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SMB Digital Transformation Strategy: A Beginner’s Guide

SMB Digital Transformation Strategy: A Beginner’s Guide

A well thought out strategy can help address employee concerns and dispel myths around the process, enabling businesses to embrace digital transformation easily and achieve increased efficiency and productivity

Increasing reliance on technology has created a new omnichannel business environment.To succeed in such a landscape, all businesses, especially SMBs, must embrace digital transformationinitiatives.

What is digital transformation, and why is it critical for SMBs?

Digital transformation is the process of integrating digital tools and technologies into all aspects of a business to drive fundamental change. Often a large-scale exercise, digital transformation helps you redefine – and streamline – business models and routine operations using technology. This, in turn, helps you offer a smoother, more frictionless experience for both customers and employees. Digitalisation helps breaks down silos

For SMBs, who often face operational bottlenecks owing to limited resources, digital transformation helps realise significant efficiencies. Technology can empower an SMB toreduce the time spent on routine tasks, and help them do much more in the same time – whether it’s onboarding new customers more quickly through automated workflows, or sending them information they need really fast through information consolidation (and so much more).

In fact, automation also reduces the human error that creeps into manual processes. Plus, by using technology and data to improve business processes (the practice is termed digitalisation), SMBs canquickly respond to customer demands and grievances and increase the value offered through their products.

“Digitalisation helps break down silos and combine all the information in one place. It ensures that all processes and people in your company have a singular source of truth, rather than depending on different, individual experiences,” explains Rajiv Sethi, Founder and MD, Gemini Power Hydraulics Pvt. Ltd, who choseSalesforce to drive his company’s digitisation journey.

What are the benefits of digital transformation for SMBs?

1. Enhanced customer experience

An organisation’s top goal is to ensure smooth operations to deliver a delightful customer experience. When such experiences are provided consistently, they create trust in customers, leading to long-term relationships. This is crucial for SMBs, withcustomer experience driving repeat business and higher revenue. Also, an excellent customer experience increases customer retention, which is more cost-effective and profitable than acquiring new clients.

Retaining a customer costs around five times less than acquiring a new one.

Digital initiatives, when supported by good quality data and focused on personalisation, makea great customer experiencepossible. “Despite adding multiple touch points as your business grows, digital transformation ensures that the customer experience remains uniform and seamless,” says Sethi.

2. Increased employee productivity and operational efficiency

Digitally enabling your businesscan ensure high employee productivity.By automating routine, repetitive tasks, digital transformation frees up valuable time of employees, which they can use to focus on strategic tasks and build customer relationships. Automation also paves the way for streamlined workflows and easier communication, increasing the operational efficiency of your business as a whole.

SP Robotic Works used automation to increase its sales team’s efficiency. The company used Salesforce to break multiple customer-facing processes into workflows and tasks, helping sales reps to move the customer efficiently through every stage of the buying process. Today, a small workforce of 50 sales agents can effectively handle more than 10,000 queries each month, and sales conversion rates have seen a 200% increase.

3. Reduced time-to-market

Using data-driven insights, businesses can bring about quick changes at a product, service, or marketing level. This helps youmeet the moment for your customers. Such agility is critical to survival and can give you an edge over other businesses.

Perceived challenges and how to successfully overcome them to drive digital transformation for your SMB

Despite evident benefits,SMBs are still reluctant to embrace digital transformation due to certain factors. These include:

  • Employee reluctance to change processes or habits, leading to low adoption of any implemented solution
  • The notion that in-house technical expertise is critical to successful transformation. SMBs with limited digital expertise wrongly feel they are not qualified to undertake digital transformation
  • The myth that sophisticated technology equals high budgets

To ensure a successful digital transformation, you need to have a clear strategy that keeps in mind, and overcomes, the objections you face. For instance, a digital business transformation project that shifts operations to cloud solutions can help businesses cut infrastructure costs and capex investment, and actually reduce your tech spending.The key is to identify the type of transformation that will help you reach your goals and realise value quickly and easily.

Plus, SMB leaders must adopt atop-down approach to spread awareness in the organisation. This enables them to dispel myths and help employees understand the true benefits (and requirements) of digital transformation.

Barriers to embracing digitisation By taking a planned approach to digital transformation, you can easily benefit from the agility that SMBs enjoy when compared to larger enterprises.

Plan your digital transformation strategy with three simple steps

1. Get everyone on board to see the end value

Ensuring every team member understands specific goals for digital transformation – be it improving processes, speeding up operations, or streamlining workflows – is essential. This will help them understand how digital transformation makes their jobs easier and lets them focus on more creative, high-value tasks.

2. Set the pace of adoption

Every digital transformation project is unique and takes into account the company’s needs and capabilities. Accordingly, focus on understanding the speed and breadth of technology adoption that works for your company. Phase out the implementation of the new technology so as to not overwhelm your employees and their capacity to adapt to it. A transformation that is slower but more sustained will lead to greater employee satisfaction and customer delight.

3. A strong support ecosystem

Effective adoption of digital transformationcalls for strong leadership. Leaders need to make critical decisions, such as identifying employees who can be transformation or adoption champions, and enabling them for this role. Leaders can also identify employees with the right skills set to streamline changes, and bring in external talent when needed.This proactive leadership acts as a driving force and helps maintain the initial momentum. This, in turn, ensures higher ROI on digital transformation in the long run.

The role of CRM in a digital transformation strategy

Digital transformation should be viewed as a journey rather than an end goal. It is natural for SMBs to feel apprehensive about digital transformation and the idea of making difficult, expensive changes to their business model. However, the key is to adopt an ideal solution that is designed to address your unique challenges and requirements. Such a solution should not be seen as an additional cost but rather a long-term investment that can provide unmatchable business value. Barriers to embracing digitisation A CRM such as Small Business CRM from Salesforce provides a suite of tools customised to suit the needs of SMBs, helping them find, win and keep more customers on a single platform. The innovative CRM solution helps to digitise and streamline sales and customer engagement procedures, create comprehensive customer insights, evaluate business processes, automate routine processes, generate quality leads and much more. Customers who have deployed SmallBusiness CRM vouch that it provides SMBs with thepower and visibility they need to establish deep relationships with customers, as well as scalability that supports future growth.

Discover how Small Business CRM from Salesforce can help you in your business journey and set you up for success.

Click here to know more.

Salesforce India

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