In my opinion, Digital Transformation is the overarching principles and processes that allow sales organizations to leverage insights (content that’s enriched with intellectual property) during a buyer’s journey. Essentially, Digital Selling is a by-product of an organization that has achieved Digital Transformation.
Here is a great article on Digital Transformation in EU organizations: Digital Transformation Doesn’t Have to Leave Employees Behind
Unfortunately, I disagree with the order of operations this article because it prescribes digital tools first. In this article, it suggests that digital tools that empower the organization are critical to success, which is true. However what’s missing are the behavioral triggers necessary to get the employees engaged digitally and the skills necessary to turn these behavioral changes into real sales outcomes.
Step #1 – Mindset Shift
Before Digital Transformation can ever happen, the organization needs to look at their revenue team(s) and develop a roadmap for sales & marketing alignment. This means the organization needs to knock down any barriers that separate marketing from sales, and they work towards integrating the marketing lead process to bleed into the sales process. “Team Revenue” will seek to build a Service Level Agreement that structures the hand-off of leads to sales, and works to transfer information about the buyer’s behavior (through content consumption) all the way throughout the sales process. The mindset is that digital insights (content) will be the company’s intellectual property to transfer to buyers, and to shape a buyer’s journey early enough for it to become a competitive advantage.
Step #2 – Skillset Shift
Now that the organization has changed the way it thinks, it’s time to transfer these behaviors into outcomes. Education through repetition is the only way that sales & marketing is going to begin applying their new found Digital Transformation:
- Creating insights on a consistent basis, to be deployed in-market
- Organizing insights in a simple-to-use system for sales professionals to deploy quickly to buyers
- Distribute insights at a Macro and Micro level to buyers
- Expand the digital experience for buyers, after measuring and analyzing ways to improve
Step #3 – Toolset Shift
The best tools can take a manual process, and add fuel to the fire by mechanizing the process. In Digitally Transformed organizations, the following tools will be addressed:
A. Marketing Automation – It’s not just about having Marketing Automation, but getting the entire “Content Consumption Story” into the sales professional’s hands. Every buyer, regardless of where in their buying journey they’re situated, has a story. Digital leaves fingerprints.
Take a look at the images below for examples of the Content Consumption Story.
B. Employee Advocacy Platforms – There are dozens, but the best systems are very simple to use. The internal sales team, and the external buyer, can find the content that they’re looking for quickly. These tools also send content to the sales team on a daily basis to encourage sharing in-market.