2 Benefits of Digital Transformation & What They Mean For Your Organization
Over the last decade, technological advances have accelerated Digital Transformation in the business world. According to one digital expert, “a decade ago companies were mainly focused on data mining, search technology, and virtual collaboration. Today, executives are directing their energy toward artificial intelligence, machine learning, and the Internet of Things.”
Businesses are on the path to digital transformation but have a ways to go. 63% of businesses plan to improve the ‘online customer experience’ this year, but only 26% of organizations are ‘completely ready’ to execute digital strategies. (Accenture Digital)
So, what does digital transformation mean for sales?
Two key benefits of digital transformation for salespeople are (1) a new level of transparency and (2) easier collaboration.
Let’s take a look at how sales managers, salespeople and clients can leverage these benefits.
Based on the corporate training sessions I've taught, one common goal among sales managers is getting their salespeople to work more efficiently and function as a team. Digital transformation allows for more transparency, which can help managers achieve their goals.
For instance, Viabl (an add-on for Salesforce and SugarCRM) shows the progress of sales accounts. A clear depiction of a pipeline makes a salesperson’s admin tasks much easier and allows increased visibility for managers.
It’s now easy to share all kinds of information with your employees in an easily understandable and secure way. When you share metrics that salespeople can understand and affect, they can see trends, make predictions, and start to brainstorm ways to move those metrics in the right direction. Many executives have found the company culture improves when employees at all levels understand how the company is performing and what the overall goals are.
If your company is set up in such a way that your sales team relies on other departments to deliver a business solution to clients, you may find another benefit to increased transparency: collaboration across teams. When everyone has access to all of the information on a project, they can share ideas and status updates more efficiently. Open communication and access to information fosters trust and helps make the work environment less hierarchical. Developing a shared mindset helps to eliminate an “us vs. them” mentality and improves teamwork.
Some people are wary of what digitization will mean for the future of the workforce. According to this webinar, the CEO of AT&T has said that he believes that “close to 50% of the workforce will not have the relevant skills they need to drive their next wave of growth.” The good news is (at least in the foreseeable future) AI cannot replace the power of a face-to-face conversation or conversational sales call that allows you, the salesperson, to get to know your client, discuss their needs, and work together to find a solution. Digital tools can help you.
Digital technology makes more information available so you can start to see patterns and understand why certain techniques are more effective.
In order to thrive in the digital age, salespeople must be curious. The technology is constantly evolving, so you must be willing to keep learning if you want to stay on the cutting edge. DMT’s digital assessment and PWC’s app Digital Fitness allow you to gauge your digital knowledge. Once you understand your weak points, commit to learning what you don’t know. Then, find tools that can help you achieve your weekly, monthly and annual goals.
As they say, the customer experience is king. Digital technology allows clients to track metrics and analyze data in a clear, increasingly user-friendly way. When the client has all of the information available to them about how your business solution is working for them, they are able to use that quantifiable data to make logical decisions. This benefits both the salesperson and the client -- the client no longer has to guess how well your solution is working for them, and you have data to backup your claims. Over time, you can use these metrics to collaborate on a game plan for the future.
Digital transformation has opened the door for increased transparency and opportunities for collaboration across teams. When everyone has access to useful information, it becomes easier to work toward goals and people tend to feel like their actions matter. Increased productivity and efficiency, along with the ease and transparency provided by tools that you can make available to your clients, will improve the overall customer experience. Embrace these changes and stay agile as the transformation is just beginning.
How far along are you on your path to digital transformation? Take our free digital skills diagnostic to find out.
About Brittany Bookbinder
Brittany is an actor, writer, and Muppet enthusiastic. She grew up on Long Island, where her hobbies included writing love poems and watching TGIF, often at the same time. These days, she writes for Evil Studios Ltd., performs comedy and music, and makes video shorts independently and with the iO Comedy Network. She has performed in independent films, regional theatre, sketch comedy and improv all over Chicago. She is also an artistic collaborator with Theater Unspeakable, with whom she co-created Superman 2050 and Murder on the Midwest Express. She has performed Superman 2050 throughout the country, including Lincoln Center in NYC and the Kennedy Center in DC. Training: She holds a B.S. Theatre, a minor in Creative Writing and a certificate in Music Theatre from Northwestern University. She has studied acting at the School at Steppenwolf and British American Drama Academy. She has studied improv in the Second City Conservatory, iO Chicago, CIC Theatre and currently at the Annoyance. Brittany is a guest blog contributor for DMTraining.