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Digital trailblazers offer a view of the revenue organization of the future as well as a path for others to follow.

 

Many companies have begun a digital transformation process. Few have made material progress, especially within the revenue organization (marketing, sales and service).

The Alexander Group’s (AGI) research shows trailblazing companies spend 2.5X more on technology and are 3X more confident in their ability to achieve their long-term revenue growth goals. More importantly, their executive teams are fully committed to digital transformation.

These winning organizations invest in digital not to capture near-term revenue growth or reduce cost. Instead, they make the investment because they fundamentally believe that without the change they will not compete in the near future. In short, they are creating competitive advantage that will propel growth at the expense of laggards.

AGI’s Digital Go-To-Customer Study explores the types of changes companies are making to digitize the revenue organization–specifically, how companies are using data and technology to change the way they engage with customers and enable marketing, sales and service organizations.

The results are in. Trailblazing organizations offer a view of the revenue organization of the future as well as a path for others to follow.

Characteristics of the Digital Revenue Growth Organization

  • Executive Commitment – Digital transformation is a regular board and C-suite agenda item. Programs are well-funded and have executive sponsorship. Multi-year strategic road maps are in place and teams are actively executing.
  • Advanced Marketing Capabilities – Initial investments are in the marketing organization. New talent has been sourced, new roles have been funded and the technology stack is well-integrated. Account Based Marketing (ABM) plays are scripted and automated. The operating model is in place and the flywheel is spinning at a high velocity.
  • New Marketing and Service Roles – Marketing organizations are populated with a mix of specialized roles including social media, content, digital marketing and data science. The Service organization is populated with technology-enabled roles such as chat and virtual technical specialist.
  • Evolved Sales Roles – Traditional sales are re-scoped. Sales development reps (lead generation and qualification) spend more time engaging via social, email and video than cold-calling. Inside sales is now digital sales, programmed by data and leveraging technology and online interactions to retire quota. Customer Success motions are programmed by telemetry data and customer touchpoints are a mix of on- and off-line.
  • Best-of-Breed Technology Stack – The landscape of available data and technology to underpin the operating model has been well-surveyed. CRM, communications, social media management, content management and customer & market intelligence tools are aligned across marketing, sales and service. Each part of the revenue organization also has a mix of tools to support functional execution (e.g., list management, CPQ and customer service platform).

The Path

Trailblazers describe their journey as incomplete but offer three pieces of advice:

Test & Learn – Executive commitment and funding will not always come tops down. Enterprising leaders from within are often the source of innovation and forward thinking. Empower team members. Divert funds to support small scale pilots and build the business case for broader investment in change. Have many of these controlled deployments running. Fail and scale rapidly.

Seed New Talent and Invest in Training – Challenge legacy talent paradigms. Seek people who have experience in B2C and similar industries that might be further along on their digital journey. Divert training funds from product and sales skill programs to those that emphasize social and using tools to improve customer experience and productivity.

Be Relentless About Change Adoption – Line management is reported as the top reason why digital initiatives fail. Engage this population and demonstrate why the new operating model is the future. Include influential managers in Test & Learns. Task them with and hold them accountable for change adoption. Do not accept opt out.

Companies furthest along the transformation path offer a vision of the revenue organization of the future NOW. They’ve blazed a trail for others to follow. They are creating competitive advantage that will be hard to replicate.

How will you respond?

Learn more about how AGI partners with companies to digitize the revenue organization. Participate in AGI’s Digital Go-To-Customer Study.

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