Size matters. It matters in business, in technology solutions, and in the processes applied to implement those solutions. Business owners are becoming very savvy when it comes to their technology dollar. The days of selling vaporware, of ever-expanding project scopes and perpetual consulting engagements are rapidly fading. Managers and executives have more experience with the process and the tools, and they are looking for solutions that will work for their business.
This is a challenge for some of the larger software vendors and technology consulting firms who’ve spent a decade developing their procedures and strategies. They have designed and tested these impressive tools for evaluation and discovery that have been at times valuable to customers, and lucrative for the consultants. This was helpful to business at a time when many companies, large and small, were just moving heavily into technology. Now, there is little need to discuss road maps and strategies when most businesses have already included these items in their overall corporate planning.
This goes double for smaller companies, and small and medium business is the main area where issues arise. Bringing a three week evaluation into a business that has only 500 people would earn a polite “thanks, but no” at best. To make headway into smaller companies, technology solutions providers need to tailor their processes as well as their tools to meet the unique requirements of the SMB world. Speed is an absolute necessity. Flexibility, scalability, and manageable total cost of ownership should all be aspects of the presentation. The value of the software or service needs to be clear, concise, and in terminology that relates to the small business owners, in their industry.
You don’t use a pile driver to drive a nail. Technology professionals need to apply that philosophy to every aspect of their solutions, not only the tools. The process, the project, and the price should all align with the size of the potential customer. This becomes an asset, and should be identified as such to the business.