Be++ Podcast: Spearheading Technological Innovations in SMEs
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Spearheading Technological Innovations in SMEs

Business software and systems are important in driving digital transformation and helping organizations streamline their daily operations. But for small and medium-sized enterprises, introducing these technological tools can prove to be quite a challenge.

Be++ featured Sam Gupta, principal consultant for ElevatIQ, a consulting firm with a focus on business process automation, customer experience, marketing automation, and the implementation of business systems such as ERP and CRM. On this podcast, we talked about how Sam Gupta helps small and medium enterprises integrate these business systems to drive digital transformation.

Getting started into the SME space

Getting started in the small and medium enterprises market was no easy task, even for Sam Gupta who came from a business-centric family background. Unlike small and medium-sized businesses or SMBs, SMEs are very price-sensitive and work very differently.

Diving into the latest technology buzzword is not enough if you want to penetrate the SME market. The first step that you can do is to identify the market need, do your market research, and work your way from there as you build your product or idea. Tap the salespeople from the market you’re interested in for they’re the ones running the field and the ones most knowledgeable about what customers want and need. From thereon, you can easily build your tools and technologies.

Selling your business systems to SMEs

Selling software and business systems to SMEs comes with its own set of challenges. For one, most SMEs only have a limited budget and they lack the technological expertise in completely understanding software and business systems. The best approach to use in order for you to successfully sell to them is to make it easy, Sam suggests, as if you’re simply selling a smartphone product.

Consider putting industry flavor in the technology that you’re marketing. This means speaking the same language that your customers understand. The more that you speak their language, the more that you can connect with them easily.

Sam suggests that businesses may also consider latching onto the success of a pre-existing software that your client or customer already has. Since the tool or technology that you offer will ultimately become a part of the main operations, you need to analyze how well your tool can integrate with the existing software that your client already uses.

Managing implementations of business systems

CRMs may not work all the time, but this goes out for every business-based software in the market because they’re designed around processes. Processes are actually made up of habits. Every organization works differently so it’s going to be difficult to map out these habits and behaviors in a system, which is why business-based software simply cannot please everybody.

From a technological perspective, your software is not the problem. However, people are always going to be a huge challenge at first because change doesn’t come easy. A new system adoption requires employees to adjust the way they operate or do their work. People are always going to find a workaround, which can overload the data that you have mapped in your system.

Emerging trends to look out for

When it comes to emerging trends, the cloud still has a lot of room for growth. Many organizations are still using legacy systems and print for their daily operations and they currently face the challenge of moving their workloads to the cloud. Cloud currently has around 30-50% market penetration, which is why there’s still a massive opportunity for its growth in the next 20 years.

There’s also going to be more industry-specific functionalities, and software is expected to be more product-based as it’s going to be more packaged. AI is going to be more prevalent and integrated even in business systems like CRM and ERP.

About the host

Abhii Dabas is an active member of the tech community, and through his companies (including Webpuppies), he conducts outreach programs across different universities with a focus on entrepreneurship. Over the past months, he has already trained over 1,000 university students to help them prepare to join the workforce.

About the guest

Sam Gupta is the principal consultant for ElevatIQ, a digital consulting firm that provides technology and management consulting services with the adoption of cutting-edge technologies. Sam is also the host and founder of WBSRocks, a media community that helps drive digital transformation and business growth via several initiatives including a podcast, clubhouse rooms, Twitter chats, Slack groups, and LinkedIn communities among many others.