The SMB market: an untapped opportunity for SAM partners
For the past 15 years, I’ve been fully immersed into the world of enterprise customers, working directly with the Microsoft partners who support them. My mindset has been fixated on helping partners drive large revenue streams and yield profitability as they serve the big fish in the sea. But as you may already be aware of, enterprise customer accounts are inundated daily by sales teams from global partners, large and small. This red ocean strategy of targeting the largest customer accounts is highly competitive, and if you’re not leading with a strong competitive advantage over other partners in your space, the effort can be costly and time consuming, with the possibility of not paying off.
I recently transitioned to a new role at Microsoft working directly with SMB customers, which are defined as organizations with 500 or fewer employees. I always understood the appeal behind targeting this market, but what I didn’t fully appreciate was the massive partner opportunity. Microsoft has identified a whopping 79 million organizations within this segment, and it’s absolutely jaw dropping to comprehend how untapped this market is.
A recent article was published by CSO from IDG that shared an analysis of cybersecurity within small organizations, its sub header reading “SMBs are being compromised due to human error, ignorance, and apathy.” With a smaller organization comes a much smaller IT department, which results in a much easier target for cybercriminals. In fact, of those surveyed in the study, two-thirds of the organizations had experienced at least one cybersecurity incident within the past two years.
What a lot of SAM partners I connect with don’t fully grasp is that approaching a customer does not always need to be triggered by a True-Up or renewal event. Cybersecurity is a top of mind pain point for CIOs, and they are ready to invest in best practices to protect their organization from cybercrime.
So how can you get started with this lucrative opportunity? First, if you’re not familiar with the Microsoft SAM partner program, I encourage you to visit our Microsoft Partner Network site to learn more. Microsoft has designed a scalable partner model that leverages the expertise of partners like you. We start by using our Microsoft customer propensity tool to predict the likelihood of a customer wanting to complete a SAM solution assessment. We then help match the customer target list with SAM partners that meet the customer’s needs, whether it’s based on geography or proficiency in a specific space. A lot of what we’ve found to be successful with this model are the partner-to-partner (P2P) relationships that deliver the best customer value. I highly recommend downloading one of our summary pages from the Microsoft SAM P2P website to explore how this could play out for you. You might also want to read this blogpost about Partner-2-Partner at our ModernSAM website.
Feel free to share your comments on how you feel this SMB customer approach could work for you, and message me on LinkedIn if you’d like to dive deeper into making this a reality.