Despite the vast differences between the small and large business, these two specially-sized organizations do have one very important thing in common: their sales teams. The need for superior sales technology transcends any and all differences faced by companies of any size. At the end of the day, a sales team is a sales team, and the team’s primary responsibility remains the same: keeping companies’ revenue smoothly flowing.
The difference, however, comes in the technology used by each company to augment revenue, as driven by the unique challenges faced by the size of each organization.
The Small Business
The small business is perhaps flourishing more than ever before. However, while 73 percent of small business owners believe that the economy is growing stronger, only 40 percent plan to increase their employee count by the end of 2013, according to an aggregated infographic from OnDeck. So, while small business sales continue to rise, hiring continues to lag. This is only one of a few major challenges being faced by these smaller fish in the sales pool.
Challenge No. 1: Sales are Rising and Staff Can’t Keep Up
The small business may not be suffering as much as you think when it comes to growing sales. Sure, every business is bound to hit a few roadblocks or obstacles when it comes to reinventing the wheel and finding new ways to ramp up sales; however, small businesses are seeing profits slip out of their hands because their sales teams can’t keep up. In fact, out of 750 small business owners surveyed by the NFIB, over half (52 percent) believe that doubling sales wouldn’t require doubling their staffs.
Challenge No. 2: Handling Costs
The small business landscape is ready to be capitalized upon, but unmanageable costs keep this dream unrealized by small business owners. In fact, two of the top three challenges cited by small businesses are access to capital and dealing with taxes, according to the aforementioned infographic. Even more, the percentage of small business owners using a personal credit card for business expenses is notably rising, having gone from 42 percent of small business owners in 2009 to almost 50 percent in 2011, according to research from NFIB.
The Tech to Solve It:
To solve these problems, the small sales team needs technology that is both cost-efficient and advanced enough to enable fewer employees to do more work. At the end of the day, this means collaboration technology that leverages the power of unified communications and cloud computing. In fact, unified communications has been proven to be equal to that of 23 employees, which, for the small business, could very realistically be half or even more of an entire workforce.
If you’re looking to balance the costs of your sales team, think about expanding your hiring limitations – literally. By bringing on geographically-dispersed workers, you’ll be able to save costs associated with maintenance and upkeep, as well as be able to empower your sales team with some of the world’s top performing candidates. To help support a virtual team, consider a cloud-enabled communication and collaboration platform, which should be able to integrate live, real-time communication services inside business applications on both desktops and mobile devices.
Presence, instant messaging (IM) voice and video communication, click-to-call, call management and geo-location service and unified messaging with cloud business applications could also be great additions to your small business’ sales team. Working within today’s still stabilizing economy, your sales team needs to lock in sales and generate more leads than ever. This is the technology that will yield such results.
We haven’t forgotten about the large business. Read part two - all about sales for the enterprise.
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Image compliments of OnDeck Mail Street Pulse Report on Entrepreneur.com.