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December 2018

Partners the key to unlocking SME sales

Every time I see a headline about such and such a vendor targeting the SME market, I can’t help feeling that it sounds like good news for partners. Not so much for large-scale partners selling to enterprises and larger businesses, obviously, but for the 80% who do the 20% of business with smaller companies. If a vendor is serious about reaching SME customers, then it has to be commit to working with partners to get to them. Of course, the level of seriousness that vendors attach to the SME market corresponds to the level of revenue they can obtain from customers in that segment. For many, their business (and focus) is still dominated by big deals with large customers. So while they may talk about the SME market, their words might not be backed up by actions. This is where partners come in. There’s a temptation to think of partners as gatekeepers to SME customers, to view their trusted advisor status as a means to funnel product to smaller businesses. If vendors can gain their attention, the argument goes, they are halfway to ...

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