PDF Version: RSmith-SMB Buyer Insights
Not in a hurry
Purchase timelines can last 2-12 months with more significant investments expanding to years to mitigate risk and properly educate themselves.
SMB organizations rarely have the expertise in the target purchase as larger companies and therefore must leverage external resources. Google reports greater than 90% start online to survey availability, pricing, payback and reviews.
Seek decision support
They seek out experts either hired as consultants or draft employees to augment opinions and help choose the product or service.
Solutions must be at the right place, at the right time and resonate with the researcher. Intelligently filtered blogs, articles, awards, superlatives, independent recommendations, tweets, BBB/Yelp listings, etc are credible sources.
React to nurturing
After initial contact, solution education continues up to the purchase point. Marketing can take advantage nurturing the purchase process with dynamic multi-touch tactics. Touching influencers and decision makers programmatically through the buy cycle driving:
awareness > product differentiation > trust & credibility >
guiding the purchase decision > and even increasing purchase velocity
A single bad decision can be fateful to an SMB and look to mitigate risk with vendors, especially for products not core to the business itself. Solutions that discuss risks openly carry higher credibility.
Want a relationship
SMBs want business to business relationships but on their terms. They do not want to be treated like a consumer buyer and desire up leveled contact pre and post purchase.
Every business is unique and all aspire to grow. Reasonable levels of customization, like seasonal accommodations, have a higher value. This is especially true for products that scale up to meet future business growth.
SMB’s want to do business with companies who understand them. Marketing on their terms and in their language is another key differentiator like referencing regulatory and industry terms.
Two nearly identical businesses may make purchase decisions completely differently. Take 2 20-person law firms in the same building. The first practice is driven by low expenses evaluating solutions from that view. The other firm may be courting particular clientele dictation an entirely different approach for the same product.