What role does technology play among today’s small businesses? More than 300 small business owners recently participated in a nationwide survey, and it turns out there’s a huge opportunity for tech-savvy small businesses to outperform the competition.
How so? While software, custom apps, and cloud technology have proven benefits — benefits like efficiency and mobility that are priceless to growing businesses — the research shows most small businesses are using outdated systems and minimal software. Incorporating new technology into your small business, then, can help you rocket past your competition. Take this data point, for example.
While larger companies use dozens of integrated apps to make their businesses run smoothly, this research shows nearly two-thirds of the small businesses surveyed use just two apps or fewer, which is uncharacteristically low. Apps aren’t just for large enterprises; small businesses can (and should!) use apps to automate various functions, collaborate with peers, share information among departments, and work from anywhere. The takeaway: Adding an extra app to your business may put you ahead of your competition.
Similarly, the statistic on the above shows that most small businesses are using antiquated methods like email, spreadsheets, and written ledgers to track and store customer information. Cloud apps give you invaluable features like analysis, de-dupe, sharing. If you have customer details in emails or spreadsheets (or sticky notes stuck to your computer), your sales team — and everyone else who interacts with your customers — is at a disadvantage. They lack a single view of every customer’s contact info, orders, and interactions. (Adding on-demand CRM is an easy fix!)
Now let’s move on to automation. We all know repetitive tasks are the enemy of growing businesses. Yet the research shows less than half of you use automation to lighten the load. Automation saves your teams from manual processes and improves productivity — and time saved through technology is more time to connect with your customers. Get a leg up on your competitors: start with basic automation (automated welcome emails, for example) and work your way up.
Do you use your customer data to generate reports and dashboard? Or do you go through the cumbersome process of creating reports manually? Probably, since the research shows that less than half of the small businesses surveyed use analytics. Yikes! You’ve got plenty of opportunities to gather data; you should use it to generating regular reports on things like your sales team’s monthly progress against their quotas, performance of individual marketing initiatives, customer satisfaction, first contact resolution for your customer service team, and more. If you’re not using analytics, you’re missing a major opportunity to advance.
Put your business ahead of the curve. Learn how other growing companies feel about artificial intelligence, customer relationships, analytics, the cloud, and more: Check out the full infographic below, then get the Connected SMB Report for more research.
Salesforce can help you find customers, win their businesses, and keep them happy so you can grow your business faster than ever. Learn more about our small business CRM solutions or join the conversation with #SalesforceGROW.