Q&A | April 23, 2014

SMB IT Market Requires Dedicated Sales Strategy

Bernadette Wilson

By Bernadette Wilson, associate editor, Business Solutions magazine
Follow Me On Twitter @bernadeditor

SMB IT Market Sales Strategy

Business Solutions asked industry experts “Why VARs Should Set Their Sights On SMBs” for the Business Solutions 2014 Partner Program Insider. In addition to the insights in that article, these industry leaders also describe the current health of the SMB market from an IT spend perspective and give their opinions on the best time to sell.

Ajay Jain, President and CEO, Quantum Secure: The SMB market has always represented tremendous potential for growth given the sheer volume of companies across the country. The challenge for security software and hardware suppliers to support this market was all relative to system size and the sales revenue potential they generate. This is all changing now, as advanced solutions can be provided via the cloud and with cost-efficient integrated appliances that provide high performance and advanced functionality. SMBs are not seasonal, which requires resellers to implement dedicated sales strategies to effectively cultivate new business development in this market.

Scott Carcillo, CIO, Merchant Link: All market segments are conscious of their spend, but for security products given recent breaches, there's a need for incremental spend by companies.

Dylan Schafer, Channel Sales Manager, Wasp Barcode Technologies: The current health of the market is weak and lacking confidence.

John Grabowski, National Sales and Marketing Manager, JVC: The SMB market is getting stronger as the overall economic recovery continues. This is having a direct effect on IT infrastructure and system sales with video and security systems driving much of the activity. Getting the attention of SMB owners and upper management can be a challenge, so anytime they are available to talk and indicate interest in discussing security is the best time to pursue a sale.

Fredrik Nilsson, General Manager, Axis Communications: The ultimate goal of technology is to help make our lives more efficient. So regardless if the economy is thriving or struggling, business owners and IT departments are always looking for technology investments that will improve operations and/or the bottom line. The key is to empower them to see beyond the one-time sale price and instead look at the total cost of ownership. With IP video users can leverage their existing IT infrastructure and off-the-shelf hardware to build a solution that's more cost-effective. Integrators should first look to solve the customer's problem, meet their needs, and then add value by suggesting ways video surveillance can improve business operations.

Gadi Piran, President, OnSSI: The SMB market continues to show great potential as the economy continues its global recovery and businesses look to update systems and expand their operations as new businesses come into being. There is no seasonal buying pattern to adhere to as SMB decisions tend to be driven by need, and decisions are made faster than at large organizations.

Robert Laughlin, President, Galaxy Control Systems: SMBs need robust IT infrastructure to maintain competitive, to communicate with their suppliers, and for general business operations. In recent years, security has also become a mission critical operation for SMBs which further increases the need for updated IT infrastructure and systems. There is no clearly defined sales period to approach SMBs as their immediate needs typically dictate timing.

Scott Schafer, Executive Vice President of Sales, Marketing and Service, Arecont Vision: The health of the SMB segment is strong. Spring and summer are great times of the year to be selling IP security systems. 

Clint Hofer, President, Slingfly Media: This market is very healthy, especially if you explain benefits and ROI ... if they don’t understand it, they won't move forward