Small Business Owners Have Learned the Power of Web Tools

MilesAustin
Miles Austin President, Fill the Funnel, Inc.

Posted on July 3rd 2013

Small Business Owners Have Learned the Power of Web Tools

 

Sales growth line upwards

Small businesses continue to set the pace of hiring, growth and innovation in the US. They are typically first to adapt, quick to move into new areas of opportunity, and easily move away from activities that do not produce results. Small business owners have learned the power of web tools.

Sales and marketing leaders should open a line of communication with these small businesses to learn what is working to help them grow their revenue and customer base.

Constant Contact published the results of a survey in which they asked small business principles to compare their current activities today with those from five years back. Five years back will catch some significant challenges and changes in the business climate. The economy was approaching chaos status, social media was beginning to gain some traction with business, and inside sales was starting to become more than just a training ground for the outside sales team.

As I read through the results of their survey, it became clear that many of the changes that small business have made can be implemented in companies of any size. I suggest that you should consider introducing some of these changes into your sales team, marketing team, and frankly even into your own individual sales practices.

SMB Biggest Changes Graph

Some key results from the survey include:

  • 59% of small business said that it is harder to run their business today.
  • Biggest reason for the difficulty – Economy
  • #1 Biggest change in how you do business today – use, or use more, online marketing tools

Which marketing tools are they using and how does it compare to five years ago:

Email Marketing (53% growth)

  • 2008: 64%
  • 2013: 98%

Social Media Marketing (770% growth)

  • 2008: 10%
  • 2013: 87%

 Online Surveys (158% growth)

  • 2008: 12%
  • 2013: 31%

Mobile Marketing (1050% growth)

  •  2008: 2%
  • 2013: 23%

Over this period, all forms of online marketing have taken off for small business. Which of these are you using in your organization?

What you should be excited about after reading these results is that you can implement many if not all of these actions yourself, either as a team or even individually.

Email marketing – I have many individual clients that have their own personal account with an email provider like MailChimp, allowing them to communicate with the quality and professionalism that matches their service. Even if you work at a corporate giant like HP or Prudential, you should set up your own personal account to manage your customer and prospect communication.

Social Media – If you are not leveraging LinkedIn and Twitter in your B2B selling, you will fall further behind your competition in the next twelve months.

There are powerful, easy to set-up and free/inexpensive web tools for all the items on the list. Take charge of your success and learn from small business owners. Embracing the use of web tools in your business will produce results substantially greater than you are achieving today.

Questions:
  1. Are you using more web tools in your business activity?
  2. What segment of your business has grown the most?
  3. What is the next area you are going to automate with web tools?

 

MilesAustin

Miles Austin

President, Fill the Funnel, Inc.

Miles Austin is “The Web Tools Guy” and the author of Fill the Funnel blog. A sales and marketing technologist with an extensive leadership background, he is recognized as one of the leading authorities on web tools for sales and marketing professionals.

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Comments

Mahendra
Posted on July 4th 2013 at 3:07AM

Thanks Miles Austin, you have given the best metrics of online marking and the growth. I completely agree with that web tools will boost your company business. 

Harry Naik
Posted on July 4th 2013 at 4:08AM
Questions:
  1. Are you using more web tools in your business activity? - Earlier we were just managing our facebook, linkedin, twitter and google+ pages for doing social media activity. But with the rapid growth of social media and with so many new and effective ways of marketing ourselves onlines, we have now switched to tools like Hootsuite to manage our social media profiles on the web.
  2. What segment of your business has grown the most? - With becoming more present in the Social Web, it has helped us in generating more leads and getting to far bigger reach of people.Helping with post sales feedback using  social media can lead to building more trust and acquiring more potential customers. 
  3. What is the next area you are going to automate with web tools? - Now, Social Web is actually helping our service in being considered rather than just people knowing about it. So from the Awareness Phase, we have gone to the Consideration Phase and in order to convert more leads, we need to start looking for tools that would help us close deals. Probably, something like an automated FAQ helper. 
Sperez
Posted on July 4th 2013 at 4:05PM

Great stats, Miles. Clearly online marketing is more important than ever- expectations have changed in the last decade certainly and even in the last 5 years there has been a significant shift, as your piece demonstrates. If anyone is interested in reading further about how Social Media is impacting small business (and business in general), a colleague of mine recently whipped up an infographic with even more insightful statistics. You can check it out here: [INFOGRAPHIC] Q2 2013: The State of Social Media Marketing

 

Cyber_Christy
Posted on August 29th 2013 at 1:55PM

We definitely use web tools in order to promote our service. At Cyberstockroom we use email marketing and mostly social media. It is definitely effective and you can reach out to a lot of people as well.