Salesforce: new research on SMEs during COVID-19 pandemic
In an announcement made by Salesforce, the company reported the release of its fourth edition of its ‘Small and Medium Business Trends Report’.
In the report the company analysed responses from over 2,300 small and medium businesses (SMBs) in the industry and how the business world has changed over the past six months.
“We’re starting to have those conversations today that we thought we might have 10 years from now. And the platform, and the ability for folks to work remotely, and the ability to quantify the work that’s being done, has made that all possible,” commented Greg Howell, founder and president of Flexo Concepts, a small manufacturing business in Plymouth, Mass.
Three core SMB trends identified by Salesforce
Increased customer communication
With COVID-19 creating increasingly difficult challenges when it comes to meeting customer expectations, Salesforce reports that as a result of safety and sanitation, meeting local health mandates, and offering contactless services challenges, 55% of businesses surveyed are more cautious when it comes to communication with their customers, with almost half expanding their methods of communication.
In addition, more than half of SMBs believe that technology is driving their customer interactions or customer base growth.
Taking action for racial justice
Over the past six months, there has undoubtedly been a rise in calls for racial injustice to be addressed. “Data shows Black SMB leaders in the U.S. are the most likely to struggle to obtain capital, as compared to their peers of other races and ethnicities,” commented Salesforce within its report. “one in three Black SMB leaders in the U.S. said their race/ethnicity has been a disadvantage in running a business, period.”
However in light of this, “45% of SMB leaders in the U.S. say they are taking at least one step to address issues of racial injustice, such as actively training employees on more inclusive practices or having conversations regarding race and diversity.”
Accelerating the use of technology
In addition to harnessing technology to maintain customers relationships, the pandemic is driving organisations to consider new ways that technology can shape the future for the better. In particular, SMBs are “65% more likely to have accelerated their pace of technology investments due to the pandemic. They also focus on three key areas where technology can help: customer interactions, workflows, and internal communications,” commented Salesforce.