Digitizing Revenue Growth: Understand the Buyer Journey
Digitizing Revenue Growth
The same advances in technology that have empowered so many have also complicated the sales process. A myriad of digital tools have enabled consumers to solve complex issues faster and more independently. But what does digital transformation mean for your revenue growth organization?
Four Steps to a Successful Digital Transformation
Four critical actions are necessary for success :
- Understand the buyer journey
- Plan revenue motions
- Adapt the structure
- Align management systems
Understand the Buyer Journey
The buyer journey is no longer linear. Technology provides consumers access to digital engagement tools to influence their buying decisions.
Ultimately, vendor selection is influenced in part by the quality of the experience a buyer has prior to making contact with potential solution providers.
Organizations that understand the new buyer journey and leverage the appropriate channels have a clear advantage over their competition. The new buyer’s journey has six stages:
Alexander Group’s buyer journey framework (above) can be used as a guide within your organization.
There are specific questions to consider in each of the six stages in order to gain perspective on consumer behavior and assess the digital influence on a buyer as they progress through their journey. Once armed with this knowledge, you are in a position to plan strategic investments into the channels that resonate most with your target audience.
To explore this action in more detail, download the whitepaper Digitizing the Revenue Growth Model Volume I.
Plan Revenue Motions
Revenue motions describe how a company connects with customers throughout their engagement with the organization. The second step in digitizing the revenue growth model is to plan which motion to deploy based on buyer journey research and anticipated ROI.
Planning revenue motions is a critical step in digitizing your revenue growth model. Understanding the target audience’s engagement preferences helps you invest in the most impactful motions across marketing, sales and service.
- Marketing: Examine how customers educate themselves on new products and services. What keywords do they search? What trade publications do they subscribe to? Who are key social media influencers? Chances are you’ll find a lot of commonalities to focus your marketing investments.
- Sales: Consider how the target demographic buys products and uses that to drive sales motions. If a high-value client prefers a limited feature trial before buying, adapt your offerings to accommodate that preference. Self-service portals, freemiums and virtual demos are great ways to engage with these types of buyers.
- Service: Think about how the customer wants to engage post-sale and align your service motions and job roles to support those needs. Satisfied customers are more likely to maximize solution adoption and renew subscriptions which provide a continual revenue stream.
Visit the Alexander Group’s Digital Transformation practice for more resources and insights on how to increase profitability and seller productivity by digitizing revenue growth.
Adapt the Structure
New advances in technology have spawned new routes to market that require updates to channel coverage, organizational structure and job design. Adapting the structure to reflect these changes is necessary to remain relevant and ultimately, profitable in today’s marketplace.
Adopt New Digital Channels
Traditional e-commerce platforms are no longer enough. Companies must optimize their channels to keep pace with industry disrupters to satisfy the modern consumer’s proclivity towards instant gratification and a more personalized buying experience.
Organizations should consider new channel options such as chat, social, try and buy, freemium, click-to-buy and self-service. Digital routes to market are preferable over onboarding a traditional (direct or indirect) channel partner.
More complex go-to-customer models warrant a reciprocal change in organizational structure. Sales, marketing and service are now interdependent functions that power the revenue growth engine. To ensure that engine runs efficiently, many companies elect to unite these departments under the chief revenue officer. Common leadership facilitates strategic planning, tighter execution and stronger commitment to delivering joint goals.
Redesign Employee Roles
Additionally, companies need marketing, sales and service job roles to correlate with newly created digital routes to market. These roles include digital marketing managers and data scientists, as well as content, social media and chat specialists—all of which play different, yet vital, roles in revenue growth.
Align Management Systems
A full-scale digital transformation fundamentally alters how an organization interfaces with their customers. After determining the foundational schematics and setting them in motion, important questions emerge. Who do we hire to fill new roles? How do we best leverage technology and data to manage these roles? And how should we compensate them?
Aligning management systems is essential for hiring and properly onboarding the best talent, encouraging compliance through first-line sales manager opt-in, utilizing data to set performance metrics and compensating roles appropriately for their contributions to sales.
Hiring and Training
Digital tools warrant the need for new talent profiles and competency models. The ideal candidate is a digital native—they are adept at using technology in their everyday lives and eager to adopt emerging modalities.
Be sure to align training with digital imperatives. Training delivered in a hybrid format, (utilizing both digital and traditional methods), gives talent familiarity with new tools and guidance on how to interact with customers according to the organization’s digital engagement framework.
First-line sales managers must lead by example to reinforce the use of technology in day-to-day functions.
Establishing Performance Metrics and Incentives
The proliferation of data creates a new suite of metrics to direct, monitor and manage the revenue organization. With the added investment in digital transformation comes an expectation of increased yield. Be sure to properly align productivity metrics to encourage goal attainment; otherwise, management may not support future digital investments.
Compensating New Roles
Data-driven metrics have altered legacy eligibility paradigms—companies are now able to offer incentive compensation to marketing and customer success roles.
Considering managers can track ROI, what modifications to the sales comp plans should follow suit? For example, there are many things to consider when determining the appropriate pay mix.
In the Digitizing the Revenue Growth Model™ whitepaper, we explore best practices for those struggling to define performance metrics and pay mix for a myriad of digital roles.