telescopeMost small businesses recognize the role technology plays in growing their business, but despite this, forty percent of SMBs admit their investment is much lower than it should be. According to the CompTIA study The Business Relevance of IT in the SMB Market 61 percent of SMBs aren’t using IT service providers at all. While this creates a tremendous opportunity for IT service providers, the truth is most providers don’t understand what benefits their SMB prospects are looking for.

SMB customers don’t care about the nitty-gritty details of the products you have to offer.  They’re more interested in how the value of your services can help their SMB business grow. To help you focus on what matters to customers the most, we took a closer look at the four things SMB customers care about the most.

What your prospects actually want

1. They want more benefits, even if it comes with a higher cost. Prospective customers don’t care that they’re getting the latest and greatest new product—unless it means that their business will run more efficiently or that they’ll be protected from cyber threats. They care more about the benefits they’ll get from your IT services. According to Kaseya’s 2017 Global Pricing Survey, MSPs with the highest year-over-year growth communicate the full value of their services to their SMB clients. What may be surprising is that most of those high-performing MSPS have both increased their pricing and brought on numerous clients. SMB customers are willing to pay a higher price if a service has a higher perceived value.

2. They want more services from one provider. Just as most IT service providers are looking to consolidate their vendors, SMBs are looking for more solutions (handled correctly) from fewer providers. Adding additional services to your portfolio shouldn’t just be a check-box—look for services that are a logical next step for your IT business. In Kaseya’s 2017 Global Pricing Survey, the data suggests that SMBs are demanding more complex services from their IT providers, such as layered security offerings, suites of cloud services, and network monitoring—all packaged and developed with customers’ business objectives in mind.

3. They want to integrate technology that will help improve their customers’ experience. Technology continues to evolve, and SMBs are having a hard time keeping up. From mobile optimizing their websites to 3-D printing, staying up-to-date with the latest and greatest trends can be difficult. In the recent CompTIA survey, 38 percent of respondents say that when it comes to technology, customer experience is their number one priority. For IT service providers, this could mean helping customers set up new operating systems, payment systems, or even helping SMBs meet privacy requirements.

4. They want to ensure that their data is safe from the latest security threats. IT downtime can be costly. In fact, it costs $8,662 dollars a minute. Most SMBs can’t afford to have downtime, so it’s important to have not only technical safeguards in place to mitigate the risk an attack, but also a disaster recovery plan in case the worst were to happen. More than 70 percent of ransomware attacks target small businesses, and thankfully their technology goals are catching up. According to the CompTIA SMB market report, cybersecurity is the number one area where SMB executives want their technology to improve. This creates an opportunity to add security components to your current offering.

Getting customers to invest in IT services can be difficult, but understanding what matters to SMB customers the most is a key component that can help you win their business. To help steer the conversation in the right direction download our free four step-by-step guide, How to get SMB customers to understand the value of an IT investment and our free worksheet Calculating the hidden costs of data loss, to help your conversation go smoothly.

Lauren Beliveau

Posted by Lauren Beliveau

Lauren is a Senior Content Marketing Specialist at Barracuda MSP. In this position, she creates and develops content that helps managed service providers grow their business. She also regularly writes The MSP’s Bookshelf and our Ask an MSP Expert column.

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