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100+ cross-industry revenue leaders participated in Alexander Group’s recent digital virtual roundtable.

The discussion explored the steps companies are taking to design a new, Digital Operating Model, build the Technology Stack needed to bring the model to life, and drive Change Adoption. The session featured special guests Wes Smith, president at Mayer Electric and Shane Elliott VP of LSS Global Marketing at Agilent Technologies.

Wes emphasized how his team is leveraging data to better understand, prioritize and deploy resources around end-markets. He talked about how Mayer Electric is leveraging technology to reimagine how they deliver service and scale talent development. Wes advised the audience to focus on agility and productivity as they progress their digital initiatives.

Shane talked about how Agilent’s commitment to piloting and small scale innovation enabled a quick pivot to digital as COVID-19 emerged. He shared insights from Agilent’s journey to a digital-led marketing organization highlighting foundational investments in technology (marketing automation, digital media, account based marketing, social, search, and others) and digital talent. Shane advised the audience to be scrappy, move fast and empower team members.

Digital Operating Model

The group discussion began with a description of the new Digital Operating Model. Participants shared that digital marketing managers and inside (digital) sales were the roles getting the most investment as they evolve. In addition to new roles, 88% indicated that they expect to see fundamental changes to the field sales job in light of digital transformation.

Participants shared features of their operating model including virtual and hybrid marketing events and a pivot to digital content. They referenced virtual sales kick-offs, data and insights to drive segmentation and customer prioritization, digital customer workshops using advanced white boarding technology, and virtual demos.

As this topic concluded participants debated the effectiveness of new digital revenue motions. Some touted higher customer engagement and satisfaction while others challenged whether this will matriculate to better results. The group questioned how the loss of behavioral elements of in-person will impact effectiveness.

Technology Stack

The conversation shifted to the underlying technology and process needed to support the digital operating model. Top technologies cited were CRM, collaboration, content management, learning & development, and data visualization and analytics.

Other technologies referenced included virtual reality for proof-of-concepts and to support customer engagement–an experience where customers and sellers can “have coffee together.” The group referenced rich product demonstration experiences featuring the use of virtual flip charts, sticky notes and the ability to engage with images.

As this topic concluded participants called out a hidden value of high impact technology–the ability to bring global teams together and access information and expertise that once sat in siloes.

Change Adoption

To wrap the event, the group tackled the issue of driving the adoption of new ways or operating. The group indicated executive sponsorship (45%) was the most important enabler, however several cited the importance of a multi-faced, sustained effort. Revenue growth was the top measure of a successful transformation (69%) followed closely by early indicators including pipeline metrics and tool usage. Participants emphasized the need to measure impact and bring a constant stream of communication.

If there is one key takeaway from the discussions, it’s that the Digital Revenue Organization is here to stay. While the recent market disruption may have accelerated the digital transformation, vendors and customers are experiencing the benefits of the new operating models. Marketing, sales and service motions have fundamentally changed—for the better.

Looking for insights on how to create your own digital revenue organization? Check out our whitepaper. Or contact us to schedule a briefing on the session highlights and our latest digital research to help with your own digital transformation.

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