It’s no secret that the SMB market holds great opportunities for solution providers seeking to build profitable businesses. Whereas large customers often have their own IT staff or prefer to work directly with manufacturers, SMBs make up the largest market for potential sales, need technology to successfully compete with one another and larger competitors, and don’t have the internal expertise required to select and implement the best technology to solve their problems.
Of course, working with SMBs doesn’t come without its challenges. To learn more, we spoke with Ron Kiener, senior business development manager, data capture/point of sale for Ingram Micro. Kiener identifies a few areas where you can help SMBs.
- Address a lack of financing options—Kiener says most SMBs in the market for DC/POS solutions aren’t sitting on piles of cash waiting for the opportunity to throw it all at whatever latest-generation solution you’re recommending. Many organizations today are increasingly interested in OpEx investments via leases or “as a service” offerings. In either case, you’ll need to be prepared with alternative financing options. “Ingram Micro has a variety of different financing programs to help solution providers win more business,” he says. “Don’t assume you have to miss out on a deal because you or your customers lack the cash or credit lines. Give us a call and we’ll see if we can get creative and help you close the deal.”
- Act like a real trusted advisor—Unlike large customers who have their own staff, many SMBs are too busy running their businesses to know what changes they need to make to improve their operations. Kiener recommends that solution providers hone their consultative chops to become true trusted advisors. “Many people throw around the term ‘trusted advisor’ without really acting like one,” he says. “Act like the expert you are and help your customers understand what they need and then show them how an IT investment can improve their business. To take your sales pitches up a notch, Kiener points out that Ingram Micro can provide you with demo units and subject matter experts for pre- and post-sales design, implementation and support.
- Know what you’re getting into—Before you take on a new SMB customer and commit to a project, make sure you perform thorough site surveys, inventory IT assets and perform network/wireless assessments. The last thing you want to have happen is uncovering a limitation, missing piece or problem and have to ask your customer for more money. If network assessments—particularly wireless ones—leave you feeling uncomfortable, Kiener says that Ingram Micro offers a variety of professional services that can lend assistance.
Analyst group IDC predicted that worldwide SMB IT spending
would exceed $600 billion last year. That number is expected to rise more than 4.5% this year. With such a tremendous opportunity readily available, make sure you’re following the above advice. If you’d like to learn more about the SMB DC/POS market, contact Ron Kiener