Telco: Opportunity Exists in SMB; How Do You Capitalize?

According to Yelp, roughly 85% of American small businesses expect their revenues to grow in 2016. Year over year, small businesses are growing and need a network of technology and services to maintain growth and scale. In fact, research from BCGS suggests that the SMB market may potentially be worth $22bn to UK and US Telco operators. Vodafone saw the SMB opportunity, resulting in a recent doubling of its channel network and the launching of expanded coverage in India and beyond.

Whether you’re a solution provider or a service provider, you may be having trouble accelerating revenue in the SMB market despite the sectors ongoing growth. And we get it. It’s time for Telco to make waves – best practices, in-depth targeting strategies, and a data focused go-to-market plan will reign.

What is happening and how to go after SMBs…

  1. You’re boiling the ocean, but you only need to find the right pot.

    Small and medium sized businesses can close their doors just as fast as they open them. This makes it hard to target SMBs in a territory period, let alone find the ones with a high propensity for spend. The old strategy of “we have coverage in that region, so just go sell” is not going to cut it anymore. The best teams use a blend of internal and external data to target the right SMBs.Telcos have a wealth of data sitting in too many disparate systems – there is great sales process data in NetCracker and other Inquiry to Order CRMs, great infrastructure and coverage data in ERPs or EDWs, and great social and digital intent data externally that is waiting to be capitalized on. And before you go on to complain about the “contact-ability” of the SMB market – there are inexpensive data providers that can fill the common gaps in contact data. Collect the data, aggregate it into one place, and overlay three simple predictive models – propensity to buy/spend, next logical offer, and expected life time value.

  2. Now that you have the pot, cover it intelligently.

    SMB teams, whether field or inside, live for the grind. They are high frequency, high churn, and hustle rich roles. Hustle is important, but your teams have to cover the region intelligently. It is fairly easy to hand an inside sales rep a prioritized dialing list, but most Telco’s are failing to get their inside reps to adopt these tools as the lists are viewed as additive by management and not delivered in a manner that is relevant for the seller’s normal workflow.Great field teams have found ways, or at least are experimenting with ways, to overlay the same sort of predictive dialing list directly onto a route planner for field reps. The field rep still gets all of the benefits of their route planner, telling them which street to walk down and in what order, but prioritize target rich SMBs that are prime for a high margin sale on the route. Yes, it costs money to build out that infrastructure, but just think about how much SG&A spend is wasted on SMB targets by using the mass media marketing tactics born in the world of Residential. We believe that you can enable reps to adopt new intelligent selling motions for less than 5% of that spend, and yield mush higher sales results.

  3. Workflow, and other odds and ends.

    The collateral and content needs to be at the rep’s fingertips. An SMB seller should be provided with a prescribed selling motions on the RIGHT bundle for each SMB customer prior to walking in the door or picking up the phone.The content should be in a format that can be easily deployed, and we’d argue in one click, but certainly less than two to three clicks. Field reps should be able to add deals to the forecast in just several clicks and should be enabled to do it real time.