Is SMB a more difficult market to target than other segments?


2

I'm currently in the process of building a business of my own based on selling an enterprise software. My product can be seen as a general purpose enterprise tool but I could also make it specific if I want by implementing predefined configurations.

Although I believe my product is useful for basically any kind of organization, I want to define a more specific audience so that I can focus my marketing and product efforts (even if I have to make changes or broaden later). The SMB segment looks like a reasonable choice, I think there's a real need for my product there, and I know how small and medium companies work, so I'm on a familiar ground.

My question is: is the SMB segment more difficult to capture then, let's say, a specific industry? Can anybody give me a real life feedback?

Thanks!

Note, this is not a pricing question, I'm aware of the impact this choice has on the pricing.

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asked Dec 6 '11 at 08:40
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Andreea Barroca
11 points
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2 Answers


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SMB is not a segment, it is a huge horizontal market. I tried to sell database software into SMB and found that people have vastly different requirements. I ended up specialising the product to suit these various segments and currently just focussing on one.

Once again, "general purpose enterprise tool for SMB" is not sufficiently specific to define a product. It would work if there was no competition. But there is, and it is huge.

Try picturing the kind of company that really cannot live without it and target them only. Only then it will be worth their while to read your product description, watch your demo or download your trial.

Whatever you think your position in the market is, the market will invariable correct you. That is normal. But you want to get to the point where the market wants to talk to you, and to get there, you need to be much, much more specific.

answered Dec 6 '11 at 09:57
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Sergei Veinberg
429 points
  • Sergei, thanks a lot for your feedback. In my case, the kind of software I want to sell was traditionally too expensive and heavy to implement for the small companies, so most of them don't have anything in the area, even if they would benefit of it (they do the job manually instead). But yes even so, I get your point (and everybody else's) about still seeing way too large. – Andreea Barroca 8 years ago
  • try it from another angle: what pain in a business does your software cure? Example: a rostering software helps create optimal shift schedules. Even though it is not narrowed down to an industry, you can use this definition to research keywords for search engine marketing. Or another way: within a business, there are departments of admin, HR, finance, marketing, production, fulfillment, customer service. Where does your software sit? – Sergei Veinberg 8 years ago
  • Yes, the departments + the search keywords is currently the approach I'm exploring. I thing I'm getting somewhere :-). Your suggestion encourages me that I'm on the right path. – Andreea Barroca 8 years ago

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SMB is no more a 'segment' than "humans with 2 legs" ;)

Think smaller.

answered Dec 6 '11 at 19:44
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Ryan
1,365 points

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