SMEs in India have been traditionally known to invest lesser in technology platforms and critical prospect B2B data. The current business climate, however, warrants a fresh perspective with investments in targeted B2B data, along with data maintenance and customer relationship management technology platforms to help these business attain greater scale and become digitally-savvy for improving their revenue operations.
· Indian SME sector will receive a major boost with new credit and digital expansion initiatives announced by the government of India in their annual budget
· SMEs must become data-first in their approach to scale revenue operations and increase their marketing capabilities
· Accurate data will enable them to deep dive into their customers, drive personalization, and discover the new untapped business opportunities
As the Indian economy starts picking up the pieces after two spine-breaking years, the budget 2022 presented by finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman has extended a symbolic credit arm to positively reach out to the beleaguered SME and MSME sectors. These sectors are among the largest job creators in the country and have been the worst impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. With over 95% of the country’s businesses falling in the MSME sector, the government has proposed alternative finance instruments like emergency credit line schemes, a renewed CGTMC with direct fund infusion to give a new lease of life to the otherwise distraught sector.
In the light of these developments, it is crucial for SME organizations, particularly those in B2B segments, to re-strategize their business development plans, become more digitally native, and data-driven in their approach. One of the most fundamental challenges faced by SMEs today is that they lack the correct solutions to capture, store, and leverage their exist customer data, to create appropriate propensity analysis of new prospects. This hampers their overall demand generation activities and brings down ROI in the competitive business environment. Lack of proper data management solutions also brings down the effectiveness of their everyday operations.
Most people associate technology platforms and investments in data solutions with bigger companies. However, the truth is that small and medium enterprise can equally leverage technology profiled and validated B2B data solutions to optimize their customer outreach efforts, grow their leads pipeline, bolster conversions, and improve customer satisfaction, whilst getting promising ROI on such investments. Organizations can build their target database by setting up an internal digital systems for accurately sourcing, profiling and keeping refreshed prospect, or alternately source such data from a B2B data provider at a fraction of that cost. Hybrid data solutions combined with effective digital marketing tactics can give SME organizations the desired market penetration they are looking for. Let’s look at some of the reasons why SMEs need high-quality data today:
An accurate database can provide SMEs with detailed insights about their existing and prospective customer database. Other than contact information, added information like technographic, firmographic, demographic, and buyer intent of prospect customers can help optimize their marketing and sales operations. In addition, understanding customer preferences and pain points can help design targeted campaigns that will lead to increased conversions.
Having an updated touchpoint data of customers and prospects alike using some form of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platforms makes it simpler to use information from previous conversations as prompts for new communication with prospective leads. Using the appropriate targeted database, marketers can identify the most effective customer outreach channel and create segmented lists of accounts to target. When a brand speaks to the target audience in their language, it helps boost the response rates and customer interaction.
One of the reasons for the low growth of MSMEs in India has been the lack of innovation and net new business opportunities. A strategically curated corporate database which accurately identifies potential prospects from a target ecosystem can help enterprises find untapped opportunities in the market. Businesses can improve their forecasting capabilities and be better equipped to identify the next marketing opportunity using B2B data services.
SMEs can leverage high-quality intent data to understand where their target audience is in the sales funnel and accordingly design the conversion path from MQLs to SQLs. It is a critical stage in the process of preparing leads to cross the conversion line. Assessing the readiness of a prospect with multi-source, integrated purchase intent data can guide the content and engagement strategy of the sales representatives.
Database marketing does not end with B2B lead generation and SQL qualification. When the marketing team provides new leads to the sales team, an analysis of sales velocity can identify blockages in the pipeline. This will improve conversion rates and the time taken to close sales deals.
With the Indian MSME sector looking to get a revival shot through the government’s newly announced credit schemes and digitization initiatives, the value of prospect data and technology enablement platforms for data maintenance and CRM becomes even more relevant. Small and medium enterprises will have to transition towards a digital future combined with the power of data and BI analytics to positively impact their revenue and scale growth.