Alexander Group’s research on what digital transformation means for the revenue organization includes interviews with dozens of today’s revenue leaders, project work and insights from our community of revenue-focused executives. Of particular note: growth-oriented Chief Revenue Officers (CRO) have five new imperatives to guide their organization as they invest in technology to better serve their customers.
The digital age, and the onset of the pandemic, have changed the way buyers form opinions, research and purchase products and services. Unless firms have complete visibility and understanding of the buyer journey, they are unable to engage in the way customers expect.
Many of the executives we interviewed are investing in data analytics to understand where customers go to get information and whose point of view they seek. Companies who invest in technology to capture and harness this data are better able to inform marketing and sales so they can appropriately target ideal customers with messages and offers that matter.
Data scientists, social media managers and digital sales specialists are all roles being implemented by companies embracing the new way in which buyers purchase products and services.
As a result of the pandemic, face-to-face transactions have been limited. Virtual marketing and selling is accelerating as companies open up additional channels that support and often replace traditional sales coverage, especially for routine transactional purchases.
Buyers that are used to B2C purchasing models expect the same level of convenience, responsiveness and support in their B2B environments. Technology and data help marketers understand customers’ needs and direct them down a virtual, automated buying path.
E-commerce, click to buy, try and buy, are all used in tandem with marketing to convert new business or transition existing business to repurchase. This approach allows both Sales and Marketing to gain greater insights into buying behavior and leverage those insights for additional campaigns and purchase opportunities, supported by new roles that include social media and digital sales talent.
Enterprise data management tops the list as a CIO and CEO’s strategic imperative. Data scientists are the #1 growing occupation, according to the Bureau of Labor Standards, and there’s a good reason. Done right, they collaborate with business leaders to gain never before seen insights into both business decision-making and buyer behavior.
Data insights bring fast, accurate insights that draw upon extensive data lakes. These data sets are drawn from across the enterprise, as well as external sources like social media. Leaders are challenged to manage differently, using data instead of assumptions to make business decisions. These powerful insights allow firms to gain a competitive advantage over their peers, which is why firms are rapidly investing in the technology and talent to utilize this powerful resource.
Data insights, better understanding of buyer behavior, and investments in technology and talent help create an inherent advantage over competitors. These tools allow companies to create and deliver scalable, differentiated experiences that result in revenue growth, employee retention and expansion rates.
By harnessing telemetry, payables and other enterprise data, leaders can be proactive decision makers, identifying and stopping problems before they occur. Detailed information also allows companies to anticipate pitfalls and pivot more quickly than their competitors. These capabilities also help meet customers using their desired preferences, interacting via video, chat, text and other digitally-enabled channels.
Redundant and manual processes create unnecessary expense, especially when automated tools are available. Today’s digital tools allow the digital sales organization to perform processes that reduce human intervention. Everything from quota setting and allocation to email campaigns, contract management and sales performance management can be completed with automated tools, eliminating unnecessary steps and associated costs.
Customer-facing processes are also being automated, including customer service through chat bots and customer feedback tools. User registration and service order management can also be automated, reducing time for the buyer and overhead costs. Investing in automated tools saves both time and money, helping companies streamline and scale service delivery.
The buyer journey has changed dramatically. Companies are responding by using data and technology to serve existing customers and attract new buyers through automation. Our research indicates that companies are investing in digital sales and marketing capabilities to continue to meet the buyer’s changing needs.