Microsoft offers zero percent financing on Dynamics ERP and CRM. Given the economy and the credit crunch, it must make a lot of sense, right? Not really. In ERP, licensing the product is far from being the most significant cost. Training, implementation, change management, additional hardware, additional software (like database), third party software components that goes with the new package (add ons are common addition to ERP implementations) make the money you spend with Microsoft the smallest part of your investment. Continue reading “Financing an ERP product does not equal financing a car”
Last week I wrote about measuring customer satisfaction using only one powerful question. Between then and now I was approached by two companies to gauge mine: Netflix and Telenav. I like both services a lot but Netflix proves time and again that they have mastered the web 2.0 techniques of measuring satisfaction and performance whileTelenav looks like it outsourced customer engagement to an agency from the 90s… Continue reading “How not to Measure Customer Satisfaction”
Last week I wrote about The SMB Market: the one that is difficult to win, but too large to ignore. My main claim was that SMB spending on IT is about to cross large enterprise spending, but very few companies are successful in winning this market. This phenomenon leads to a very scattered market, led by thousands of different vendors and lacking economies of scale. Take the Business management (AKA ERP): If you add Microsoft Dynamics, Sage, SAP and Netsuite, you will get to about 20% of market coverage. Who has the rest? Others. Who are those others? Many thousands of small to tiny companies that found a way to make a living out of selling a local or micro vertical business management software. Their customers may enjoy personal service and high fit for their needs, but they would not enjoy state of the art technology and the reliability of a large company.
The hardware space looks much different. In just about any survey you read, these two names are coming along strong as SMB market leaders in their spaces. These are two companies with a sound SMB strategy: Dell with its direct and efficient model (cut the middleman is an alltime SMB favorite) and Cisco with the smart separation of its business, keeping the Linksys unit as the SMB and consumer brand and Cisco as the enterprise brand.
Whether your business is a behemoth or an agile startup, if you are selling to the enterprise and now you want to sell to small businesses, you have to start thinking differently. Here are some ideas to get you started: Continue reading “The SMB Market—Quick Reference Guide To Winning”
Quick quiz to start things off: Who is the market leader in the enterprise software space? If you guessed Oracle, IBM and SAP, you got 5 points and a bonus. Question 2: who rules the consumer space? 5 points if you guessed Google and an extra 1 if you added Microsoft. Question number 3: who is the market leader in SMB? If “let me think” is your answer, you are in good company (and you got 2 points for having a brain…). So how come such a large market doesn’t have a market leader? Continue reading “The SMB Market- Difficult To Win, But Too Large Not To Try”
Here is a radical thought: take the one most important parameter you measure in your business and publish it. I don’t mean publish as in a press release. I mean make it available in real time, 24/7 to your customers, employees and competitors. Continue reading “Go Crazy About Your Company Goal”
Seth Godin wrote a wonderful post about this infamous phrase: “I can’t afford it.” As always, I will try to add the SMB point of view on this notion: If you set your heart on selling to small and medium businesses, be ready to hear this phrase. A lot. It is not intentional: SMB owners or managers run on a smaller budget but often don’t have the support system of a large company to help them in making the right decision. As a result, they will give you the easiest answer: NO. One cannot go wrong by not spending… Here are some tactics (and mistakes) used by companies that are selling to SMBs: Continue reading ““I can’t afford it”- The SMB version”
Jeff Cornwall writes in his blog about a new survey released by UPS. It found that most of America’s small and mid-sized businesses have failed to explore the significant growth opportunities offered by an increasingly global economy; 67% of the nation’s SMBs are still relying solely on the U.S. economy. The percentage of the exporters, the ones I am targeting in this post, is even lower. While some people will be surprised by the low number, I am actually not… Going global is risky and scary so one can understand why it should be the last thing on SMB owners’ minds.
Nevertheless, going global can be a very smart move. You expand your market potential, immune your business from local recessions and diversify your risk. It is also fun, and you will learn a bunch. Continue reading “Small Business -Go Global”