How can Small to Medium Businesses Adapt to the ‘New Normal’

The Covid-19 pandemic and Brexit brought unprecedented challenges and disruption to SMBs during 2020. As we move through 2021, SMBs must continue to adapt and change if they are to thrive and respond to new opportunities.

The Covid-19 pandemic and Brexit brought unprecedented challenges and disruption to many businesses during 2020. This impact was felt deeply in the small to medium business (SMB) community. As we move through 2021, SMBs must continue to adapt and change if they are to thrive and respond to new opportunities.

In this article, we look at two of the key challenges SMBs are facing; firstly, how to increase sales and attract new customers and secondly, how to improve employee productivity and collaboration regardless of where people are working.

Utilising the Power of Your Data to Increase Sales

When considering how to bounce back from a period of poor performance, most businesses will be looking to increase sales and attract new customers. This could be achieved through expanding into new markets or increasing your product range. Retaining existing customers and maximising the potential for upselling and cross selling should be key objectives.

In both cases, personalised and highly target marketing and increased sales efficiency will be crucial in meeting your objectives. The need to personalise your customers’ experience is growing as consumers face expanding choice. Personalisation efforts will need to be synchronised, thoughtful and backed up by technology. Sales teams will need to work smarter to foster relationships, boost productivity and accelerate sales performance.

Marketing Automation

A CRM solution can help you to streamline your sales and marketing processes:

  • Align your sales and marketing teams with planning and tracking tools that integrate with your other applications
  • Better understand your customers’ needs and engage more effectively.
  • Sell smarter with embedded insights, foster relationships, boost productivity, accelerate sales performance and use AI capabilities to automate sales execution.
  • Generate multi-channel marketing campaigns, nurture sales-ready leads and customise customer journeys based on user engagement.

Hybrid Workforces and Distributed Workplaces

Covid-19 and the UK government’s guidance to ‘work from home if you can’ created an abrupt shift away from the office. Office for National Statistics figures reveal that exclusive remote working hit a high of 38% in mid-June 2020. As we now move into a period of easing of coronavirus restrictions, businesses are considering their working arrangements, with many likely opting for a hybrid workforce and distributed workplace.

This new model will require businesses to adapt in the way they manage teams. Managers will need to consider how to coach, collaborate, evaluate performance and motivate their team remotely. Company culture should prioritise trust and belonging to maintain a healthy relationship amongst co-workers.

Alongside these people-related considerations, the creation of a digital ecosystem that can be reliably accessed whether at home, in the office or on the road will be imperative. Using the power of cloud technology and services, SMBs can create a secure, flexible, virtual IT environment. Businesses adopting cloud-based applications report many benefits including increased efficiency, the ability to better serve their customers and an increase in profit margins.


Alongside the ubiquitous Microsoft 365 suite of applications, Dynamics 365 offers a powerful CRM solution that helps streamline administrative processes, letting you focus on building your business.

Unified collaboration between Microsoft Teams and Dynamics 365 enables your employees to get daily activities done simply and without disruption. For example, when viewing a customer record in your Dynamics 365 workspace, you can see related conversations and people, and then start or continue a chat without switching to Teams. Similarly, while working in Teams, you can seamlessly access and share records and information from Dynamics 365.

QGate are an established CRM partner. As a SMB ourselves, we understand your struggles from first-hand experience of our own digital transformation. We take a collaborative approach to the understanding and design of our customers’ CRM solutions, working with team members across the business, supported by senior level sponsorship. This reduces the risk of project failure and increases user adoption, ensuring you achieve a good return on your investment.

To find out more about how QGate can help your business to transition and thrive in the ‘new normal’ please get in touch by completing our contact form.

Further information on Dynamics 365 and our CRM Success Programme can be found on our website.

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