Whether you’re just starting a business, starting to grow or you’ve been in business for 10 years - there are ways your business can better scale, connect and grow to succeed.

This was the theme for small and medium businesses at Dreamforce - so you can watch the full SMB keynote here, or just read my handy 5-minute guide below!


Technology is Creating Business Opportunity for SMBs

When Salesforce first began, it recognised that small & medium businesses had been left behind by the large enterprise companies. Enterprise tools were too complex and too hard to use. Salesforce.com has believed in the power of SMBs since it began 15 years ago - and embraces 3 key trends in technology have changed the business world we live in.

  1. Mobile. Incredible advancements in mobile technology mean that you can now run your entire business from your phone - providing unprecedented flexibility.
  2. Cloud. Barriers to entry have crumbled in almost every entry - and the cloud is an important enabler, helping small and medium businesses compete without building or maintaining infrastructure. Cloud technology allows you to be more productive and focus on what you know best.
  3. Social. Your customers’ expectations have changed - using social channels to share, like and complain, they have a megaphone for opinions.

We know that individuals and businesses are connecting in entirely new ways using mobile, social and cloud. So how are business owners and managers using these tools to succeed?

Scale As You Grow

Each and every one of these technologies allows your business to easily scale as it grows.

Michelle Bridges 12WBT scaled their customer service from grassroots to a 30-person Support Crew - leaning on Salesforce to help provide their members with support online and via social networks. Cloud-based tools can also let your customers help themselves - with self-service capabilities, or communities to crowdsource answers.

Along the way, you need to also have tools to make your team more efficient and effective - like making sure all your customer information is in the one place, such as a CRM app that you can access from anywhere.

Outsmart Your Competition

How are you taking advantage of the agility that comes with your size - and a fresh perspective? In the keynote presentation, the CEO of Zen Payroll had some advice for those at the start of their business journey - to “rethink the problem that you’re tackling”. Payroll software may not seem exciting, or delightful, which is what Zen Payroll set out to change. Rather than a chore, they saw payroll as two building blocks - employees getting paid, and employers showing appreciation for their employees’ hard work.  

With mobile and cloud technologies, you can be more responsive - to your customers, but also to real time data and insights. In Byron Bay, TripADeal uses Salesforce to easily manage customer enquiries on their website in any time zone. Plus, Norm can run his business from the beach - what better reason to be mobile?

Engage Your Customers

What good is any of this stuff if you’re not using it to better engage your customers, in ways that you haven’t been able to in the past? Your business has the ability to reach the right audience and engage in real time. Lorna Jane Clarkson puts it best when she says that social media - and social listening - is so important, because “it’s the only way that you can continue to learn and become better at what you do.”.

SMBs everywhere are succeeding with Salesforce - and enjoying +30% revenue growth, +34% lead conversion and +41% customer satisfaction as a result*. Visit our Small Business Centre website to find out more.

So how can your business scale, connect and grow with Salesforce? If this post hasn’t given you enough ideas, then come along to our Salesforce Essentials Tour - we’re bringing all the latest and greatest tech to Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Auckland and Singapore. Register now - seats are limited

Mel_ApteMelissa Apte works at salesforce.com as a Senior Marketing Manager, where she gets to combine her passions for marketing, small business and technology.

 *Average Customer Improvements. Source: Salesforce.com Customer Relationship Survey conducted March 2013, by an independent third-party,Confirmit Inc., on 5,200+ customers randomly selected.