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Delivering outcomes and ROI for SMBs

20 Dec 2022

Iain Sinnott, Head of International Carrier Sales at Enreach for Service Providers, recently sat down with The Next Cloud’s Rob Kurver at SmartCom Summit to discuss various topics impacting carriers, their customers and the market right now. In this first of two extracts based on the interview, Iain talks about the need to focus on outcomes for business customers, particularly SMBs.  

Rob: “You started in fax more than 30 years ago. Can you explain what a fax is?” 

Iain: “At the time, it was a revolutionary way of speeding up written communications, and it is an example of how things change. The pace of reinvention keeps getting faster, but what matters is how they deliver on customer outcomes and how they generate income for service providers.” 

Rob: “Where are we now, and what’s happening?” 

Iain: “From 2018 to 2020, we had seen innovations coming through, but there was a lot of inertia to those, particularly in the SMB market, which is always time-poor. Then we had this extraordinary forced experiment where people had to work differently. It allowed businesses to recognise the benefits of technology, transitioning how they work with their staff and engage with their customers. Now, in 2022, those businesses view technology as an opportunity to make improvements, so from now on, I think adoption will be on a greater scale and also very much deeper.” 

Rob: “Do you think people are focused on technology?” 

Iain: “Customers are never focused on your product. They are interested in what they do, their customers, the bottom line, and today’s challenges. People will always engage with the outcomes, which might differ for each sector. I’ve started talking with my partners about ROI selling: what benefit are they going to get from the technology, and how will it deliver return on investment?” 

“Also, once customers start buying technology for an ROI, they will be more receptive to other products. Previously, technology was seen as a cost, so they would prefer not to have a second cost. That all changes once we focus on outcomes and ROI. Also, once the work has been invested in learning about the business customer, service providers can deliver a wider range of tools.” 

Rob: “There’s something special about the SMB market in all this, right?” 

Iain: “I’ve always loved the SMB space, and we need to think beyond just knowledge workers and not just people sitting in front of screens all day. There are mobile workers, deskless workers, and staff in workshops and warehouses. So as communications suppliers, we must look at the outcomes for those businesses and blend the technology so that a workforce can remain connected and respond to change.” 

“However, as well as providing advice around matching technology to outcomes, service providers need to provide that technology at an appropriate price and adopted quickly, easily and seamlessly.” 

“I truly believe that we can help the SMB market, and there are some very clever innovations. However, for me, it’s like climbing Mount Everest: there are many stages, but many SMBs are not even at base camp yet. So, we need to take this step-by-step and show those customers how they can achieve a return on investment: how does technology help people be more productive, where can it take away the laborious work from their daily lives, and how can it help to engage with their own customers better? Technology can do wonderful things, but we need to start with the basics, and it all comes back to focusing on delivering tangible outcomes to businesses.” 

To listen to this part of the interview, please go to: Technology enabling outcomes for customers and for the full interview, please visit: Interview Iain Sinnott - Rob Kurver