Growing your small business successfully depends largely on efficiency and sustainable processes. Scaling a small business often entails challenges like creating consistency and transparency across a growing customer base and team – but the right technology can massively support you with this when transitioning your company to the next level. By leveraging the right tools, your team can do more in less time and focus more on the things that matter – your customers and your growth.
At Salesforce, we see evidence of this first hand as we work with a high number of SMEs. Whether your business is just starting up or looking to expand from an established base, integrating new technological tools and frameworks can lighten the workload and simplify the process for everybody.
In a recent online event in partnership with ForEntrepreneurs, Salesforce’s Startup expert Jasita Lalloo discussed real world experiences with two amazing entrepreneurs that have integrated technology into their business practices with great results.
Dr. Nick Mayhew is the Chief Commercial Officer of Axora. Although a relative newcomer, this digital solutions provider for the oil, gas and mining industries has quickly become an inspiring success story. Dr. Mayhew’s perspective is particularly interesting as he joined the Axora team only a few weeks before the initial lockdown in 2020. In his experience, integrating technology like new automation processes has helped him to simplify complex workflows. This streamlined approach has allowed him to build strong customer engagement despite the restrictions on key networking and customer acquisition events like tradeshows.
Matthew Woodward is the General Manager of Carparison, an online motor vehicle leasing platform. Established in 2019, the company has enjoyed consistent year-on-year growth and is on track to repeat the feat. The integration of Salesforce tools addresses the company’s priorities: scalability and consistency. Woodward explains that this has enhanced the efficiency of transactions and customer interactions while also boosting team engagement.
With both small businesses continuing to grow fast despite the challenges of 2020 and 2021, taking advantage of technology has proven to be a key element in both companies’ ongoing success.
Automating your day-to-day manual tasks is an important step to saving more time, getting everyone on the same page and working consistently. For Dr Nick Mayhew at Axora, digital processes were the norm from the very start. The team only formed in 2020, a few weeks before the initial lockdown. In this context, working with the support of technology was not only a goal but a necessity.
Reflecting the company’s rapid evolution, Axora quickly outgrew the initial platform they were working with and needed something more accessible and agile. As he had already worked with Salesforce before, Dr. Mayhew chose the Salesforce CRM solution to support their ongoing progress. He is confident that this was the right choice, as integrating automated customer engagement into their everyday workflow has allowed them to scale up communications while maintaining consistency and clarity.
By taking advantage of important technological benefits like automated processes, his team at Axora has also been able to create greater transparency, simplify their workload and maintain consistent best practices. In fact, according to Dr. Mayhew, since integrating technology into their scale-up journey, “We know exactly what we’re doing.”
The benefits to greater and easier access to data extend beyond the boundaries of the organisation. This is evidenced by the key role data played in securing another round of funding for Axora. Rather than relying on an abstract set of projections, Axora was able to back up its progress with accessible data and clear progress KPIs.
As General Manager Matthew Woodward points out that in the early days of running a small business, daily tasks like transactions or customer engagement can be done on an ad-hoc basis without losing too much in the way of productivity.
However, as the company is continuing to scale up, these processes take up more and more time and become a hindrance. Just as Jasita Lalloo says, “While fast growth is good, it usually also means lots of change, and with change can come confusion, complexity, and conflict.”
Carparison realised that it would be important to adopt a tech-forward mindset as soon as possible in order to have the best team habits and culture in place by the time technology would become an essential part of their toolkit. As a business focused on the B2C market, ensuring consistent interactions in line with their brand identity was vital.
The first step in integrating technological support was to adopt the Salesforce CRM platform. This enabled Carparison to adapt quickly to a rapidly growing client base without losing customer insight and relationships. As an online business, technology was already an integral part of their day-to-day work, but working with Salesforce has ensured they can customise their CRM journey to fit their exact needs – without sacrificing personality or the brand voice.
This past year, many shared the experience of remote work becoming a necessity. This global challenge revealed the most important benefit of integrating technology at an early stage to Matthew Woodward: Despite the sudden change from working in the office to working remotely, the Carparison team was able to “stay true” to its established processes. It even integrated new elements like a league board that allowed sales teams to track progress and targets.
Integrating technology into your growing business is an important step to ensure sustainable, healthy growth. Tools and platforms not only boost your SME and take your customer base to the next level. They also create a digital framework that provides guidance and clear goals – even when working from a different continent. The latter is even more important now that many businesses are looking to reduce office days and embrace a more flexible approach.
By adding technological support and tools to your organisation, you can give yourself a head start on the competition. For example, analytics dashboards can give you an insight into your own business processes like never before. Not only can you now have huge amounts of information right at your fingertips, but – thanks to more efficient workflows – you also have more time to work with and understand the data itself.
Did you enjoy the insight these stories offered? Hearing directly from the people working effectively and scaling their company successfully is a great way to gain a new perspective on how these tools might suit your own small business journey.
To find out more about how CRM tools can reshape your customer engagement and acquisition, join us on June 9 for our next webinar: “Technology in action: What’s a CRM and how can it actually help your business?”
About the trailblazers featured in this post:
Axora is the digital solution marketplace for industrial innovators. They make it simple for industrial companies to discover, buy and sell digital innovation, driving safety, sustainability and efficiency across their entire operations. To find out more visit www.axora.com
Carparison take the stress out of leasing your next vehicle. With decades of experience, the team works tirelessly to find customers the best car lease deals. Working with a wide range of lenders, Carparison secure the best prices on new cars, electric car lease deals and much more. To find out more about their car lease deals, visit www.carparisonleasing.co.uk