2020 state of SMB sales

In this white paper, we take a look at what has changed for SMB sales teams in recent years, the main issues facing SMB sales teams, and the role of technology in small and medium-sized companies

Published June 9, 2020
Last modified June 25, 2020

There are both challenges and benefits to a sales role at a small or medium-sized business (SMB). Working in sales at a smaller company usually means that you have few resources to support sales efforts, deal with administrative work and provide professional guidance. On the flip side, there are usually fewer layers of bureaucracy, so it is easier to get things done. SMB sales professionals may appreciate greater flexibility to keep customers happy or to respond to changing market demands.

This study examines trends in selling among SMBs and endeavours to answer important questions. What has changed for SMB sales teams in recent years? What are the main issues facing SMB sales teams? What is the role of technology at small and medium-sized companies? We have also included a special section exploring the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Key findings:

  1. SMB sales cycles are changing

    Ninety-four per cent say that customers have changed in the past five years, and 76% report that the change in customer behaviour is substantial.

  2. Modern SMB sales professionals deal with a range of challenges

    Ninety per cent report that sales reps at SMBs face challenges. Top challenges include contacts who don’t respond to phone calls, unpleasant customers and complicated systems for tracking sales.

  3. Good technology enables strong sales relationships

    Ninety-six per cent of SMBs have adopted technology to improve the sales cycle, and 94% agree that good technology is the best thing for customer relationships