What does it take to propel a small business into the big league?

We’ve analysed survey responses from over 3,800 sales, service and marketing leaders to discover what small businesses are doing, right now, to drive success. 

Based on our findings, we’ve identified six benchmarks for small-business growth. We wrote about the first three benchmarks in this post. Now we’re back to finish what we started, and reveal what’s helping small businesses punch above their weight, build competitive edge, and really stand out from the crowd.

Ready? Here are benchmarks #4, #5 and #6…

4. Growing businesses prioritise talent retention

As a smaller business, your people are even more precious. When you’ve found someone who can wear three different business hats, face customers with a smile, and make your idea of the perfect cup of tea, you really want to keep them onside.

It’s no surprise then, that small-business sales and service teams prize employee satisfaction higher than larger organisations:

  • In small businesses, 42% of sales teams and 49% of service teams say employee satisfaction and retention is extremely important
  • In enterprise, 35% of sales teams and 35% of service teams say the same

Small businesses also need to get the most from their hard-won and hard-kept talent. This is evidenced by the fact 43% of the apps small businesses are developing are internal-facing, and designed to help boost employee productivity.

And as Mark Kushinsky, CEO at MaidPro, points out, happier employees also have a habit of creating happier customers:

“Eliminating unnecessary key strokes and designing aesthetically-pleasing interfaces goes a long way to improve employees’ productivity and job satisfaction. We find that happy employees deliver great customer service.

5. Quick tech adoption lends a competitive edge

One big advantage of being small? With fewer, less antiquated systems to integrate, you can test drive the latest technologies more quickly and easily.

And high-performing small businesses are doing just that:

  • 29% of top small-business sales teams are heavy tech adopters, vs just 16% of their less successful peers

Top service teams are also more likely to be more tech savvy, with almost one in five top performers a heavy adopter, compared with just over one in ten moderate or underperformers.

Interestingly, however, it’s marketing that’s leading the charge. Across all the teams surveyed – regardless of performance – marketers were more likely to be heavy tech adopters than their colleagues in service and sales.

6. Customer experience is a companywide focus

Great customer experience can really help businesses stand out from the crowd.

The best-performing small-business services teams are nearly twice as likely than less successful teams to say their customer service reps are completely empowered.

Similarly, the best-performing small-business sales teams are also doing their bit to keep customers happy – by being more likely to actively create customer experiences across a wide range of touchpoints and channels.

Indeed, top sales teams are more likely to rate themselves as outstanding or good for a host of different sales capabilities:

  • Partner/customer or prospect collaboration
  • Field sales channel delivery
  • Email response management
  • Phone sales channel delivery
  • Prospect or customer-to-salesperson chat
  • Single view of the customer
  • Analytics and insights
  • Self-service to live sales transition 
  • Co-browse 
  • Omni-channel sales interactions

Want to dig deeper? Check out the full report…

Explore all six benchmarks for small-business growth and gain deep customer-success insights in our full report.

Do our findings match up to your own experience? Which benchmarks matter the most to your business?