Presented by DocuSign
Customers choose to work with you not just based on what you deliver, but how you deliver it, and with affordable, accessible business technology, SMBs can exceed customer expectations while boosting sales growth. Learn more about how tech is transforming the way SMBs do business in this VB Live event!
Digitization is the foundation of customer engagement, service, and sales processes, says Katie Foote, vice president of demand generation for small business at Salesforce.
And, as Dave Simon, vice president, small business sales at DocuSign explains, “Buyers today, through their mobile devices and their online behavior, they’re leaving a digital footprint. They’re expressing interest in products and services. They’re telling you when they need help with existing purchases. All of that trail gives you an opportunity to personalize the customer experience.” And digitation means you can scale that experience to thousands or even millions of customers.
“Businesses have a much larger opportunity than ever before to use that data to connect in new and different ways, and deliver more relevant and targeted communications,” Foote says. “When I think about my own consumer experiences, I’m engaging most with the brands who are sending me the most personalized and relevant communications. That’s really the power of digitization.”
It’s important for organizations, regardless of what size they are, to take into consideration who their audience is, their preferences, what type of data and information you have about those customers, and then using all of that to send the right message in the right channel at the right time — the text alerts of a flight app, for instance, or the birthday coupon from a customer’s favorite brand.
But a gap often exists between all of the data, and then reaching your customers. And while a recent Deloitte study revealed that compared to businesses with low levels of digital engagement, digitally advanced small businesses earned two times as much revenue per employee, experienced 4x revenue growth, and more, small businesses aren’t taking full advantage of digital tools.
“Some of the reasons behind the apprehension,” says Simon, “[include] a lack of confidence in technical skills, a lack of budget, a lack of time, a lack of clarity on how to apply digital technology to one’s business.”
“Change, even when, it’s positive, can bring a real learning curve,” Foote says. “SMBs report a wide range of challenges beyond budget constraints, including customization difficulties and lack of time to train employees. The most important evaluation criteria for new technology is, once again, ease of use, ease of setup, and simplicity of maintenance.”
But because the results of those companies who adopt are so strong, it’s a competitive necessity to embrace digital technology to help SMBs deliver success across the entire customer life cycle, from finding prospects to winning customers, and then keeping those customers. And because there are so many different digital technologies that a small business can invest in, it’s critical to make the determination as to where your company’s biggest need is.
Do you have a reach challenge? If you have a reach challenge, you might want to spend or invest earlier in search or display advertising, with a company like Google. Do you have a retention problem? Then maybe a platform offered by Salesforce is most appropriate. If you have a challenge winning customers or bringing customers across the line into a state of closed and won, then Salesforce Sales Cloud and investments like Docusign, Zoom (for online and video conferences), or Outreach (for sales-driven email communication) and other companies can help you compete at scale.
“But it’s key to go with partners that have a good reputation for making small businesses successful,” says Simon. “Those partners will be easy to use, have many prebuilt integrations, and allow you to quickly get up and running and integrate into your existing processes without a major investment.”
“There are so many more affordable options these days for SMBs, which is great news,” adds Foote. “There are also lots of products that offer free trials. You don’t have to make this big lofty financial investment without having tried something.”
And one of the really important things to remember as an SMB, in addition to making sure your vendor integrates with other technologies, is you need to have the ability for your systems to continue to grow.
“A lot of the SMBs we talk to on a daily basis have aspirations to be enterprises someday, to grow continuously,” Foote says. “If you’re outgrowing your technology stack every couple of years, that’s going to stop you from moving as quickly as you would like. Make sure you’re asking questions about growth potential over time.”
You also want to make sure they’re on your side every step of the way, she adds. When you’re talking with a company about your most pressing needs and how their technology might best meet those and address your pain points, make sure they have a point of view on that, and that they’re committed to helping for the long term.
“Free trials and easing into a small group of users is a good way to prove the success of the investment before you spend more,” Simon says. “The good news is many providers that focus on small businesses make that easier to do today, staying very focused on starting small, getting quick wins, and then expanding, so that you’re not investing too much time and too much money on a failed initiative.”
“The purpose behind these type of technologies, like CRM, is to further enhance those customer relationships, to get to know them, to understand why they chose you, to keep them happy,” Foote says. “Those small touches can really go a long way. The only way to scale is to invest in technology that collects all of that data and helps make sense of it for you, to impact your marketing, your sales, and your customer loyalty engagements.”
To learn more about how technology can impact your business’s success now and in the future, including case studies, technology adoption recommendations, thoughts about AI, tangible next steps to get started on this journey and more, catch up on this VB Live event!
Don’t miss out!
Webinar attendees will learn:
- How to deliver success across the entire customer lifecycle from lead to retention
- How to configure, price, and quote complex deals, fast and efficiently
- How to accelerate business by closing deals with instant sign-offs on agreements
- How customer-focused organizations win business with personalized experiences
- Katie Foote, Vice President, Demand Generation for Small Business, Salesforce
- Dave Simon, Vice President, Small Business Sales, DocuSign