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Diamonds in the Rough: Finding Growth Opportunities in Your SMB Customers

June 18, 2019

Marley Richman

Category: Customer Experience, Customer Retention, Customer Success as a Service, Customer Success Resources, Customer Success Strategy

As of 2018, there were slightly over 30 million small businesses in the United States. The number of businesses with more than 500 employees? Only 120,000.

What this means is that small businesses are an enormous opportunity for any B2B software as a service (SaaS) business. If you can get in on the ground floor with a small business, help them achieve success, and scale with them, you’ll set yourself up for enormous potential growth in your future.

But how do you scale your B2B offerings to a smaller customer?

Use Technology To Your Advantage

At every company, no matter how large or small, you’ll need to drive signups, onboard users, and keep end users engaged. The more customers you have, the more time-consuming and difficult that will be. Expanding your customer base into a larger number of small and medium businesses will mean more contacts and more time spent on Customer Success.

One way to ensure your CSMs still have time for high priority conversations – incorporate a tech touch strategy. By automating more of your communication, whether it’s onboarding, introductory email cadences, or following up after a transaction, your growing customer base will get the information they need, and your CSMs will be enabled to have more meaningful conversations.

It’s also worth putting extra effort into your onboarding and education efforts. True, creating a detailed, comprehensive program that’s so intuitive that your customers don’t need much help will take an extra time investment upfront. But that extra time investment will pay for itself with the amount of time you save on one-on-one onboarding help.

Another area to invest time and effort upfront is on your user interface and user experience (UI/UX). The more intuitive your product is, the less help your users will need in learning how to use it. If your product is difficult to use, make sure to spend time on troubleshooting pages, tutorials, FAQs, and other resources so that users can self-teach and solve simple problems on their own without needing your personal help.

Focus On Long-Term Retention

The longer you keep a customer, the more familiar they become with the software. After a best-in-class onboarding experience with tons of easily accessible learning resources, your new customers will fully adopt your product, and it will become so integrated with their workflow that renewal is a given.

Focusing on Customer Success will also help you acquire new customers at a much lower cost per acquisition (CPA) than traditional sales and marketing. Referral programs, content creation, and partnerships are all proven methods for acquiring new business at a low cost, and satisfied customers can help make those efforts much easier.

Finally, foster long-term engagement by encouraging customers to purchase discounted annual plans. If your users sign up month-to-month, their upfront costs are lower and they’re likely to be less invested in the product, leading to a lack of adoption and an increase in churn. To prevent that churn, you’ll need to spend much more time on customer retention — time you don’t always have when working with a larger number of smaller clients.

Since they cost more upfront, annual plans will help to draw in more dedicated users who are willing to put the work into learning your product. Customers who sign up for an annual plan also require less time spent on renewal management than monthly users — after all, they’re only renewing one-twelfth as often!

The ESG Solution

At ESG, we pride ourselves on helping you scale your services to any number or size of customer. With automation tools, proven education and onboarding techniques, and a unique mix of human interaction and tech touch, we can stretch your Customer Success team’s time, energy, and resources to grow alongside you. To learn about what ESG does and how we do it, read more here.