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In the modern economy, small and midsize businesses face pressures like never before. With margins continually narrowing, a typical small and midsize business (SMB) or small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) doesn’t have the same depth of resources to draw on to sustain itself through hard times.
Rather than being able to rely on investment to get them through difficulty, smaller enterprises need to find ways to self-sustain and build momentum right from the get-go. Modern SMBs cannot tread water, even in the short term, and a couple of bad quarters can sometimes be enough to throw a business into freefall. It’s a sink-or-swim situation, but in highly competitive markets with numerous rival enterprises, it can often feel like being dropped into a shark tank.
To survive and achieve sustainable, long-term success, SMBs and SMEs need to be resourceful and find ways of making the most of what they have at their disposal. Fortunately, these organizations have a track record of innovation, and tech has presented them with an opportunity in sales technologies.
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The advent of data
SMBs and SMEs will benefit from CRM systems, which have recently become increasingly commonplace. But what exactly is a CRM system?
CRM, or Customer Relationship Management, systems are software platforms that enable companies to manage all data related to customer interactions easily. Information collected at every point of the customer journey, from lead to cash, is stored within a shared database where it can be accessed and utilized by marketing, sales and product teams.
If we liken a developing business to a house under construction, a good CRM is cement between the stones, binding everything together to create a cohesive whole. CRMs can bring immense value to businesses by creating harmony across organizational functions, and the increasing popularity of the software is a testament to this.
A hub of optimization-driven growth
As businesses get increasingly data-driven, sales tech will become a fundamental part of every enterprise. CRM technology will be the heartbeat of SMBs and SMEs worldwide when this revolution happens.
There is a misconception that CRM tools are only for large enterprises. In truth, however, this technology is for businesses seeking to extract maximal value from their leads by building efficient customer relationships. This is precisely what SMBs need, as the priority of any ambitious new enterprise is to establish a solid customer base that serves as a platform for further growth.
By providing a centralized hub where sales staff can store and access customer information at the touch of a button, CRMs can enable smaller organizations to provide a high personalized customer experience typically associated with more prominent brands. The ability to track and access such data allows businesses to understand customers better, which is a significant part of sales enablement.
For SMBs having the power to anticipate customer needs is a huge advantage, so data-driven sales technology will be a catalyst they need to scale up and reach new planes of success.
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However, the true beauty of CRMs is in their ability to function as a base of operations from which SMBs will be able to enact their growth strategies. They will do this using various integrations, enabling them to increase their pipeline velocity through optimization.
In this regard, CPQ will undoubtedly be the star of the show, as it can bring considerable horsepower to a company’s revenue engine with comparatively little investment. Through automation, CPQ takes much labor and red tape out of the lead-to-cash process, allowing sales teams to use their skills to better use in cultivating brand-customer relationships.
Since SMBs have less staff than large enterprises, the need to eliminate inefficiencies from sales processes is even more significant, and the percentage gains are enormous if they can expedite their sales cycles. Smaller companies are also starting to wake up to this fact, as one-third of small business owners have stated that serving more customers is the primary goal of new tech investments.
When small and midsize businesses fully embrace CPQ, they will experience improved ROI due to accelerate pipelines and a smoother CX that increase customer retention. Moreover, there will be a reduced need for marketing expenditure since healthy leads will no longer be wasted due to slow cycles.
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The adoption challenge
All told, CPQ will be how SMBs lose excess weight and become lean, well-oiled machines. However, they have to commit wholeheartedly to its implementation with CRMs. Half measures simply will not do. This brings to the fore the question of digital adoption, an area where many midsize companies lose their way.
The truth is that digital adoption is difficult, which is why the sales tech revolution has not yet taken hold of SMBs and SMEs across the board. According to research, as much as 80% of US small businesses fail to take full advantage of digital tools.
It seems that SMBs and SMEs will need to refine their approach before they can make this revolution happen. However, the potential is abundantly clear, and it is only a matter of time before these businesses learn to transform themselves and unleash the power of sales tech.
We are moving into a new age of automation and data-driven enterprise, and SMBs and SMEs are primed for a sea change. With narrow margins and hyper-competitive markets putting companies under immense pressure to succeed, businesses need to begin the process of optimization much earlier in their lifecycles than ever before.
By accelerating pipelines, shortening sales cycles and improving retention through customer experience, sales tech can give SMBs and SMEs the traction they will need to hold their own in the marketplace of the future, and they have already begun waking up to this fact.
Digital adoption is the final domino that has yet to tumble, but when it does, a new revolution will surely ensue for both SMBs and SMEs.