Digitalization is changing businesses by changing customer behavior in all phases of customer life cycle. The sales process has turned into a buying process, which actually describes nicely the digital revolution – turning businesses from inside-out to outside-in.
All business units and functions are affected by the digital change in buying process. Traditional inside-out marketing has developed into non-stop and customer oriented content focused information sharing in all channels. Sales has become multichannel self-service buying and customer service has turned into peer support, remote service and assisted self-service. New products and services are co-designed with customers.
In the center of all this is the customer. You have to understand their changed behavior – identify with their situation – communicate accordingly in all channels. Do not market or sell – but do support their buying process with your unique expertise. If you miss the solution seeking customer, you miss the opportunity to affect the buying decision, regardless how great you product or service is.
The three things you should pay attention to are:
- Buying milieu
- Buying process
The first objective is to create a pleasant and uniform environment for buying both in physical and virtual world. If customer can change the environment during buying process still feeling cozy, you have succeeded. Developing this milieu into one that supports your own product- and service portfolio with rising sales figures is a challenging task. Optimizing your sales force presence in buying process requires a special set of tools. Interaction with customer is either digital or human. One thing to remember is that an outstanding digital service and friendly expert service by humans reinforce one another.
The described change in buying and selling is something that is not achievable in days or weeks. And a change in customer contacts is not enough, the whole company and the business logic has to change. A true commitment to transform your company into a digital business is required and the transformation will take time.
Our customer projects have taught us that the change starts from analytics. Changing the view from inside the company to outside – to customer view – requires substantial quantity of data from traditional and new sources. Based on effective analysis, the change continues starting from customer communication and interaction in all channels. This is needed also for collecting new type of data to support planning. Next phase is the development of buying process and buying milieus and then the wheel starts a new round.
Perhaps the most essential measure in transformation is the amount of sales. The change in this figure tells us which of our activities and new approaches are valued by customers. Naturally other measures like visibility, number of customer interactions, customer satisfaction or customer experience are in use. We are interested in them, because they are leading to sales sooner or later. Digital world is introducing a whole new set of measures to be used with renewed buying process.
Mint Consulting is involved in many transformation projects. The ultimate goal in all of these projects is gradual, controlled and fast change – keeping our feet on the ground and being practical.