For many, 2020 was the year of transformation. Many of us weren’t prepared for the change, but we all witnessed that revolution happening. Forrester predicted 2021 would be the year of acceleration – meaning companies need to learn how to double down on the strategies that matter.
If it’s time for us to accelerate, though, where should we focus?
For many organizations, this is where digital transformation enters the grand picture. Apart from being a recent buzzword in the sales and revenue landscape, digital transformation is one of the processes currently grabbing the attention of sales organizations. Recent changes in the sales industry have watered down the effectiveness of sales models that were once revered. The world has changed and, to remain relevant and competitive, sales orgs need to evolve alongside technological changes.
When it comes to digital transformation, sales leaders often have the general perception that digital transformation will literally transform the way things are done now into the digital format and automatically increase productivity as well as revenue generation.
Here’s the reality, though – it doesn’t. Not automatically, at least.
Here are main pitfalls that sales organizations can fall into when going digital that keep companies from boosting their revenue.
Not every salesperson will be automatically excellent at adopting new technologies or adapting to new structures and processes. Reps on your team may need more time than anticipated to understand the new ways of doing things and to unlearn existing processes or ways of handling tasks. The time required to adapt to the transformation will most likely affect the expected forecast.
It’s worth remembering that some of your sales employees will need additional guidance and support in this new landscape.
One of the pain points that digital transformation attempts to address is sales performance. However, digital transformation does not guarantee that your reps will sell better or faster. “Why?” you may wonder. After all, they have less mundane tasks to do and can focus on the one thing that matters – selling.
We hate to shrug you out of that fantasy, but this might not happen. Yes, your reps may have fewer administrative tasks to do, like logging data into CRM, but they may also have more tasks to handle as a result of the new technology.
You’ve probably heard the term “data driven” thrown around a lot, especially when it comes to new technologies. This is usually the case when you’re adopting new tools to help your sales team collect data. Here’s the twist, though – what do you do with all that data? Inaccurate or irrelevant data can overwhelm your team and get in the way of successful digital transformation, especially when there’s no easy way to act on the insight you get from all that data.
Don’t be data driven just for the sake of it; be data driven to solve a problem your sales organization has. That is the true essence of digital transformation.
A successful digital transformation in sales requires the organization to fully accept and adopt technology, thus making the transformation a fundamental concept of the organization’s key strategy. If your organization isn’t prepared or equipped for the change, your sales process and performance will likely remain the same despite investing in all the cutting-edge sales technologies.
To drive a successful digital transformation, sales and revenue teams need the tools that do the following.
Siloed data can prevent your organization from successfully transforming digitally. Not only does siloing data lead to inconsistencies in the data over time, but it also discourages collaborative work – one of the core elements of successful digital transformation. So, how do you de-silo data?
After you have de-siloed your data, you need to capture all relevant data to your CRM so your sales team has a shared “source of truth.” Once your sales team can easily access the data it needs, without any hassle, your team will find it much easier to collaborate, perform, and drive the desired results. This also helps maximize revenue and significantly de-complicate the sales process.
You can’t fix what you can’t see, so the first step toward a successful digital transformation in sales is arming your team with tools that give visibility into workflows, pipelines, processes, and people. Team members should be able to tell who is doing what, when and how they are doing it, and find other data that make tasks less complicated across the board.
So, your team already has all the data and visibility they need, but what do they do with all of these? In such cases, your team needs tools and technologies that not only help them gain more insights from all the data collected and synchronized, but also help them make better decisions and take timely actions. If you want to learn more about turning data into insights, this webinar is a great resource.
Recent technologies have developed the concept of “Signals” – which alert teams on the right actions to take based on insights. This removes the need for your team to always guess what to do and, instead, make decisions and act based on data-driven conclusions.
One of the main obstacles to successful digital transformation is that there is no easy way to have two-way communication between the sales team in the configurative field and the sales ops for timely constructive feedback. This is why it is crucial to work toward aligning all teams around a shared source of data and sales goals. Once all teams are in sync, driving the desired change and results will be as easy as pie.
But how do you put everyone in the sales team in sync with each other, especially if it’s a large team? Here are some practical ways to handle it:
THE BOTTOM LINE
When done right, digital transformation can make a huge positive impact on your sales team and organization. It can help your sales team focus on the tasks and activities that drive actual sales results. However, you may end up doing your sales team more harm than good if you don’t get it right, because (if we are being honest) true digital transformation is easier said than done, but not impossible to achieve.
Gal Steinberg is VP of Partnerships and Strategic Alliances at Revenue Grid and has years of experience in close cooperation with Salesforce to generate awareness and monetize the company products through channels and alliances.