Every company wants a faster sales cycle. The challenge with selling technology is that selling complex solutions requires a more complex sale process, which means a longer sales cycle. The length of the sales cycle also depends on your target customer.
Enterprise sales tend to take longer because the solutions are more expensive, integration issues are more complex, and there are more decision makers. When working to close a sales deal with a small- and medium-sized business (SMB), the rules are different. There are typically fewer decision makers, usually one or two, and they have already researched the solutions they need, which tends to shorten the sales cycle. However, when closing any SMB sales deal, the challenge for the sales rep is to address objections quickly and demonstrate immediate value to get to “yes” as quickly as possible.
Selling technology to SMBs also requires a different mindset. You need to think like a small-business owner, including weighing considerations such as short-term ROI, long-term value, scalability, ease of use, cost, and more. If you understand the SMB mindset and know how to work with smaller companies, you should be able to close your next SMB sales deal in 30 days or fewer.
What Makes SMBs Different
When selling to SMBs, you tend to work directly with decision makers, often the business owner. The SMB buyer has an intimate knowledge of their technology needs and what they can afford to spend.
When approaching SMB sales deals, the cost will always be high on the list of concerns. Most SMBs operate on very tight margins and have a limited budget for technology. Often, the business owner is faced with having to make difficult choices as to where to use their money first, and IT spending may not be as important as other operational or infrastructure needs. Since budgets usually are tight, be prepared to sweeten the deal with extras such as free training or support or waiving some other costs to make the deal more affordable and attractive.
The good news is that SMB buyers do their homework. They understand what they need, so your job is not to sell them products—instead, you get to help them solve their problem. Listen and understand their problem and then align your sales strategy accordingly.
To close an SMB sales deal quickly, you need to remove objections, such as:
- Price: Even if you can guarantee ROI, you have to make sure the money is available to close the deal.
- Complexity: Most SMBs have limited technical resources, so they seek out solutions that are easy to install and maintain.
- Scalability: SMBs also invest for the future, so any solution they buy needs to be able to grow with their business.
- Cost of support: SMB buyers want assurance that they can get support when they need it and that it’s affordable.
Demonstrating immediate ROI also helps to close any SMB sales deal faster.
Close the SMB Sales Deal
To shorten the time it takes to close any SMB sales deal, you need to be certain the prospect is ready to buy and quickly determine how you can best meet their needs. Here are some basic steps to close deals faster:
- Start with lead qualification. You can save a lot of time and trouble if you can be sure the prospect needs what you offer and they can afford it.
- Understand their needs. Take the time to understand their expectations, including long-term and short-term goals.
- Engage and be helpful. Listen closely and address the problems presented. Demonstrate that you care about their business—no matter the size of the contract.
- Talk their language. Don’t try to impress with tech speak or jargon. Use simple language for clearer communications.
- Demonstrate ROI. The shorter the time to return on investment, the more likely you can close the deal
- Be collaborative. Share information and be transparent so the prospect is comfortable and confident that they are making the right choice.
- Remove friction from the sales process. Remove obstacles and offer something extra, such as a free trial, easy payment terms, guarantees, testimonials, or customer support.
In the end, your goal must be to make it safe for the prospect to say “yes” to the deal.
Close Faster with Outsourced Support
Time is a valuable commodity for any sales rep, and when it comes to SMB sales deals, you want to assess the time investment against the return. Assess the customer acquisition cost and lifetime value of an SMB prospect to determine if the time investment is worthwhile. Consider the time required to engage with the prospect, understand their problem, offer the right solution, and close the deal. You may find that smaller SMB contracts may be too expensive to close. That’s where outsourcing can be invaluable.
There are several steps in the SMB sales process that you can readily outsource to save time and money, such as:
- Lead qualification
- Establishing the connection with the prospect
- Researching the prospect’s problem and matching it to the solution
- Sales engineering and technical support
- Onboarding and training
- Customer success, including cross-selling and upselling
When you assemble a team of sales specialists using both in-house and outsourced experts, it’s easier and more cost-effective to close SMB sales deals. You start with better-qualified prospects and have the resources available to present the right solution and remove objections. Many hands make light work, and a team of SMB sales specialists can close SMB deals faster in less time with fewer resources.
The professionals at MarketStar are experts in closing SMB sales. Too many technology companies ignore the SMB market because they don’t know how to close SMB sales deals. MarketStar shows them how to close new SMB deals, often in fewer than 30 days.
If you want to learn more about SMB selling, be sure to read our e-book, Sales as a Service: The MarketStar Advantage.