Salesforce just released their Third Edition Small & Medium Business Trends Report, which compiled data and observations from over 2,000 small and medium business (SMB) owners and leaders worldwide. Here are the key takeaways:
The study found that no matter how passionate or driven business owners are, their individual experiences are ultimately shaped by age and gender. The top 3 challenges for business leaders across the board were:
But the study found that the priority of these issues differed by gender. Women have a harder time raising capital than men. In fact, female SMB leaders say it’s their biggest challenge in running their business. According to the report,
Meanwhile, men responded that their number one challenge was hiring the right talent and their second biggest obstacle was securing venture funds.
The majority of respondents (55%) stated that their motive for starting their own business was to be their own boss. However, “compared with baby boomers/traditionalists, millennials/Gen Zers starting businesses are 183% more likely to be creating a side business” to pursue a passion or earn supplemental income.
We talk about this all the time, and the study confirmed it—customer experience reigns supreme. SMB owners prioritize customer experience when planning for the future of their business and choose capabilities that will help them deliver the personalized experiences today’s customers seek. The top way growing businesses do this is by investing in CRM technologies. According the the numbers:
SMBs are jumping on the tech train. SMBs that are growing are implementing tech tools such as CRM, AI, and marketing automation. On average, SMB leaders say they use 5.2 applications to run their business, with 31% using five or more. Technology isn’t just for the big guys anymore, SMBs are getting a taste, and they want more.
However, more than half of business owners admitted that lack of time to train employees and technology that doesn’t scale well are challenges they are facing.
With the customer experience ranking so high in SMB owners’ priorities, it’s no surprise that “90% of SMB leaders value trust above all else in their relationships with customers.” SMB leaders place an enormous amount of value on trust with their customers, employees, and vendors.
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