Increasing B2B demand and sales through digital transformation

Investment in technology is not enough for successful digital transformation or how your customers perceive you as a brand. The key is to join the dots (people-process-technology elements) across customer touchpoints and their journey – an aspect that most companies miss out on. It is about connecting every single customer focused effort to a common goal, using key digital tools, to compete and win.

Organizations that understand and skillfully manage every aspect of a customer’s journey through a brand reap enormous rewards. A study by McKinsey indicates that these attributes not only increase customer satisfaction by up to 20 percent and revenue growth by 10–15 percent, but also lower the cost of serving (customers) by 15–20 percent.

Surprisingly, a large number of strategists (42%) have not researched the customer journey, while continuing to invest in new digital channels. According to a study by Altimeter, The 2014 State of Digital Transformation, 88% executives and digital strategists indicated that their companies underwent a formal digital transformation effort in 2014. Yet, only 25% had mapped out their customers’ digital journey.

What is not working?

Let’s deep dive into some of the stumbling blocks in the process of total and effective customer centric digital transformation in B2B organizations.

  1. Lack of ‘relevance’ while interacting with customers across touchpoints: Customers experience a product or a brand through several touchpoints, including websites, mobile sites, phones, or by visiting a store. Their process of interacting with a brand is a single journey that has to be viewed in totality. If each data point is looked-at / analyzed / responded-to in isolation, communication with customers may turn out to be ‘a not so consistent experience’ for the latter.
  2. Lack of one version of truth among sales and marketing teams: The most important client-facing teams in a business – sales and marketing – can sometimes get stuck in a ‘campaign’ and ‘activity mentality’ instead of an ‘RoI’ focus. They are seen competing against each other, with similar or disparate KPIs, rather than working toward a common vision. This results in stepping on each other’s shoes, creating internal confusion, as well as misalignment to the customer experience.
  3. Inability to measure the impact of digital investments and efforts via sales and marketing: Digital investments and efforts cannot be tracked and measured through isolated and tactical returns alone. A good Return on Investment (RoI) on a specific campaign means nothing if broader customer goals are not met. Each brand has to take into account the complex web of interactions around it, whether it be online or offline.

How can B2B organizations make it work?

If the above listed deterrents are not acted upon, companies aiming for digital transformation, despite hefty investment across multiple dimensions, could face issues such as customer churn, lack of customer loyalty, and lower market share. They may also be compelled to react defensively, offering price cuts to remain competitive – obviously not a position organizations would like to be in!

We have identified three important factors that will enable successful digital transformation, thereby generating demand and accelerating sales via a holistic digital experience.

    1. Always keep customers’ journey at the center (process element)
      1. One size doesn’t fit all – build grounds up, begin with a value-based view of existing customers
      2. Understand the needs / drivers of each customer segment – recognize what matters to each customer, so that you can adopt more relevant efforts to communicate with them as well as fulfill their needs
      3. Map digital impressions of your customers and prospects and their needs / drivers – understand dynamic areas of interest at a personal level and adopt a dynamic lead scoring model that works on the fly
      4. Measure, track, and continuously improve processes – use analytics optimization techniques; build a framework that synthesizes all data points to support strategic decisions aimed at improving customer experience
    2. Sync the marketing and sales teams (people element)
      1. Create and drive a single team mentality, led by the leadership team, with both teams supporting distinct parts of customer journey to avoid unnecessary overlap/conflict
      2. Enable and support both teams to have a single version of truth with regards to a customer’s journey
    3. Establish robust tools that offer a consolidated view (technology element)
      1. Tools are typically brought in as the first thing, with the expectation that they will solve all issues. Each tool needs to be considered, evaluated, and aligned after the process and people elements have been understood
      2. Tools that are aligned to process / data / analytics will support both the sales and marketing teams in creating a holistic and complete customer experience, thereby aiding demand generation and sales acceleration

Coming Soon: How Evalueserve provided actionable insights to a leading networking and telecommunications equipment and services company, in accordance with the principles highlighted above, thereby helping it accelerate sales and generate demand.

Sachin Kumar
Head of Data Science Solutions - Europe, Corporates and Professional Services Posts
Ravi Mehrotra
Co-CEO and Global Business Unit Head, Corporates and Professional Services Posts

Ravi Mehrotra is the Co-CEO and Head of Corporates and Professional Services at Evalueserve. He has been instrumental in the development and execution of business plans that have contributed to Evalueserve’s organic growth. Ravi specializes in industries such as technology, industrial goods, automotive, and logistics, as well as consulting. He is adept at technology that facilitates business development and high-value relationship communications with clients.

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