Many small businesses have shut shop. Corporates and other firms are offering remote work options to their workforce. Countries are closing borders and states in India are in lockdown. Major events are being cancelled worldwide.
Welcome to life in the time of Coronavirus Outbreak.
The pandemic is causing major disruptions in people’s lives as they are in quarantine and self-isolation mode. While some say they were already living a life like this (#IntrovertLife), others are slowly adjusting to this new lifestyle and most importantly, to a new work culture.
Those who were not ready to embrace the dynamic shift, i.e. the businesses, they are scurrying to understand the best measures to take in these trying times. Their main goal is to quickly deliver and keep the productivity intact, even when the team is geographically dispersed. They aim to achieve their targets viz customer retention, sales among others by taking different approaches.
One of the ways to do so is to embrace a digital strategy that helps the businesses even in these trying times.
Here’s a scenario.
Majority of B2B firms rely on trade fairs and exhibitions, which makes these events a multi-million dollar industry. This is a crucial step for them to gain new prospects, develop customer relations and explore new business opportunities.
With the pandemic in place, this has come to an abrupt halt for the time being. Think of the huge losses that various companies are having to deal with due to the cancellation of the events.
Talking about the present scenario, some firms are already taking strides in this direction. They are doing their bit to come up with virtual alternatives of the conferences and seminars by combining video, networking and the latest tools and technologies. These webinars, panel livestreams and the likes deliver unique experiences at a fraction of the cost of attending or organizing the same events offline. A case in point is that of IBM’s Think conference, which went digital. Therefore, it is obvious that companies are embracing digital more than ever.
In a similar vein, it is interesting to note that B2B companies that achieve digital transformation tend to get 8% more shareholder returns. They also achieve 5 times more revenue growth compared to their peers.
Then again, you got to ask -
HOW CAN COMPANIES ADOPT A DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION AFTER THE PANDEMIC IS GONE?
By Taking a Decision Early On
B2B firms are often the slowest to adapt to digital strategies. This is why they are going to initially face some hiccups to understand how the digital future is going to help them in the long run. They also need to know that by going digital, they can perhaps gain better business opportunities.
Sample this report from Accenture, which highlights some important statistics:
The B2B Commerce market will hit $1.2 trillion by 2021 in the USA.
In that same period, the global revenue from offline commerce channels will decrease by almost 20%.
It is a given that B2B enterprises should make the move sooner than later as digital-first companies are 64% more likely to achieve their business goals than their peers.
Customers are always looking out for relevant, real-time content that provides them value. And because the buyer personas are different for different firms, it also depends on the format of the content and the device. Their journey plays the main role in determining the digital strategy. That said, businesses also need to remember that the technology should be tied closely to unparalleled customer experience.
Take the instance of a Walker study, which revealed that by the end of 2020, customer experience is going to be the key brand differentiator, taking over price and product. Another one from the Temkin Group found that the firms that earn $1 billion annually can make the profit of $700 million within 3 years of investing in customer experience. That said, 44% of the companies have already shifted to a digital-first approach for customer experience.
It is a known fact that firms with the strongest omnichannel experiences retain 89% of their customers on average. On the other hand, the ones with a weak omnichannel customer experience, retain just 33% of the same.
Therefore, businesses need to do is focus on all digital channels viz web, mobile web, apps, emails and so on. A mix and match of different digital touchpoints can create an equilibrium for them. These can include:
· Chatbots or Virtual Assistants
· Augmented Reality
· Virtual Reality
· Smart TV
· OTT Content and Services
· Connected devices including cars and smart buildings
· Digital signages
Using these touchpoints, by adding layers of security, and working towards providing unique customer experiences, companies can take the first step towards digital transformation.
Sample this - 5.8 Billion Enterprise and Automotive IoT Endpoints Will Be in Use in 2020.
This statistic implies that digital interactions will only increase with time mainly due to the invasion of the Internet of Things, leaving firms with a huge volume of data. Therefore, enterprises moving to digital will need to rely on decision making, which is backed by big data and analytics. This will help them make maximum impact.
Think of it this way - data-driven metrics are one of the ways they can leverage the power of digital. Using various timely insights about their customer, businesses can come up with failsafe strategies. The outcome will be superior when it comes to their costs and revenue.
The definitions of operating models vary greatly across organizations. More often than not, these include a dynamic shift in the way the businesses are redesigned. These operating models are in-sync with the core goals and strategies of the businesses and help drive value when implemented perfectly.
The question is – how is it tied to digital transformation?
According to research by Harvard Business Review, there are at least 6 ways that can lead companies to successful digital transformation by changing the operational models. These include defining all the roles and responsibilities explicitly, introducing incentives and goals, establishing cross-functional debriefs, having a governance model with transparent KPIs for the leadership teams, standardizing the exchange of resources and knowledge and nominating the leaders to drive changes needed. These steps reduce conflict within the organization, help manage processes better, ensure better cultivation of skill sets and optimize various workflows.
The next point is about collaboration. We’ve seen how tools like Zoom, Slack, Cisco Webex Teams and the likes are having a field day as companies are using them to collaborate in the age of telecommuting. But make no mistake; collaboration is not just about using tools and technologies. It is also about being able to access and relay the right information at the right time. This means that all the departments, even though geographically dispersed, will need to make concerted efforts to make an informed decision.
By Choosing Automation
A study from McKinsey estimates that up to 45% of work activities could be automated using already-existing technology. Automation tools are one of the ways to successfully manage digital strategies in the future. Because there are several options in automation tools, organizations need to prioritize the processes they need to automate and subsequently take the call. Their decision also needs to be tied to the long-term goals for the firm.
We at TransFunnel are expert HubSpot Partner, Marketo Partner, Pardot Partner, and Segment Partner. Using these automation tools, we help businesses derive maximum ROI. Over the years, we understood that automation is not just important to decrease the deliverable timeframes, but also to bridge the gap between essential data and using it to enhance business processes. That is exactly what companies should aim at.
Covid-19 has opened our eyes to multiple ways companies – big and small can embrace digital transformation. There is no doubt that it is going to give them an edge over competitors when executed well. The thing is, they need to make a start. They need to make it happen. They need to make it happen NOW.
TransFunnel Consulting has been at the forefront of digital transformation. Having been there and done that, we understand the impact that this pandemic may have on your business and can create a robust digital strategy that works for you.
Connect with us to know how we can help you in the transition.