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SMB Digital Transformation: 4 Tips for SMBs for a Digital-First Future

Digital Transformation for Small Businesses: 4 Tips to Enable SMBs to Embrace a Digital-First Future

Drawing insights from Salesforce’s 5th Small and Medium Business Trends Report, read Our latest blog for 4 tips to enable successful digital transformation for small businesses.

Two years since the COVID-19 pandemic spun the world, small and medium businesses (SMBs) that survived are only emerging stronger. They realise the benefits of digital transformation (DX) in optimising costs, productivity, business agility, customer experience, and data security.

According to Salesforce’s fifth Small and Medium Business Trends Report, 62% of 2500+ SMB owners and leaders surveyed say their business couldn’t have survived if they had been using dated technology from a decade ago. Employees returning to workplaces are voicing expectations of greater safety and flexibility in work schedules and locations. Customers too have greater expectations, such as engaging with someone immediately when contacting a company.

To meet these expectations, SMBs need to not just invest in the right technology, but also properly plan and speed up its implementation. Drawing insights from the report, here are four tips to enable successful digital transformation for SMBs:

Tip 1

Every SMB has unique challenges and needs. Note your business’ most critical pain points and identify areas that can improve with tech adoption. This will help you define a DX roadmap clearly and get the most out of your tech investments.

Globally, most growing SMBs’ top motivators for digitisation are gains in:

SMB Top Motivator Gains

For instance, your business could be losing out on growth opportunities due to limited online sales and service capabilities. Then, your DX roadmap needs to prioritise moving aspects of your business online that make buying from you easier. 99% of Indian SMBs plan to make contactless services like digital customer service and eCommerce permanent now.

Tip 2

SMBs typically operate with limited budgets and workforces. Avoid unnecessary financial constraints by breaking down your DX roadmap into short-, mid-, and long-term goals. This will also enable you to optimise DX as you observe and learn, and maximise benefits.82% of Indian SMBs agree that digital shifts in operations they made over the last year will benefit them in the long run. Tip 3

Serving customers safely (43%) and enabling safer work arrangements (32%) are among the top five reasons SMBs moved operations online. While focusing on customer expectations, SMBs seek employee feedback to foster trust. This can help SMBs –

  • address employees’ specific needs and challenges at work
  • gauge scope for productivity gains and improvement in customer experience.

Having small teams can prove to be an advantage for SMBs here. Get detailed inputs from employees through one-on-one conversations and regular team catch-ups. This will help you solidify your DX goals and help employees understand the need for digitisation and its benefits.

Tip 4

SMBs mainly rely on customer relationship management (CRM) solutions that enable both remote work and online customer experiences. 61% of Indian SMBs have also accelerated tech investments in marketing and 57% in service.

Your tech adoption plan should be governed by the business goals and needs you identify. If you are just starting, adopt tools and technologies that integrate disparate systems and unlock insights. This enables informed decision-making – a make-or-break capability for SMBs – as the margin for error and loss is typically very limited for them.

Running an SMB has always been hard, and the pandemic only made it harder. 71% of SMBs say they survived the pandemic because of digitisation. To find success in a digital-first era, digital transformation for small businesses must be done in an urgent, systematic, and future-proof manner.

Want to learn more?

To get more perspectives and insights around DX and SMB leaders, download the Small and Medium Business Trends Report today.

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