3 Secrets of Sales Automation to Promote Small Business Growth

How to Scale Your Small Business With Sales Automation 

“By increasing efficiencies through better qualifying leads and increasing effectiveness by ensuring sales efforts are more personalized and relevant, marketing automation enables sales teams to do what they do best – SELL.” – Kristen Hambelton, Chief Marketing Officer at ServiceChannel

Marketing automation has become an integral part of many organization’s strategic mix as the toolset provides businesses with enhanced opportunities to transform raw leads into sales-qualified prospects.

This is done by continually nurturing leads with various forms of informative content and personalized communications as they move through the sales funnel.

But marketing automation, just like everything else in technology, is evolving at light speed. As marketing automation becomes commonplace, sales automation – often called sales force automation (SFA) – is becoming the new cutting edge focus.

After all, you can engage in all kinds of effective marketing tactics, but if you can’t get a sale out of it, your efforts are wasted.

As automation makes its leap into the realm of sales, businesses unlock new opportunities to gain heightened levels of revenue and success.

How to Scale Your Small Business With Sales Automation

If you are interested in understanding how sales automation software can help elevate your business to the next level, check out these 3 steps SMBs can take to leverage sales automation for higher revenues and brand awareness.

1. Fill the Top of the Funnel

The top of the sales funnel is the foundation of your entire process. Without a means to steadily generate awareness and attract leads, the entire funnel collapses and your company runs the risk of doing the same.

As the digital realm becomes an increasingly competitive, dog-eat-dog world, keeping your sales funnel full has become a job unto itself. Therefore, businesses arm themselves with savvy and skilled sales teams that know how to bring in new prospects to guide through the funnel.

Unfortunately, only about 27% of the leads the end up in a company’s funnel are actually “sales ready.” What’s worse is that only about 44% of salespeople remain persistent after the first follow up. Most estimate that it takes somewhere between 5 and 10 follow ups to make a sale.

This means that a lot of potential customers and cash are slipping through the cracks. It also clearly illustrates why sales automation software is a necessity for many smaller organizations.

Using AI-powered services like Growbots, intelligent algorithms match a company’s customer profile against more than 200 million contacts to create an ideal list of high-quality prospects who are more likely to be “sales ready.”

The terrible loss that comes as a result of failed follow ups, however, also means that brands have ample opportunity to collect those lost leads and enter them into a highly personalized nurturing campaign with automation services.

But humans, cannot be expected to sift through these leads to establish which need to be cycled back through the funnel as this would be incredibly tedious and many would likely still slip through the cracks.

By implementing a sales automation tool that begins to track leads the moment they enter the funnel, however, prospects can be sorted into appropriate nurture campaigns that tout personalized outreach based on the lead’s demographic information and actions taken.

This allows businesses to better manage its leads and convert more potential customers into dedicated patrons.

This is not the end of sales force automation’s ability to help SMBs makes sales, though; it’s only the beginning.

2. Accelerate Productivity

No matter if a prospect enters a brand’s funnel sales-ready or if they are nurtured into it, it is vital to get those individuals over to sales representatives as quickly as possible. The fastest way to accomplish this is through automation.

The urgency of passing prospects over to sales teams in a timely fashion cannot be overstated; with each passing minute, potential customers become less included to buy.

This was proven by a 2015 Velocify study, which analyzed 3.5 million leads. The study uncovered that placing a phone call to a new lead within the first minute increases the chances of gaining a conversion by a staggering 391%. Waiting a mere 30 minutes reduces the odds all the way down to 62%.

If your brand employs a sales automation software that incorporates robust lead scoring attributes and processes, businesses can leverage quantifiable data to determine when a prospect is ready (or enters the funnel ready) so that they can be transferred to a sales team member immediately.

3. Enhanced Relationship Management

Purchase decisions are ultimately contingent on a variety of factors; and customer support is a huge factor.

Sometimes consumers opt to enter an agreement with a brand not because of superior products or services but because of remarkable relationship management; customers often break off deals for the exact same reason.

On this front, chatbots are becoming an increasingly popular option as these AI-driven assistants can manage customer service questions, leaving your sales reps to handle more complex and in-depth service issues.

This has made services like ChattyPeople extremely popular. Platforms like these enable enterprise-level companies to hand off a large portion of customer relations as it can be integrated with other online portals like Facebook and Shopify.

If chatbots are not an appealing option for your brand, however, CRMs have been the next best thing – until now. And while a CRM tool might be equipped to handle such customer-facing situations, the job should not solely be delegated to that sector; if a sales agent cannot answer a customer’s question because it is another department’s concern, there’s a chance your company could be losing an account.

By leveraging sales force automation software, however, businesses large and small can provide customers with better relationship management as they will often have transaction records and other vital account details at the ready.

Some of the more robust platforms enable sales reps to access this info from mobile devices as well to ensure they have all the data they need, even when outside of the office.

Using sales force automation software, SMBs stand the chance to significantly increase their number of leads and conversions by filling the top of their funnel with an abundance of leads, understanding more intimately where a prospect is on the buyer’s journey, and managing relationships with their customers in a more favorable manner.

In today’s day and age, sales automation is a tool that SMBs can’t afford not to add into their marketing mix. Combined with a savvy human touch, automation can be the exact edge a business needs to blow away the competition and achieve its loftiest goals.

[“Source-smallbiztrends”]

Survey: 80 Percent of Small Business Owners Have Never Visited Their SBA Branch

Looking for money to grow a small business? Make sure to consider all the resources available, including one major source of funding.

While almost all small businesses require financing at some point, few are using the resources available to them.

This surprising insight comes from a new survey conducted by Fundera, a small business lending marketplace. The report found 80 percent of small business owners have never set foot in their Small Business Administration (SBA) branch, an agency that specifically caters to their needs.

Business Owners Not Paying Attention to the Financial Health of Their Business

Surprisingly, the report found while many small business owners check their personal credit, they seldom review their business credit score.

In specific numbers, 58 percent of respondents said they don’t check their business credit score at all.

What’s more, 34 percent of small business owners said they were “not at all interested” in seeing a free business credit score for their business.

Businesses Borrowing Funds to Grow

That being said, it’s a positive sign that most businesses are seeking loans to grow.

The report found 49 percent of small business owners are seeking working capital. Forty percent said they needed funds to purchase equipment, while 37 percent cited expansion as their primary reason to borrow.

Evidently, small business owners are taking a rather proactive approach when they are applying for funds.

How Owners Are Getting Money to Grow a Small Business

To meet their financial requirements, most small businesses (66 percent) said they opt for the big banks.

A large number of businesses also approach their friends and family to secure funds. According to the report among those who take the traditional route, 66 percent borrow from family. Thirty-six percent said they borrow from friends.

Only 11 percent of surveyed business owners applied for a loan with an online lender.

About the Survey

Fundera and Qualtrics conducted a random sur

[“Source-smallbiztrends”]

Does Your Small Business Really Need AI?

Does Your Small Business Really Need AI?

Artificial Intelligence (AI) can be intimidating to small businesses. In fact, a survey commissioned by Salesforce (NYSE: CRM) last year found 61 percent of small business owners felt they weren’t ready to adopt it. They felt AI was too complicated for what they needed.

Salesforce wants to change that perception with its AI platform, called Einstein.

Does a Small Business Really Need AI?

Small Business Trends spoke with Tony Rodoni, Executive Vice President for SMB sales at Salesforce, about AI and what it can do for small businesses.

The Big Brands Are Already Using It

Whether small businesses are ready or not, big brands are already using AI to stake out huge territory, says Rodoni.

“Apple’s Siri uses natural language processing to recognize voice commands. And companies like Amazon, Netflix and Spotify are using machine learning to understand how items in their catalogs relate to one another and their customer’s preferences,” he says.

AI Adoption by Small Businesses

Small businesses can do the same. But the pace of technology adoption by small businesses isn’t always fast.  Salesforce’s 2016 Connected Small Business Report notes only 21 percent of small businesses are using features like business intelligence software and analytics.

Rodoni explains what they’re missing by not adopting AI.

“AI has the potential to make every company and every employee smarter, faster, more operationally efficient and more productive,” he says.  “For small businesses with limited time and resources, the ability to work smarter and automate basic tasks can be a life-saver. That’s why we launched Einstein.”

In fact, small businesses that are early to adopt new technologies look bigger than they are. Rodoni has called this the blowfish effect.

The Benefits of AI

Maximizing resources and prioritizing time are just two of the benefits of artificial intelligence.

With AI, you can predict customer service issues before they happen. AI can help you identify the prospects that are most likely to buy your goods and services. Your marketing efforts become more personalized because you have more information about customer preferences to work with.

The benefits of AI include the ability to help your business:

  • Automate the send-time for your marketing emails to arrive when they will most likely be read.
  • Figure out which segments of your audience to target with the greatest expectation of return on investment.
  • Predict the amount of sales in your pipeline — even before the results come in.
  • Predict your most important sales leads.

Spending hours sorting through spreadsheets, hunting down leads or tweaking marketing campaigns manually can be things of the past.

It’s Good for Growth

Rodoni draws a connection between AI and success for startups.

“I believe that AI is a necessity to growth,” Rodoni says.  “Behind every deal, every order and every opportunity is a customer. AI marries human interaction and machine intelligence in a way that enables companies to better connect with their customers.”

Artificial intelligence works to scale, another win for the smaller shop.  Not only that, it leads you to the right customers and helps you to engage them. At the same time, it automates tasks across marketing, service and sales.

Choose Vendors That Incorporate AI into Products

Once small businesses have gotten over their initial apprehension, integrating AI into their businesses is easier than might be expected. You don’t have to master the technology underlying artificial intelligence. You just have to find the vendors that have mastered AI and incorporated it into their product offerings.

In Einstein’s case, it’s an add-on to the Salesforce platform.

“The beauty of Einstein is that it’s embedded directly into the Salesforce platform. Customers don’t need to do anything to start using it or seeing the benefits – it just works,” Rodoni says.

 

[“Source-smallbiztrends”]

10 Small Business Trademark Mistakes that Cost You Money

Your small business trademarks have an untold amount of potential value. Who knew 10 or 20 years ago that the Google and Apple brands would be worth tens of billions of dollars each?

Every brand has to start somewhere, including yours. That’s why it’s critical to protect your brands with trademarks. If you don’t, you could not only lose the opportunity to profit from their future value but also, you could get into a lot of very expensive trouble.

Fortunately, all of that trouble is avoidable. All you have to do is properly clear and register your trademarks. But that’s exactly where many small businesses set themselves up for problems and begin making small business trademark mistakes.

Rather than investing the time and money to protect their businesses and brands the right way, they use free (i.e. do it yourself) or cheap (i.e. legal document services providers) methods to search the availability of their business and brand names as trademarks and to register those marks.

It’s a recipe for disaster that has created an entirely new type of legal services, do-over legal services. This is a vertical that should not exist simply because if people got the help they needed to do things correctly the first time, they’d avoid the problems that create the need.

With that in mind, I’m going to teach you about common small business trademark mistakes in an effort to stop some small businesses from making them.

These small business trademark mistakes could cost you money. And I’m not talking about a small amount of money. I’m talking about a massive amount of money.

Let’s put it this way, the $500 or $1,000 you save today by going the do-it-yourself or cheap route to search and register your business and brand names could cost you tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands, or even millions of dollars in the future.

I’ve seen too many businesses forced to close their doors because they’ve made one or more of these completely avoidable mistakes. Don’t be another victim. Educate yourself and avoid these common small business trademark mistakes:

1. You registered your trademark but didn’t secure your name in URLs or social media profiles.

Once someone else registers a domain or snags a social media profile using your trademark, it can be time-consuming and costly to stop them.

Imagine if they start publishing content using a domain or social media profile that matches your brand name. If that content is inappropriate or confuses consumers, you could lose business. Develop a domain name strategy now so you can avoid this problem!

2. You never trademarked your business name.

Just because you registered your business name so you could start operating in your state doesn’t mean that you own the trademark.

You still need to register your business name as a brand name with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO)! Learn the difference between a trade name and a trademark, so you don’t make this mistake.

3. Your business or brand name is descriptive.

The more descriptive your business or brand name is, the less likely you’ll be able to trademark it. In fact, you might not be able to trademark it at all!

Learn how to choose a strong name that you can trademark before you fall in love with it and invest time and money into promoting it.

4. You assumed that since you made up a word or logo that you own it and trademark registration is unnecessary.

Nope. Even if you make up a word, you still need to register it as a trademark to be able to fully protect it and enforce your rights to it.

Common law will be on your side, but you still have to register your trademark if you want to collect money damages and recoup lost profits in an infringement lawsuit.

5. You searched your name in the USPTO database or on an online search site and found no matches, so you assumed it’s available for you to use.

The USPTO database is just your first step in conducting a trademark search. For one thing, it doesn’t include potentially conflicting marks due to common law.

Furthermore, an online search using other free or cheap service providers will give you limited results. That’s because these search providers don’t conduct comprehensive trademark searches.

There is a huge difference between a comprehensive search and any other type of search you conduct yourself or pay someone else to conduct for you. If you do nothing else, invest in a comprehensive search before you start using your name in the marketplace!

6. You think because your business or brand name includes your personal name (first or last) that you don’t have to register it.

Business and brand names that include your first or last name are typically considered to be descriptive and can’t usually be trademarked (although it’s not impossible).

A descriptive trademark is not distinctive, which means it’s weak and difficult to protect. See #3.

7. You assumed that your trademark covers your use of your mark for everything and everywhere.

Not even close! Your trademark only covers your use of the mark for the goods and services specifically described in your trademark registration.

This is why it’s so important to work with an intellectual property attorney to write the goods and services description section of your trademark application! Using a generic classification of goods and services won’t give you the protection you need and is unlikely to scale effectively with your business.

8. You’re not using your mark as it was registered.

You can only protect your mark as it was registered, so you need to use it that way. You should use the trademark symbol to put others on notice that you registered the mark.

But that’s not the only reason you should use the trademark symbol! If you don’t use the symbol, it could be a lot more difficult to collect money damages or recover lost profits in an infringement lawsuit.

9. You’re not maintaining your trademark.

Did you know you could lose your trademark if you don’t maintain it? First, you need to continue using it in commerce or you could lose your rights to it.

Second, you have to renew and update your registration. Between the fifth and sixth year and between the ninth and tenth year after you register your mark, as well as every ten years thereafter, you have to file specific registration renewal documents or the USPTO could flag your trademark as abandoned and cancel it. That means someone else could register it. If you want to get your trademark back, you have to re-register your mark from scratch.

10. You’re not monitoring and enforcing your trademark.

If you’re not monitoring your mark for potential infringements (both online and offline) and responding to those infringements to enforce your mark, then you could lose your ability to protect it.

Develop a process to monitor use of your mark online by doing regular searches using the USPTO database, Google, and social media. If possible, invest in trademark monitoring with an intellectual property attorney or use a third-party watch service provider like Thompson CompuMark or Corsearch that has access to far more online and offline databases than free or cheap providers offer.

[“Source-smallbiztrends”]

AU Small Finance, CDSL, HUDCO, Eris Life crash 5-11% after recent sharp rally

Image result for AU Small Finance, CDSL, HUDCO, Eris Life crash 5-11% after recent sharp rallyRecent listings like AU Small Finance Bank, Eris Lifesciences, HUDCO and CDSL crashed 5-11 percent intraday Friday after sharp rally in last few sessions that lifted these stocks to new highs.

AU Small Finance Bank shares shot up more than 100 percent (from issue price) since the listing on July 10, which means in just five sessions.

The reasons behind this rally could be – first is that the market momentum remained strong in these sessions and second is that it is the first small finance bank to list on exchanges so the appetite was warranted.

AU Small Finance received a license from the Reserve Bank of India to set up small finance bank in December 2016 and commenced SFB operations in April 2017.

Image6

The rally was also spilled over to other non-banking finance companies like Equitas Holdings, Bharat Financial, Ujjivan Financial etc.

Second largest depository CDSL, which was the first one among depositories to list on exchanges, shot up more than 200 percent (from issue price) since the listing on June 30.

At 12:50 hours IST, Central Depository Services was down 7 percent at Rs 413.20; AU Small Finance Bank was down 9.82 percent at Rs 623.30; Eris Lifesciences down 3.5 percent at Rs 655.50 and Housing & Urban Development Corporation down 4.91 percent at Rs 92.90 on the NSE.

[“Source-moneycontrol”]

New Google Backup and Sync Tool Gives Small Businesses More Cloud Power

New Google Backup and Sync Tool Gives Small Businesses More Cloud PowerGoogle (NASDAQ:GOOGL) just released a new app that could help businesses backup and sync files more efficiently. Backup and Sync is the aptly named application that will essentially replace parts of the existing Google Drive desktop apps for Mac and PC.

A Peek at Google Backup and Sync

With the Google Backup and Sync app, you can back up files and photos that aren’t already saved in Google Drive. Just select a folder on your computer or device and you can sync those files to the app. Theoretically, you can use this app to back up your entire computer to the cloud.

The new app isn’t without drawbacks though. The free Drive storage space is capped at 15GB. Once you’ve reached that cap, which probably wont take long if you’re using it to back up all of your files, you’ll need to pay for extended storage.

Still, the move could be a beneficial one for businesses. Whether you’re worried about losing access to important data or just being able to access it from any device, having a simple way to save your files to the cloud is a must for modern businesses. And for businesses that are already familiar with Google Drive and similar offerings, taking advantage of this new app should be relatively simple.

The app launches on June 28 and will support any settings you already have saved on Google Drive for Mac or PC.

[“Source-smallbiztrends”]

LG G6 leaked image shows top half with impressively small bezels

The Xiaomi Mi Mix ‘concept’ phone from last year really did predict the future, in terms of screen-to-body ratio of upcoming smartphones. That said, we assume not many were expecting minimal bezels to become a feature of top of the line handsets from Samsung and LG so soon after the Mi Mix’s outing. But here we are.

The Galaxy S8 has long been rumored to have almost no top and bottom bezels, and the side bezels are taken care of by the curved touchscreen. And now it looks like LG won’t let its fellow South Korean company get all the accolades for killing the bezels in 2017.

The G6 is going to be unveiled on February 26 at MWC, earlier than the Samsung Galaxy S8, and it apparently shall have a “screen-to-bezel ratio is greater than 90 percent”. The information has been leaked alongside the image you can see above, which purportedly shows us the top half of the G6.

LG’s next flagship phone is once again ‘confirmed’ to sport a 5.7-inch display with an unusual 2:1 aspect ratio. The bottom bezel (not shown here) is rumored to be “only slightly taller than the top bezel”. The G6 also has curved display corners, and the entire device will be made from glass and metal. It will keep the headphone jack that’s been known to disappear from certain competing products, and it’s expected to be water-resistant too.

The G6’s battery will not be user-replaceable, a feature that its predecessors have boasted. The modularity of the G5 will be gone, as we told you a while back. “The rear design of the phone” will be very similar to that of the G5, today’s report goes on to say, with a dual camera array fitted alongside a fingerprint scanner. We’ve already seen this portrayed in some earlier leaked renders originating at a case maker.

[Source:- gsmarena]

For India’s surging economy, small is beautiful

A worker separates casting joints of gearboxes inside a small-scale automobile manufacturing unit in Ahmedabad, India, October 12, 2015.   REUTERS/Amit Dave/File Photo

For Rohan Sharma, business has never been better. Sales at his autoparts company in Gujarat are booming and the order book has almost doubled in the past year.

His Bhagirath Coach & Metal Fabricators has just invested nearly $120,000 in new machinery and plans to spend up to $1.2 million this year to expand capacity.

That’s an encouraging sign for Asia’s third-largest economy, where stressed balance sheets at big firms and heavy reliance on bank credit, which has dried up following a surge in troubled loans, have stymied efforts to revive private investment.

Sharma does not face such constraints. He says his firm is debt-free and relies mainly on internal resources to fund capacity expansion.

A survey from the Reserve Bank of India shows he is not alone. The annual study of nearly 240,000 unlisted small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) found they are saving their way to growth, helping transform India into the world’s fastest-growing large economy in the past two years.

India has more than 45 million SMEs, accounting for nearly 40 percent of gross domestic product. Most are unlisted, and their earnings growth has outpaced listed companies for the past three years.

“We never allowed exuberance to get the better of hard business logic,” Sharma said.

Sales at smaller private firms grew 12 percent in 2014/15, the central bank survey showed. Sales at listed big companies rose 1.4 percent over the same period.

Operating profit of the unlisted firms grew an annual 16.6 percent in the year, three times the pace at listed companies, and they increased their gross savings.

While higher expenses halved net profit growth at private firms, they still grew at double-digit pace. In contrast, listed companies struggled with shrinking profits.

Debt-laden big listed firms, meanwhile, are still reluctant to undertake new investments, and foreign firms can find India’s labyrinthine regulations overwhelming.

Also, infrastructure and resources needed for complex manufacturing, like roads, skilled labour and consistent power supply, is often lacking.

That led to a contraction in capital spending in the January-March quarter. Despite that, strong consumer spending helped power economic growth of 7.9 percent, the fastest rate among the world’s major economies.

FLEXIBILITY AN ADVANTAGE

“Being a small-scale company has helped us in getting more orders,” said Pramod Patel, managing partner at Reliable Paints.

Patel’s company, which supplies industrial paint to the metals, chemical, auto and defence sectors, saw 25 percent growth in its order book in the fiscal year ending in March.

“We can customise different paint shades for clients, unlike big paint companies which can only provide specific paint shades,” he said.

Capacity utilisation at his Gujarat-based factory shot up to 80 percent from 50 percent in 2014/15. Now, Patel is buying new machines, hiring workers and spending more on marketing.

Helping power smaller firms has been Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s plan to build 10,000 km of new national highways and upgrade another 50,000 km as part of $32 billion infrastructure spending this fiscal year.

This has boosted sales of heavy commercial vehicles and, by extension, auto ancillary companies.

Steel Strips Wheels (STWH.NS), for example, reported a 55 percent jump in earnings per share in the fiscal year that ended in March.

The company, which supplies wheel rims to major automakers, has seen a big leap in capacity utilization. Its commercial vehicles wheel plant is now using 95 percent of capacity from little over 35 percent in 2013/14.

“Today our order book is more than our execution capacity,” chief financial officer Naveen Sorot said. “So we are planning to expand our production capacity”.

PATCHY RECOVERY

For India to consistently grow at or above 8 percent that it targets to generate jobs for a rapidly expanding workforce, major listed enterprises will have to come to the party.

Encouragingly, the infrastructure push has begun to feed through to the balance sheets of some bigger listed firms.

Corporate earnings at listed non-financial firms in the March quarter grew 18 percent, the strongest in the past two years, raising hopes of an improvement in their debt-laden balance sheets.

Nonetheless, the recovery in investment is patchy. Thermax Ltd (THMX.NS), an engineering company, reported a 15 percent drop in its order book in the last quarter from a year ago.

With banks increasingly taking action against corporations that default on loans, a senior government official said companies are likely to keep a lid on capital outlays unless they see visible returns on new investments.

“Until then, government spending will have to do the heavy lifting,” the official said.

Govt. plans sops for SEZs, small exporters to spur shipments

Labour-intensive export sectors and organic food producers will get concessions. — File photo

Steps aimed at helping reverse a prolonged contraction in merchandise exports

The government is considering several measures, such as offering incentives for small exporters and a package to revive Special Economic Zones (SEZs), to help reverse the trend of a prolonged contraction in merchandise exports since December 2014.

Labour-intensive export sectors and organic food producers will get concessions and a package is on the anvil for SEZs so that they can utilize large tracts of unused land available with them.

Also being considered are steps such as categorising the entire export credit given by all lenders separately under priority sector lending without riders, ensuring better coordination with Indian missions overseas, as well as relaxing norms for the Export Import Bank of India (Exim Bank) and Export Credit Guarantee Corporation of India (ECGC) to give them greater operational flexibility.

Setting up of three dedicated zones for manufacture of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (API or drug raw materials) and other pharmaceutical items, incentives for the bio-tech industry especially for skill development, sops for manufacture and export of electronic items, besides targeted measures to address the problems of small importers of steel items, exporters in the gems & jewellery and sea food sectors, are the other steps being considered.

These proposals will be taken up soon with other Ministries and regulatory authorities, Commerce & Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said after the Board of Trade (BOT) meeting. The 72-meber Board is a government-industry panel looking into measures to boost exports. The recently reconstituted Board chaired by Sitharaman held its first meeting on Wednesday.

Indian exports have declined from $314 billion in FY’14 to $310 billion in FY’15. Exports in FY’16 are expected to shrink further to nearly $260 billion.

“The Prime Minister is keen that the government is constantly engaged with the export sector to ensure that their problems are sorted out expeditiously. To ensure consistent high rates of economic growth, possibly closer to 10 per cent, we need exports sector also do to well,” Sitharaman told reporters. “We will hold interactions with Indian High Commissions and Embassies along with their commercial and economic wings to make them more vibrant and understand requirements of exporters.”

Trade bodies demanded better infrastructure to shore up exports and called for tax benefits to be extended to small and medium units.

Demanding fiscal support for modernisation and expansion of the production base, S C Ralhan, President of the apex body of exporters FIEO said investment-linked tax benefits should be given to small and medium units needing huge capital and generating employment.

Naushad Forbes, President of the industry body CII, said strategies need to be evolved to increase high value added or advanced manufacturing exports, help exporters comply with international best practices and standards, as well as address problems relating to poor infrastructure, inadequate trade finance, high logistic costs and inflexible labour laws.

Besides, greater participation of the States is also required to boost exports, he added.

 [Source:- Thehindu]