While traditional enterprise marketing efforts
target specialized groups of IT professionals, vendors need to revector their
approach for SMBs where the authority and influence level of the IT department
changes in direct proportion to the size of the company.

“Sales and marketing approaches designed for the enterprise have been
based on behavior at large enterprises where IT teams have significant input
to all stages of the process, often including final decisions on IT
acquisitions,” said Ed Daugavietis, senior research analyst at Info-Tech.

“When approaching smaller companies – especially those with 40 or less
employees – vendors need to recognize the IT department is focused on
implementing technology, while supplier assessments and selection are made at
the non-IT executive management level.”

Info-Tech’s Indaba Division surveyed 4,000 enterprises this year. The
resulting report is the first of Indaba’s Segment Module reports, illustrating
directions and activities within organizations with fewer than 500 employees.
Indaba’s research role is to provide tactical, practical, go-to-market advice
to suppliers of IT products and services.

“Not only do smaller enterprises keep decisions in the hands of non-IT
executives, but they frequently concentrate authority with individuals rather
than using the consensus style more typical of larger organizations. This
further serves to ‘freeze out’ IT staff from final purchase decisions,”
Daugavietis said.

Info-Tech recommends vendors use business-focused sales materials and
tactics for small enterprises, and include more technical sales materials for
medium to large enterprises where IT teams or individuals increasingly control
the outcome.
“IT managers in the smaller SMBs might be present during negotiations but
won’t be in the room when the final decision is made. Keep your message
strongly focused on the needs of executive management,” Daugavietis concluded.