SME Statistics Continue to Surprise: It’s Time to Think Horizontally as well as Vertically

At the recent SDP Global Summit in Rome, a number of presentations pointed to the striking diversity represented by the enterprise market. Too many operators and vendors think of a fairly uniform enterprise market, which is differentiated in terms of verticals, such as finance, industry, leisure and so on. What many fail to recognise is that there is horizontal segmentation that is equally important in defining target markets and customers.

Enterprises don’t just address different markets, they are made up of companies of many different sizes. These have differing needs and priorities and, in many cases, different strategies for acquiring services and technology products.

SMEs are typically defined as companies with fewer than 250 employees. Within that range, there are many, many different kinds of organisation, but the crucial fact is that, in most countries, the SME sector dominates both in terms of absolute numbers of companies and, generally, comprises more than half of employees in the private sector. Data from different countries confirms this, time and time again. Here are some facts from UK Government research, for example:

  • SMEs account for 99.9% of all enterprises
  • SMEs account for 59.8% of private sector employment
  • SEMs account for 49% of private sector turnover

And yet, many operators don’t think about this richness – they tend to think about the needs of larger organisations, corporations and MNCs. This means that companies that generate billions of revenue - £1,500 billion in the UK, according to government data, are often neglected and treated as a uniform group.[1]

They are not and operators have an opportunity to deliver solutions that not only capture revenue from such companies but which also deliver value and differentiated services to meet their needs.

We’ve often reported on this opportunity as we have seen our customers succeed in addressing different enterprise sectors and sizes, but it seems that this message has yet to filter through to other operators.

We can help any operator develop not just an enterprise strategy, but also a strategy that enables them to deliver services tailored to the needs of both different verticals and different horizontal segments. If you want to sell effectively across all businesses, you have to recognise the differences: different markets have different requirements. One size fits all is no longer acceptable where there are so many competing offers. With Gintel you can achieve true differentiation to enable you to address a diversity of market needs.

[1] Department for Business Innovation & Skills (BIS)


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