Digital transformation has been a trending topic lately: all companies – precisely – are talking about it and joining events where the unquestionable advantages of Digital Transformation are described. Although, sometimes, certain descriptions and presentations risk confusion, presenting solely a series of huge advantages but not highlighting enough the impacts on the lives of people from inside the company.
And it’s worth noting that by Digital Transformation we mean “a set of changes, mainly technological, cultural, organizational, social, creative and managerial, associated with the application of digital technology, in every aspects of human life (…) The digital transformation process is made possible because of the development of new technologies, but it is not limited to simple adoption of them, it integrates and involves the whole ecosystem that is in contact with the process, incentivizing transparency, communication and inclusion of all participants.” (wikipedia – Italian)
What does this mean?
It means that any investment on new technologies to assist the organizational development must come together with a revision – sometimes deep – of the current processes, otherwise there is the risk of implementing an extremely important investment without achieving the expected results.
Because in the end, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results”, Einstein once said; if there are not the necessary changes in the way of working, big investments can result in nothing.
During the past months many organizations have been investing several millions of euros on the Industria 4.0 initiative – thanks to the contributions and incentives in place – the initiative is reviewing the production machinery, the warehouse management and logistics, improving the internal information system of several companies.
Speaking with several entrepreneurs, I’ve always met people that are very aware of the investments and with clear ideas about the revolution that they want to impart on their companies to improve production and logistics. And in all the cases I’ve heard them talk about the operators’ formation plan, about the processes revision for production management, about the warehouse management revision, and it goes on.
Although, unfortunately, I usually don’t perceive the same worries and effort toward the commercial area.
For unclear reasons, in fact, if an entrepreneur is decided to invest 4, 5 millions in new machinery for better production, that might involves hundreds of people, the same entrepreneur is unlike to invest 50 thousand euros (1% of the previous value) to help his 15-20 sellers to work better.
But yet, it is the sellers that bring the revenue to the company. Investing in production is not enough: the approach “if I only produce more and better I will sell more and better” is bygone and it’s not a reality anymore.
Studies (and everyday reality) show that the winner today is whoever is capable of managing the client in the right way, offering what they expect on the time they expect. The wellness and quality of the product are usually unaccounted for. And the client’s attention is what makes the difference, the time for delivery, the post-sales management, the ability to listen and answer their demands that are becoming more and more refined and complex.
Companies that are today investing in an important way on the use of new technologies for commercial process management, starting from the implementation of a CRM, are experiencing important growing rates and constant improvement on the acquisition of new clients and the most important salespeople.
But are the companies that have known how to change the commercial processes, new aspects such as the CRM manager for ensuring the correct development of the project, introducing new processes for the lead generation for increasing the potential clients (that must be followed very rapidly by the sales), improving the customer’s understanding, through a constant qualification and profilization of the client.
The adoption of a CRM or an application for automation of the sales force are not sufficient as an indication of the Digital Transformation of the company. They are only instruments that might automatize some aspects of the work, but is not enough. It is necessary a profound revision of the commercial and administrative processes and this, unfortunately, is frequently the true reason of the failure of the CRM project: the basic fear of innovating the commercial process, influencing primarily on people, this fear seems contradicting when compared to the entrepreneur’s courage on intervening with important investments on production. Maybe it is because today it is still unclear that the sale, in the end, is a process: there is an input (the client’s need) that is worked with (through the sales team and the organization) and it generates an output (the sale, the delivery of the good, the revenue).
There is only possible to effectively talk about Digital Transformation only when the best technology are utilized to improve the most important company’s processes. And the commercial process is one of the most important processes in the company: is the one that generates the revenue. Additionally, there are thousands of applications with the objective of facilitating the sales team’s lives and better use their experiences in general, such as Mapadore that offers map and routes optimization the business development.
What about you? Are you ready to work people and processes to obtain better results and really enter on the digital transformation road?
Michele Motta – Director of Sales