With the Covid-19 pandemic accelerating digital drive across the world, only 30% of SMBs in India expect business to continue as usual, according to a report by San Francisco based customer relationship management major Salesforce.
For SMBs, top challenges in the post pandemic world include higher customer expectations and financial management.
In the fourth edition of the report -- small and medium business trends -- 48% of respondents felt their business would be slightly modified and 16% felt there would be an entirely new structure, compared to 13% globally.
The survey, which included 101 SMB leaders in India and 2,377 globally, found that 31% of SMB leaders in India implemented a CRM solution in the previous year, while 66% already had access to an existing CRM solution.
“Globally, SMBs’ are at a critical juncture. The key to accelerating consumer demand and solving problems for scale, come down to how they leverage technology to deliver the best customer experiences,” Sunil Jose, Senior Vice President, Salesforce India said.
The top requirements for Indian SMBs currently included ease of use, the trustworthiness of the vendor and the impact on customer experiences. In terms of customer expectations, the respondents in India said that they find it challenging to bring innovative offerings to market, personalise customer engagements and keep up with demand when meeting customer expectations. Maintaining financial growth is the top pain point that constrains future business growth.
From a global perspective, SMBs prioritize customer safety over all other aspects. Growing SMBs -- those with 1% or more revenue increase over the last six months -- are most likely to have taken actions to change customer interactions since the pandemic. These companies are also in a better position to provide easier payment plans and return policies, the statement said.
The use of CRM globally also increased from 32% in 2019 to 24% in 2020, with 1 in five respondents stating that they have implemented at least one new technology solution over the past six months, the most common of them being email marketing, customer service, project task collaboration or e-commerce software.
The report was conducted in two phases, once between February 28 and March 18, 2020 and a follow-up study was conducted six months later between August 7 and August 31, 2020.