QUEST for GROWTH 2016

Here at Salesforce, we know how fast things change in business; there’s always some new technology to learn, new employees to train, and new customers to please. When is there any time to sleep?

the QUEST for GROWTH 2016

Here at Salesforce, we know how fast things change in business; there’s always some new technology to learn, new employees to train, and new customers to please. When is there any time to sleep?

INTRODUCTION 

GROWTH FACTORS 

WINNING SERVICE 

MARKETING 

CONCLUSION

MENU 

MENU 

INTRODUCTION 

GROWTH FACTORS 

WINNING SERVICE 

MARKETING 

CONCLUSION

1

Introduction

We wanted to keep a pulse on the goals and challenges of small businesses—to learn what is contributing to their growth, what’s making them successful, and how new competition is shifting their business models. So we asked. During a five-day period, we surveyed 313 principals of small companies across the U.S.—and now we’re going to share some of those results.

INTRODUCTION 

GROWTH FACTORS 

WINNING SERVICE 

MARKETING 

Of 313 businesses surveyed, 97% had 1-19 employees. 

BREAKDOWN BY INDUSTRY

PROFESSIONAL SERVICES
RETAIL & WHOLESALE
MANUFACTURING
OTHER

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Growth factors

2

66% of SMBs are expected to grow this year. The primary drivers of growth for business this year are as follows:

PRIMARY DRIVERS OF GROWTH

AQUIRING NEW CUSTOMERS
RETAINING EXISTING CUSTOMERS
PRODUCTIVITY - IMPROVEMENTS
TO DO MORE 
AUTOMATING PROCESSES
TO BE MORE EFFICIENT
Why all the optimism about growth? “They are probably marketing more aggressively to achieve their growth goals, which means other SMBs are feeling more competition,” says Stu Richards, CEO of Bredin, Inc., which conducted the survey.

 

In fact 49 percent of those surveyed said increased competition from other small businesses will be their greatest obstacle to growth this year. Usually, it’s larger enterprises that pack the pressure on SMBs to compete. Not this year. Only 44 percent said competition from larger businesses would hindering their growth in 2016.

 

Why all the optimism about growth? “They are probably marketing more aggressively to achieve their growth goals, which means other SMBs are feeling more competition,” says Stu Richards, CEO of Bredin, Inc., which conducted the survey.

 

In fact 49 percent of those surveyed said increased competition from other small businesses will be their greatest obstacle to growth this year. Usually, it’s larger enterprises that pack the pressure on SMBs to compete. Not this year. Only 44 percent said competition from larger businesses would hindering their growth in 2016.

 

49% say that other SMBs will be their greatest obstacle to growth.

Winning with customer service

Believe it or not, closing more deals isn’t the most important role in the overall success of small businesses this year. Customer Service has moved to the top, becoming the most critical component to a company’s vitality. Some 53 percent of SMBs said keeping existing customers happy is first and foremost, while only 17 percent say winning more deals is the most important.

53% say that keeping existing customers happy is first and foremost.

TOP CONTRIBUTORS TO OVERALL SUCCESS

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CUSTOMER SERVICE - KEEPING EXISTING CUSTOMERS HAPPY
MARKETING - FINDING MORE HIGH QUALITY LEADS
SALES - WINNING MORE DEALS
I.T. - AUTOMATING PROCESSES 

WHAT CAN BUSINESSES DO TO KEEP EXISTING CUSTOMERS HAPPY?

“Social media can be an effective way to deepen relationships. Many SMBs are experimenting to find the best platform to engage their audience, and the best tactics to use within that platform. Surprisingly, email remains a very powerful tool to connect with customers, as do special offers and events (like tastings or trunk shows) to foster loyalty.” 

“Social media can be an effective way to deepen relationships. Many SMBs are experimenting to find the best platform to engage their audience, and the best tactics to use within that platform. Surprisingly, email remains a very powerful tool to connect with customers, as do special offers and events (like tastings or trunk shows) to foster loyalty.” 

Stu Richards, CEO Bredin, Inc.

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Marketing

As we mentioned, there’s some fierce competition out there from businesses large and small. That means marketers need to up the ante when it comes to connecting with prospects and customers. Around 30 percent of those surveyed said deepening relationships with customers is the most pressing business challenge their marketing team is facing. SMB marketers are using a variety of different tactics to engage with customers, including aggressively rolling out new offerings, entering new fields, and establishing new partners.

4

Smart marketers are using research intensively to keep current on the evolving behaviors and preferences of thier customers, key prospects and competitors. "SMB research can yield tremendous insight into their brand awareness and perception, purchase intent, competitor activity and other aspects that enable marketers to refine their offerings, media and messaging to remain relevant," says Stu RichardsCEO Bredin, Inc.

30% said deepening customer relationships is the most pressing marketing challenge.

BREAKDOWN OF BUSINESS CHALLENGES

KEEPING PACE WITH COMPETITORS
BUILDING DEEP CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIPS
CUSTOMER ACQUISITION
BUDGETARY CONSTRAINTS
QUALITY OF LEADS
PRODUCING UNIQUE, ORIGINAL CONTENT
NEW BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT
KEEPING UP WITH MARKETING TECH TRENDS

Conclusion

There’s a great deal of optimism about business growth in 2016, mixed with some apprehension about the increasing competition from other small business. That means small businesses leaders need to come up with new and creative ways find the right customers, win those customers, keep customers happy, and connect everything you do.

5

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