Digital Transformation in Sales

The customer journey has changed. Gone are the days where a person wanted something and walked into a store or picked up the phone for a conversation. Sales people were chatting to people right from the beginning, influencing the deal, the pricing and the message. These days, purchasers can be 70% through the buying cycle before you even know about them. They have asked their peers and colleagues for recommendations, read the reviews online, looked at competitive pricing, competing products and all they really need now is for you to show up and deliver. If, as a sales organisation, you can already identify the people looking at your products from the early stages, and start engaging with them early on, you are one step closer to the sale and already on your journey of digital transformation in sales.

There are a few definitions of customer engagement, but at the end of the day, whether you are a business-to-business focused company or a business-to-consumer focused company it all leads to the same conclusion. The more you focus on your communication to your customers, nurture them, actively build relationships, manage your relationships, stay relevant to their needs and wants, and keep them highly engaged with your brand – the more likely they are going to stay loyal and the more revenue you will make out of them. This approach makes customer engagement the number one driving force behind sales and it is the reason why top-performing sales organisations are prioritising digital transformation in order to unlock greater revenue growth.

So, that seems pretty simple. Just make sure you are communicating with them in all the right ways, and you will make money. Now, go and put that into practice. Where do you start? Who should be in charge of this strategy? How do I know what my customer wants, when they want it and where they want it? Who holds the data for all of my questions and how can I get my answers? Should we use different partners and suppliers and try bring it altogether, or is there one platform we can adopt? Yes – it is scary to start off on this journey, but if you don’t start now you are going to be left behind…way behind.

Most sales organisations are adopting technology to some degree and according to a May 2016 Microsoft survey of sales leaders  this adoption could be as simple as making sure all sales staff have a mobile phone. Companies in the beginning of the digital transformation journey are known as Sceptics or Followers. The Sceptics are hesitant to increase adoption of technology and feel that face-to-face interactions are still the only meaningful way to sell. Followers see the benefits but struggle with adoption and lack of support internally.

On the other side of the curve are the Strivers and the Drivers. These leaders see the benefits of technology and are prioritising digital transformation across their organisations. Strivers get stuck somewhat with innovation and experimentation, whereas Drivers are constantly experimenting and seeking opportunities to engage customers to drive competitive advantages.

Digital Transformation in Sales

To truly become an organisation focused on your customers, you have to be honest about where you are in your journey, and then start putting into place the steps to take you where you need to be. You need to take stock of your business, your processes and touch points and put into place a strategy that involves technology.

You also need to remember that customer engagement is about more than just touchpoints – your website or contact centre for example. It requires a company-wide commitment to build meaningful relationships, create connections and build and nurture those relationships so that your sales prospects trust you and your brand stays top of mind. This means alignment across sales, marketing, customer service, operations and delivery teams and is an on-going process.

What also sticks out in research studies, is that if you want to be a top performing sales organisation then you need to be using sales management software. Among those using software, 86% have seen an increase in revenue, and 93% reported a boost in productivity. (See more details here). A platform like Microsoft Dynamics 365 enables you to manage accounts, contacts and leads and to get a complete view of your customer and your opportunities. You are able to make decisions based on facts, with live dashboards and guidance on next best actions to take.

Click here to download the full report from Microsoft on Digital Transformation in Sales – Evolving the Art of Customer Engagement. 

Karabina can help you to adapt your business strategy into a digital business strategy and guide you in using technology to drive sales, increase revenue and grow your company. Chat to us about your requirements.

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