Three ways to increase your SME business

As 5G networks continue to rollout, businesses within all industries will begin a digitalization journey. In this blog post, we’ll explore how communications service providers can successfully position their offerings to capture the growth opportunities being unlocked by the enterprise market in three clear steps.

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Digital transformation, analytics and 5G – these are words we read all the time, and words that promise a bright future. But what is the reality of the SME markets today, and how do we make SMEs aware of the opportunities ahead?

When launching the Ericsson Communication Accelerator, a solution designed to help businesses ensure they capture every new customer opportunity that comes their way, we asked ourselves: how will service providers sell this? Which business segments could be targeted initially?


Target the segment

Working closely with service providers in Western Europe, we found that around 50-80 percent of microbusinesses (less than 10 employees) were on consumer packages, not on a business package.


Make business owners aware of the financial gains

Simply put, consumer packages are generally cheaper, and they may see business packages as too expensive and decide the extra value they offer isn’t needed. In addition, to subscribe to these packages one generally needs to visit a service provider outlet. So, too extensive, too expensive and too cumbersome.

However, when looking at the call statistics, you can see that in general more than 80 percent incoming business calls go unanswered and more than 80 percent of the customers calling will not call back if there is no answer. This means that 64 percent of their potential customers are lost. Now, the question is how much money does this translate to? That depends on the conversion rate (how many incoming calls from customers generate revenue). For telephone calls this figure is very high, around 30 percent. Emails, for instance, have a conversion rate of around 1-2 percent.

Looking back on our figure from before, 64 percent of potential customers are lost and with a conversion rate of 30 percent that means businesses effectively lose 20 percent of their deals. That equates to a lot of lost revenue, and the most frightening thing is very few businesses are aware of this. Coming back to what I wrote in the beginning: “firstly, to make people change their minds they need to be aware that they have either a problem or an opportunity, there is little or no point in suggesting changes before going through the awareness phase.” Now, how do you do just that?

We’ve been looking into how to make a difference here. We came up with the idea of a revenue calculator for SME’s to use and help generate awareness. We also believe and that new enterprise services should be offered in a try and buy fashion (lower barrier to entry).

The revenue calculator could be a simple tool that service providers have on their website or even better, that you make different industry associations aware of. Every association is interested in assisting their members by providing fresh advice. We made a basic example of such a revenue calculator to offer some inspiration for how it could look and what sort of functionalities it could include.

Try out our revenue calculator


Looking at the potential financial outcome for a business owner we can generate a 10 to 30 percent revenue increase. This is tempting, but it’s important to understand that this is an estimation. I would also recommend to companies that they’d don’t go for the whole enchilada directly but make a stepwise change. With that I mean not to go for all of the add-on services directly, but start with 1-2 and evaluate it, say, monthly. Then as the business grows, you can add one additional service.


Lower the barrier to the entry

How about try and buy then? With a cloud-based communication service this is possible.  Propose that the user starts with the basic package, and when they have evaluated that one, they can add some more features depending on their needs. As an example, try offering multi-device or call recording, for example, for two weeks free of charge. Evaluate the outcome and then either ask businesses to subscribe or present some alternative services. The beauty here is that this can be done instantaneously with the Ericsson Communication Accelerator – together with the eSIM solution. With user self-service everything is just one or two clicks away, and convenience is what drives uptake


Summing up

Technology (cloud) and delivery models (as-a-service) will open up possibilities for service providers to help small and medium- sized businesses to grow and deliver enhanced customer experiences. The best part? It will not require a huge CAPEX or take a long time to integrate into existing network assets.

View the video on Ericsson Communication Accelerator (ECA)


It is here now. Let’s talk today.



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