Benchmark Bytes: How Satisfied are SMBs With In-Person SaaS Sales?

As part of the ritual of examining local commerce and SMB Saas strategies, Localogy goes right to the source: SMBs themselves. How do they feel about marketing and operational software? What features do they want? And how has their hunger changed during a global pandemic that has hit local businesses hardest?

Localogy’s Modern Commerce Monitor (MCM) wave 6.1 answers these and other questions across the SMB SaaS product set, which we preview in this Benchmark Bytes series. After the last installment examined SMBs SaaS usage levels, we switch gears this week to their satisfaction levels with the sales process.

Specifically, Nearly a quarter of purchases completed in the twelve months prior to the survey (January 2021) involved face-to-face sales interactions. However, only half were satisfied with the experience. Keep in mind that this time period aligns with the height of Covid-19 so survey sentiments are impacted accordingly.

Specifically, 23 percent of SMBs who bought something in this time period were extremely satisfied, while 26 percent were very satisfied. 22 percent were neutral while 16 percent were slightly satisfied and 13 percent were not at all satisfied. These results were mostly flat from Wave V, with some slight deviations.

Localogy members can access full charts and SMB survey reports. Non members can purchase reports

What Does it All Mean?

Going a bit deeper, a few things jump out at us:

— There’s a “glass half-empty or half-full” dynamic going on with these survey results

— About half of SMBs are satisfied with their in-person sales experiences which is a good sign. However the other half aren’t satisfied (or neutral) suggestion lots of room for improvement.

— It’s suprising that despite Covid-era lockdowns and social distancing that 25 percent of SMB SaaS sales happened in person.

— This validates the resilience of SMB sales and the priority that reps put on in-person interaction.

— This has presumably been disrupted to some degree by masks which inhibit the interpersonal and non-verbal interactions that direct sales often rely on.

— For this reason, it’s also suprising that satisfaction levels are flat from wave V (pre-pandemic). One would expect satsifaction levels to dip, given challenges and safety precautions for in-person interactions

— Sales interactions were likely less personable, but it’s possible that SMBs valued them greater given the scarcity of personal connections throughout 2020.

— It’s a positive sign that the biggest movement in wave VI over wave V was a four point decrease in the number of SMBs that were “not at all satisfied.”

— Covid’s impact seems to be minimal given the similarities in the last two waves. However differences could arise in Wave VII and we’ll keep our eyes peeled for that.

Research

Time to Shine

Stepping back, SMB online services adoption tracked by MCM continues to grow rapidly.  SMB SaaS startups and online services providers are correspondingly thriving with exit velocity, funding, and public-market performance. SMB SaaS is becoming a leading subsector of the broader SaaS universe.

Meanwhile, new SMB SaaS users could represent permanent adopters — a concept that’s accelerated in the Covid era as SMBs are forced to boost their digital transformation. This sends them into the arms of SaaS providers to accomplish a range of operational and marketing functions.

We’ll return in the next installment to go deeper on other areas of SMB technology adoption. That will include the types of SMB SaaS software that resonate most. Let us know what additional insights jump out at you from the above data, and stay tuned for more breakdowns in our Benchmark Bytes series.

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