Bredin Report: Selling tech to SMBs

What technologies are small and midsized businesses (SMBs) most likely to buy this year, and next? How does technology contribute to their success? What do SMBs want from a technology provider? Why do they make a purchase decision?

To find out how you can sell tech more effectively to SMBs, we recently surveyed more than 500 U.S. SMB principals. In our recorded webcast, you’ll get insight on:

How SMBs see technology…

Favorably. 35% see it as “essential” to their business success and adopt it aggressively. Another 47% say IT is important, but they wait until a technology is proven before they adopt it. Only 17% see IT as an expense to minimize.

This is especially true for Millennial SMB principals; 54% of them see tech as essential to their business success, versus 28% of Gen Xers and 34% of Boomers. Likewise, larger SMBs are more aggressive tech buyers – 64% of SMBs with 100-500 employees see tech as essential, compared to 55% of SMBs with 20-99 employees and 35% of SMBs with fewer than 20 employees.

What drives SMB tech adoption

The top three reasons SMBs adopt new technologies are to “improve reliability” (51%), “improve functionality” (51%), and “keep up with changes in customers’ use of technology” (49%). They were followed by the need to “keep up with competition” (46%) and “improve business performance and processes” (46%).

Millennial SMBs in particular adopt technology to “take advantage of a growth opportunity” (62%) and for “cost savings” (58%).

SMBs want to buy directly from you

In every software and hardware category we surveyed, SMBs overwhelmingly prefer buying directly from manufacturers – ranging from 62% who prefer to buy system software directly, to 80% who want to buy printers/copiers directly. Because only 26% of SMBs have an external tech consultant, they are especially primed to buy direct.

What SMBs will buy: cellphones and PCs

SMBs have aggressive tech adoption plans in 2018: 31% will buy new cellphones, 27% new laptops or desktops, and 21% new printers/copiers. Purchase intent is especially strong among larger SMBs: 53% of those with 100-500 employees will buy new cellphones and PCs this year, and 50% will buy new printers/copiers.

Learn more about SMB tech purchasing

That’s just the beginning. In our recorded webcast, you’ll get insight on:

  • The software that SMBs already have, what they want to purchase next, and when
  • How long the research and buying cycles are for different tech categories
  • The attributes SMBs look for in a tech vendor
  • How many vendors SMBs consider
  • The content formats SMBs use to learn about, conduct research on, and make a purchase decision on your offerings
  • SMB perceptions of vendor content
  • SMB perception of 46 leading technology brands – including your company

About Bredin

Bredin was founded in 1991 by America's foremost small business expert, author and syndicated columnist Alice Bredin. From its beginning, Bredin was designed to be a breed apart: 50% research consultancy, 50% creative agency, 100% focused on SMB. Based in Somerville, Mass., Bredin helps Fortune 500 companies understand, reach and retain SMB customers through timely, targeted research and award-winning marketing programs.