How to modernise your SMB

How to modernise your small to medium business

How to modernise your small to medium business

A modern workplace can ensure a bright future for small to medium businesses (SMBs), and digital transformation is vital for those who want to remain competitive. Development in digitisation, cloud technology, and collaboration tools can all help to increase agility and productivity. In a Gartner survey of small to midsize businesses in 2019, 25% of respondents said that driving increased productivity was a top business goal and triggered a drive to invest in technology. Just how should you modernise your business in 2021, and which technology can help?

1. Use Digital Collaboration Tools

The recent health crisis has demonstrated that it’s vital that employees can work remotely when they need to. Remote work has been growing continuously, and Gartner’s survey revealed that 82% of company leaders expect to allow employees to work remotely at least some of the time going forward, and 47% said that they would allow employees to work remotely full time. The challenge of helping people collaborate and engage when they are not in an office is here to stay. Luckily, in addition to video conferencing, many collaboration tools allow team members to keep in touch and work together. The array of technology available includes instant messaging tools like Slack, remote project management tools like Jira and Trello, and even collaborative whiteboards like Miro.

2. Go Paperless

According to the UK Government statistics on waste, nearly 6 million tonnes of paper and cardboard were wasted in the UK. Aside from the negative impact this has on the environment, printing paper can increase costs, and your team members may waste time printing, scanning and posting documents. According to the Forrester State of Systems of Agreement Research 2020, commissioned by DocuSign, 32% of respondents say that manual processes cause abandoned deals and reduced contract completion rates. Using technology like an eSignature solution and cloud-based technology can reduce the need to print or post documents. There are also other steps you can take to start going paperless.

3. Switch to Cloud-Based Technology

Storing documents in the cloud has many benefits for SMB’s. Working in a cloud-first environment enables teams to connect and collaborate remotely and gain access to their work. Cloud technology provides a scalable way to increase online storage space and makes it easier to share and store files securely without any need to print or email documents. Unauthorised access to sensitive files can lead to a financial loss or potential brand damage due to a lack of trust, but cloud services have in-built data security. Suppliers like Google Drive, Salesforce, DropBox, OneDrive and more are all options for storing your documents using cloud technology. According to Gartner, 70% of organisations using cloud services today plan to increase their cloud spending in 2021, following the disruption caused by COVID-19. Sig Nag, Research Vice President at Gartner, says, “The pandemic has validated the cloud’s value proposition. The ability to use on-demand, scalable cloud models to achieve cost efficiency and business continuity is providing the impetus for organisations to rapidly accelerate their digital business transformation plans.” 

4. Deliver Mobile-Friendly Experiences for Customers and Employees

Allowing business to take place on mobile is a crucial part of the future landscape for SMBs. According to Google, 53% of visits are abandoned if a mobile site takes more than three seconds to load, and 90% of B2B buyers say that they would buy again from a business that offers a superior mobile experience versus 50% of those who report a poor mobile experience. You can test the speed of your website with Google. 

Small to medium-sized businesses can modernise by ensuring their website is responsive and mobile-friendly. Creating your website according to known design principles, will provide a more intuitive user experience. 

5. Make it Easier for Your Sales Team to Negotiate Contracts with Customers

The sales team are often the primary source of growth for small businesses. Reducing contract management pain points provides a better customer experience and enables sales teams to close deals quickly. Outdated and disconnected systems can delay the onboarding of new customers and the signing of contracts. In the future, SMBs need a solution that’s built to make agreement negotiation tasks easier. Using an eSignature tool like DocuSign eSignature makes it simpler for employees to send and for customers to sign agreements from almost anywhere. DocuSign Negotiate for Salesforce helps your team to generate, negotiate and approve sales agreements automatically. Using this type of technology can accelerate the agreement process and make internal approvals and external reviews much more straightforward. The sales team can easily keep track of changes in the agreement throughout the process.

Discover more about the DocuSign Agreement Cloud or download a free trial of DocuSign eSignature to get started.

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