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99% of SMBs in India plan to offer contactless services to customers permanently: Salesforce Research

82% of SMBs in India feel the operational shifts made over the past year will benefit their business long-term

Bangalore, September 14 2021: Salesforce (NYSE: CRM), the global leader in CRM, today announced the launch of its fifth edition of “Small and Medium Business Trends” report. The report analyzes the responses of more than 2,500 SMB owners and leaders around the world to determine how support from local communities has affected SMBs, what SMBs are doing to deepen trust with customers and employees, the role technology plays in their growth  and what has changed for SMBs over the past year and how that impacts their future. The research was conducted online by The Harris Poll on behalf of Salesforce.

Key insights: 

  • Communities and Governments Step Up For SMBs: As SMBs struggled to maintain revenue streams through the pandemic shutdowns, Governments and local communities alike stepped up to help. 62% of SMBs in India say financial support from their community has been vital to their business’ survival over the past year.
  • Customer and Employee Engagement Take Priority: After a period of turmoil, SMBs are focusing on meeting customer expectations and deepening trust by providing employees with transparent communications and flexibility. Since the pandemic began, 59% of SMBs in India have expanded ways customers can reach them and 48% have prioritised deepening relationships over one-time transactions.
  • SMBs embrace the digital first world: SMBs are seeking investments in technology to help their business survive even the most tumultuous times. In India, 99% of SMBs plan to offer contactless services permanently leading with secure digital payments (78%), mobile order (68%) and digital customer service (62%).
  • SMBs foresee long-term changes from the pandemic: Many SMB leaders were forced to relook at their strategies in order to keep their businesses afloat; which in turn made their operations more efficient. 100% of SMBs in India with some of their operations online moved more online in the last year and 82% of them feel the operational shifts made over the last year will benefit their business long-term. 61% of growing SMBs in India* have accelerated investments in Marketing over the past year.

Comments on the news:

Arun Kumar Parameswaran, SVP and Managing Director – Sales & Distribution, Salesforce India, said “The grit and innovation of SMBs during a time of great change has been a triumph. This has also been a testament to the perseverance and creativity of SMBs and the communities in which they operate. It is truly inspiring to see how Indian SMBS are leveraging technology to transform their operations and push forward after a year of change.”

Parth Updaphyay, Chief Product Officer, Eduvanz, said“Despite a tough year, the pandemic was helpful in aiding the faster adoption of technology in the financial services sector aided by support from the regulators. As a digital first start-up, the nimbleness and agility gave us the opportunity to innovate rapidly in a post pandemic world where no-contact processes have become the need of the hour. We believe in the power of technology as we continue to strive for impact and scale ensuring equitable distribution of knowledge.”

*Small sample size (less than 100), results should be interpreted as directional.

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