographic Blog Banner / display ad Press release Case study LinkedIn Facebook YouTube Interactive tool Forum or discussion board White paper Analyst report One-off email TV Webinar / webcast External / third-party consultant Research report Video on vendor’s website Print newsletter Postcard, letter or catalog in the mail Newspaper / magazine (print or online) Email newsletter Online review Call or meeting with vendor sales representative Product section of vendor’s website Resources section of a vendor’s website Event or trade show In-house staff Peer / colleague 18-34 35-49 50+ n=314 Top-two box 11 Product Awareness: Respondent Age Younger SMBs are much greater consumers of a wide range of information sources On a scale of 1 (very unlikely) to 5 (very likely), please rate how likely you are to first learn about products or services for your business via each of these specific sources / formats.
  12. 12. My external team (e.g., accountant, attorney, consultant, tech vendor, etc.) Third-party experts (e.g., analysts, bloggers or reviewers) Vendors My internal team Peers / colleagues 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 12 SMBs look to their peers first when investigating new products New Product Investigation n=313 Rated 1 or 2 Who do you rely on most for information, advice or recommendations when you are investigating new products or services for your business? (rank from most to least important)
  13. 13. My external team (e.g., accountant, attorney, consultant, tech vendor, etc.) Third-party experts (e.g., analysts, bloggers or reviewers) Vendors My internal team Peers / colleagues 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 1-19 20-99 100-50013 Smaller SMBs rely on peers, while larger SMBs rely on their staff New Product Investigation: Company Size n=313 Rated 1 or 2 unweighted Who do you rely on most for information, advice or recommendations when you are investigating new products or services for your business? (rank from most to least important)
  14. 14. 14 SMB principals are very involved in new product research New Product Research Lead: Company Size Once your company has decided to investigate a new product or service for your business, who typically leads the research? (select the closest answer) *unweightedn=310
  15. 15. 0% 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% 30% 35% 40% 45% 50% 55% 60% Instagram Twitter Audio podcast Pinterest Infographic Blog Radio Press release One-off email Outdoor billboard or signage Banner / display ad White paper LinkedIn Facebook eBook / guide / handbook TV Forum or discussion board Webinar / webcast External / third-party consultant YouTube Newspaper / magazine (print or online) Case study Analyst report Postcard, letter or catalog in the mail Research report Interactive tool Print newsletter Email newsletter Video on vendor’s website Resources section of a vendor’s website In-house staff Event or trade show Online review Call or meeting with a vendor sales representative Product section of a vendor’s website Search Peer / colleague 15 Product Research n=315 Top-two box On a scale of 1 (very unlikely) to 5 (very likely), please rate how likely you are to use each of these sources / formats when you are researching products or services for your business. Peers are the most important source of product research information
  16. 16. 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% Instagram Twitter Audio podcast Pinterest Infographic Blog Radio Press release One-off email Outdoor billboard or signage Banner / display ad White paper LinkedIn Facebook eBook / guide / handbook TV Forum or discussion board Webinar / webcast External / third-party consultant YouTube Newspaper / magazine (print or online) Case study Analyst report Postcard, letter or catalog in the mail Research report Interactive tool Print newsletter Email newsletter Video on vendor’s website Resources section of a vendor’s website In-house staff Event or trade show Online review Call or meeting with a vendor sales representative Product section of a vendor’s website Search Peer / colleague 1-19 20-99 100-500 16 Product Research: Company Size n=315 Top-two box unweighted Staff, sales reps, peer and analyst reports are most important to larger SMBs On a scale of 1 (very unlikely) to 5 (very likely), please rate how likely you are to use each of these sources / formats when you are researching products or services for your business.
  17. 17. 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% Instagram Twitter Audio podcast Pinterest Infographic Blog Radio Press release One-off email Outdoor billboard or signage Banner / display ad White paper LinkedIn Facebook eBook / guide / handbook TV Forum or discussion board Webinar / webcast External / third-party consultant YouTube Newspaper / magazine (print or online) Case study Analyst report Postcard, letter or catalog in the mail Research report Interactive tool Print newsletter Email newsletter Video on vendor’s website Resources section of a vendor’s website In-house staff Event or trade show Online review Call or meeting with a vendor sales representative Product section of a vendor’s website Search Peer / colleague No growth Slow growth Fast growth 17 Product Research: Growth Outlook n=315 Top-two box Companies with growth aspirations are strongly in research mode… On a scale of 1 (very unlikely) to 5 (very likely), please rate how likely you are to use each of these sources / formats when you are researching products or services for your business.
  18. 18. 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% Instagram Twitter Audio podcast Pinterest Infographic Blog Radio Press release One-off email Outdoor billboard or signage Banner / display ad White paper LinkedIn Facebook eBook / guide / handbook TV Forum or discussion board Webinar / webcast External / third-party consultant YouTube Newspaper / magazine (print or online) Case study Analyst report Postcard, letter or catalog in the mail Research report Interactive tool Print newsletter Email newsletter Video on vendor’s website Resources section of a vendor’s website In-house staff Event or trade show Online review Call or meeting with a vendor sales representative Product section of a vendor’s website Search Peer / colleague 18-34 35-49 50+ 18 Product Research: Respondent Age n=315 Top-two box …as are Millennial SMBs On a scale of 1 (very unlikely) to 5 (very likely), please rate how likely you are to use each of these sources / formats when you are researching products or services for your business.
  19. 19. 0% 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% 30% 35% 40% 45% 50% 55% Instagram Pinterest Twitter Radio Outdoor billboard or signage Banner / display ad Audio podcast Blog LinkedIn TV Infographic Facebook One-off email Press release YouTube Forum or discussion board Webinar / webcast White paper Newspaper / magazine (print or online) Print newsletter eBook / guide / handbook Analyst report Email newsletter Case study Postcard, letter or catalog in the mail Research report Interactive tool External / third-party consultant Video on vendor’s website Event or trade show Online review Resource section of a vendor’s website In-house staff Search Product section of a vendor’s website Call or meeting with vendor sales representative Peer / colleague 19 Purchase Decision n=314 Top-two box In aggregate, peers are most important when making a purchase decision On the same scale, please rate how likely you are to use each of these sources / formats to make a final purchase decision on products or services for your business.
  20. 20. 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% Instagram Pinterest Twitter Radio Outdoor billboard or signage Banner / display ad Audio podcast Blog LinkedIn TV Infographic Facebook One-off email Press release YouTube Forum or discussion board Webinar / webcast White paper Newspaper / magazine (print or online) Print newsletter eBook / guide / handbook Analyst report Email newsletter Case study Postcard, letter or catalog in the mail Research report Interactive tool External / third-party consultant Video on vendor’s website Event or trade show Online review Resource section of a vendor’s website In-house staff Search Product section of a vendor’s website Call or meeting with vendor sales representative Peer / colleague 1-19 20-99 100-500 20 Purchase Decision: Company Size n=314 Top-two box unweighted …although research reports are most important to larger SMBs On the same scale, please rate how likely you are to use each of these sources / formats to make a final purchase decision on products or services for your business.
  21. 21. 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% Instagram Pinterest Twitter Radio Outdoor billboard or signage Banner / display ad Audio podcast Blog LinkedIn TV Infographic Facebook One-off email Press release YouTube Forum or discussion board Webinar / webcast White paper Newspaper / magazine (print or online) Print newsletter eBook / guide / handbook Analyst report Email newsletter Case study Postcard, letter or catalog in the mail Research report Interactive tool External / third-party consultant Video on vendor’s website Event or trade show Online review Resource section of a vendor’s website In-house staff Search Product section of a vendor’s website Call or meeting with vendor sales representative Peer / colleague 18-34 35-49 50+ 21 Purchase Decision: Respondent Age n=314 Top-two box Younger SMBs are heavier information-seekers at the purchase stage On the same scale, please rate how likely you are to use each of these sources / formats to make a final purchase decision on products or services for your business.
  22. 22. SMB Purchase Process Map Product section of a vendor’s website Resource section of a vendor’s website Event or trade show In-house staff Peer / colleague New Product Awareness Online review Call or meeting with a vendor sales representative Product section of a vendor’s website Search Peer / colleague New Product Research In-house staff Search Product section of a vendor’s website Call or meeting with a vendor sales representative Peer / colleague Purchase Decision Call or meeting with a vendor sales representative Event or trade show Resource section of a vendor’s website 22
  23. 23. 23 SMBs learn about products and services through mass and social media; use content to conduct research; and rely on sales reps, the product section of your site, and peers to make a purchase decision Sales Stage Influences n=varies For each of the sources / content formats below, please select the stage in the purchase cycle - awareness (i.e., where you first learn about a product or service), research (i.e., investigation / evaluation) or purchase (i.e. make a final purchase decision) - where you are most likely to use that source / content format. 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% Call or meeting with vendor sales representative Resource section of a vendor's website Product section of a vendor's website Search Online review Peer / colleague Video on vendor website Research report Interactive tool Analyst report In-house staff Case study Forum or discussion board Webinar / webcast Event or trade show eBook / guide / handbook White paper Print newsletter Blog Postcard, letter or catalog in the mail Email newsletter Infographic One-off email YouTube Newspaper / magazine (print or online) Press release LinkedIn Audio podcast Facebook Pinterest Outdoor billboard or signage TV Banner / display ad Twitter Instagram RadioAwareness Research Purchase
  24. 24. After we first learn about a product or service On an ongoing basis, for example via occasional calls or emails Once we are considering purchasing a product or service Once we are ready to purchase a product or service 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 24 SMBs most want to hear from a salesperson once they are ready to purchase a product or service Salesperson First Contact n=313 Top-two box On a scale of 1 (do not want at all) to 5 (want very much), please rate when you want to hear from a salesperson:
  25. 25. After we first learn about a product or service On an ongoing basis, for example via occasional calls or emails Once we are considering purchasing a product or service Once we are ready to purchase a product or service 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 1-19 20-99 100-50025 Larger SMBs are very interested in ongoing sales engagement… Salesperson First Contact: Company Size n=313 Top-two box unweighted On a scale of 1 (do not want at all) to 5 (want very much), please rate when you want to hear from a salesperson:
  26. 26. After we first learn about a product or service On an ongoing basis, for example via occasional calls or emails Once we are considering purchasing a product or service Once we are ready to purchase a product or service 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 18-34 35-49 50+26 …as are younger SMBs Salesperson First Contact: Respondent Age n=313 Top-two box On a scale of 1 (do not want at all) to 5 (want very much), please rate when you want to hear from a salesperson:
  27. 27. Handbook or guide on a business management topic, like how to get new customers Customer stories or case studies Checklist or worksheet to determine the right product configuration for your needs Sheets or brochures describing the product 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 1-19 20-99 100-500 27 Smaller SMBs prefer product sell sheets, while larger SMBs slightly prefer configuration help Sales Support: Print Materials: Company Size n=314 Top-two box unweighted When you do meet with a salesperson, on a scale of 1 (do not like at all) to 5 (like very much), please rate how much you like each of these kinds of printed pieces they might review with you.
  28. 28. Handbook or guide on a business management topic, like how to get new customers Customer stories or case studies Checklist or worksheet to determine the right product configuration for your needs Sheets or brochures describing the product 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 18-34 35-49 50+ 28 Millennial SMBs like print materials Sales Support: Print Materials: Respondent Age n=314 Top-two box When you do meet with a salesperson, on a scale of 1 (do not like at all) to 5 (like very much), please rate how much you like each of these kinds of printed pieces they might review with you.
  29. 29. Video on a business management topic, like how to get new customers Presentation featuring customer stories or case studies Video presenting customer stories or case studies Presentation (like a PowerPoint) on product features and benefits Video describing the product features and benefits Interactive tool to determine the right product configuration for your needs Instant quote / order confirmation with specifications, costs, delivery timing, etc. 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 1-19 20-99 100-50029 Small and mid-size SMBs prefer instant quotes; the largest SMBs slightly prefer video Sales Support: PC or Tablet-based Materials: Company Size n=315 Top-two box unweighted On the same scale, please rate how much you like each of these kinds of materials a salesperson might review with you on a PC or tablet.
  30. 30. Video on a business management topic, like how to get new customers Presentation featuring customer stories or case studies Video presenting customer stories or case studies Presentation (like a PowerPoint) on product features and benefits Video describing the product features and benefits Interactive tool to determine the right product configuration for your needs Instant quote / order confirmation with specifications, costs, delivery timing, etc. 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 18-34 35-49 50+30 Millennials prefer every screen-based format across the board Sales Support: PC or Tablet-based Materials: Respondent Age n=315 Top-two box On the same scale, please rate how much you like each of these kinds of materials a salesperson might review with you on a PC or tablet.
  31. 31. Twitter Instagram Pinterest LinkedIn YouTube Facebook Text messages Print newsletter Letter, postcard or other mailing Occasional call from a sales representative Email newsletter In-person meetings with a sales representative Occasional email from a sales representative 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 1-19 20-99 100-50031 SMB prospects prefer to stay in touch with vendors via email and sales rep calls / meetings Prospect Nurture Format Preferences: Company Size n=315 Top-two box unweighted On a scale of 1 (not at all interested) to 5 (very interested), how interested are you in each of these ways to stay in touch with vendors if you have researched a product or service, but are not yet ready to buy?
  32. 32. Twitter Instagram Pinterest LinkedIn YouTube Facebook Text messages Print newsletter Letter, postcard or other mailing Occasional call from a sales representative Email newsletter In-person meetings with a sales representative Occasional email from a sales representative 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 18-34 35-49 50+32 Millennial SMBs are especially open to sales meetings Prospect Nurture Format Preferences: Respondent Age n=315 Top-two box On a scale of 1 (not at all interested) to 5 (very interested), how interested are you in each of these ways to stay in touch with vendors if you have researched a product or service, but are not yet ready to buy?
  33. 33. Once a year Once every six months Once a week Once a month Once every three months I prefer to reach out to them as needed 0% 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% 30% 35% 40% 45% 1-19 20-99 100-500 33 Small SMB prospects prefer to reach out to vendors; larger SMBs like regular inbound contact Prospect Nurture Contact Frequency: Company Size n=315 unweighted How often do you like a vendor to contact you when you are not yet ready to buy?
  34. 34. Twitter Instagram Pinterest YouTube LinkedIn Facebook Text messages Letter, postcard or other mailing Print newsletter Email newsletter Occasional call from a sales representative In-person meetings with a sales representative Occasional email from a sales representative 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 1-19 20-99 100-50034 Like prospects, SMB customers prefer to stay in touch via email and sales rep calls / meetings Customer Contact Format Preferences: Company Size n=314 Top-two box unweighted On a scale of 1 (not at all interested) to 5 (very interested), how interested are you in each of these ways to stay in touch with a vendor after you have purchased their product or service?
  35. 35. Twitter Instagram Pinterest YouTube LinkedIn Facebook Text messages Letter, postcard or other mailing Print newsletter Email newsletter Occasional call from a sales representative In-person meetings with a sales representative Occasional email from a sales representative 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 18-34 35-49 50+ 35 Millennial SMBs are much more open to staying connected with vendors Customer Contact Format Preferences: Respondent Age n=314 Top-two box On a scale of 1 (not at all interested) to 5 (very interested), how interested are you in each of these ways to stay in touch with a vendor after you have purchased their product or service?
  36. 36. Once a year Once a week Once every six months Once a month Once every three months I prefer to reach out to them as needed 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 1-19 20-99 100-50036 Larger SMBs want frequent vendor contact… Customer Contact Frequency: Company Size n=315 unweighted How often do you like a vendor to contact you after you have purchased their product or service? (select one)
  37. 37. Once a year Once a week Once every six months Once a month Once every three months I prefer to reach out to them as needed 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 18-34 35-49 50+ 37 …Millennials want to hear from you weekly Customer Contact Frequency: Respondent Age n=315 How often do you like a vendor to contact you after you have purchased their product or service? (select one)
  38. 38. It is in a new or unique format It is written by someone from the sponsoring company, like an executive or product manager It is written by a third party expert, like an industry analyst It provides a compelling or time-sensitive offer, like a discount or free trial It is short It is visually interesting or compelling It addresses the concerns of companies the same size as my company It provides practical advice or tips I can put to use in my business It is recommended by a peer / colleague It addresses the concerns of companies in my industry It doesn’t do a hard sell It is well-written It provides information on a product or service I’m interested in It clearly describes the benefits of the product or service It is easy to understand 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 1-19 20-99 100-500 38 Clarity, and product information, are keys to effective marketing content Marketing Content: What’s Important: Company Size n=312 Top-two box unweighted On a scale of 1 (not at all important) to 5 (very important), how important to you are each of these aspects of marketing content, like the formats above, from a vendor?
  39. 39. It is in a new or unique format It is written by someone from the sponsoring company, like an executive or product manager It is written by a third party expert, like an industry analyst It provides a compelling or time-sensitive offer, like a discount or free trial It is short It is visually interesting or compelling It addresses the concerns of companies the same size as my company It provides practical advice or tips I can put to use in my business It is recommended by a peer / colleague It addresses the concerns of companies in my industry It doesn’t do a hard sell It is well-written It provides information on a product or service I’m interested in It clearly describes the benefits of the product or service It is easy to understand 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 18-34 35-49 50+ 39 Millennial SMBs are more receptive to offers, and new content formats Marketing Content: What’s Important: Respondent Age n=312 Top-two box On a scale of 1 (not at all important) to 5 (very important), how important to you are each of these aspects of marketing content, like the formats above, from a vendor?
  40. 40. How effective would you say the articles, tips and other advice vendors provide is at helping you manage your business? In general, how effective would you say vendor content and collateral is at explaining their products and services, and how they will help your business? 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 1-19 20-99 100-500 40 Larger SMBs rate product and marketing content higher… Content Marketing Effectiveness: Company Size n=313 Top-two box unweighted Please rate the following on a scale of 1 (not effective) to 5 (very effective):
  41. 41. How effective would you say the articles, tips and other advice vendors provide is at helping you manage your business? In general, how effective would you say vendor content and collateral is at explaining their products and services, and how they will help your business? 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 18-34 35-49 50+ 41 …as do younger SMBs Content Marketing Effectiveness: Respondent Age n=313 Top-two box Please rate the following on a scale of 1 (not effective) to 5 (very effective):
  42. 42. Selling to SMBs: 7 Tips Focus your tactics on your audience •  E.g. peers across the board •  Sales calls and events for larger SMBs Know your audience(s): title, company size, industry, pain points Enable line-of-business managers to make a case to the principal Develop content to support the whole sales cycle •  Relevant, actionable, ideally industry-specific Support your sales team •  Enable them to engage across the sales cycle •  Provide a variety of formats, on your offerings and business advice Keep in touch with prospects and customers •  Email newsletter •  Sales team emails / calls / meetings 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 42 Make sure your site presents your offerings clearly •  Enable easy product selection / configuration
  43. 43. For More Information 43 Stu Richards, CEO stu@bredin.com Twitter: @BredinInc ✔ ✔ ✔ Email me for a copy of this report Get the full report at bit.ly/2hZLLZd Join me for our next Fastcast, Selling Telco Services to SMBs, at 1pmE on Thursday February 9
  44. 44. Sample Characteristics
  45. 45. 39% 27% 23% 10% Sample Characteristics Owner, Founder, Manager, Partner, CxO, etc. 100%Title Principal 45 Industry PS: Educational services, Finance & insurance, Health care & social assistance, Information technology, Management of companies & enterprises, Professional services RW: Accommodation & food service, Arts, Entertainment & recreation, Real estate, rental & leasing, Retail trade, Transportation & warehousing, Wholesale Trade M: Construction, Manufacturing, Mining, Scientific & technical services, Utilities Other: Administrative, support, waste management & remediation service, Other services (except public administration) n=315 n=315
  46. 46. 51% 49% Male Female 25% 32% 43% 18-34 35-49 50+ 46 Age Gender n=315 n=315 Sample Characteristics
  47. 47. 37% 32% 32% 1-19 Employees 20-99 Employees 100-500 Employees 24% 26% 50% 0 to 5 Years 6 to 10 Years More than 10 years 47 Company Size Years in Business n=315 n=310 Sample Characteristics
  48. 48. 38% 32% 24% 3% 3% Up by 10% or more Up, by less than 10% Same as 2015 Down, by less than 10% Down by 10% or more 48 2016 Revenue Growth n=315 2015 Revenue 23% 17% 15% 46% Less than $500k $100k to $499k $500k to $999k $1M+ n=314 Sample Characteristics
  49. 49. 49 Region n=315 Midwest 20% West 26% South 36% Northeast 19% Sample Characteristics
  50. 50. Thank You

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