Things to consider while planning sales digitalization.

The digital world is developing rapidly, you feel like you’re being hung up quickly – why? As we mentioned earlier, unlike in the past, customers change their preferences very quickly – which ultimately has consequences for the B2B business as well. Potential customers previously communicated over the telephone, today via mail, tomorrow perhaps only via newsfeeds. At the same time, new hardware is coming onto the market at ever shorter intervals, and its acceptance and market penetration must be constantly monitored if you want to integrate the right devices into the system, e.g. especially to retrieve mobile information. The demands on software and data processing are also changing – from proprietary to open source, from local roots to cloud-based solutions that can be accessed from anywhere, from CRM grids to big data analysis.

Is your company agile enough? 

The bigger the gap becomes the trailblazer, the harder it is to find a comfortable starting position, as many quotes in our study prove. Entry barriers seem huge, and respondents shy away from the cost of a large-scale transformation. They do not know how to tackle it and they are afraid of doing something wrong. These concerns deserve attention. In our experience, a classic planning approach is not the method of choice if the framework conditions are very volatile. Businesses need an implementation method adapted to the speed of digital change. Above all, this must lower the psychological barrier to tackling a project at all. In order to achieve visible success as quickly as possible, we do not rely on a big hit, but on short-term feasible, independent initiatives with high visibility, so-called lighthouse projects.

The success of the implementation depends largely on whether the right initiatives are selected. An evaluation scheme makes the selection easier. – ¥ E This is followed by a “Learn to iterate” process. Ideally, something can be learned for each project, which then immediately returns as an experience of improved implementation in the next project. Even a failure leads to a valuable insight that strengthens the digital competence of the company as a whole.

Do you have the right infrastructure, tools, and staff?

The first step is to develop a vision or a rough blueprint for the result of the transformation and to identify the central fields of action. From this, the correct lighthouse projects can be deduced. A decision-maker at the management level should take on the task of making the organization aware of the issue and promoting the reorganization of sales. Cooperation with strategic partners who, for example, contribute experience from the B2C world can help to bridge the bottlenecks in their own company. On the one hand, these can be innovative suppliers of special services, such as Internet companies or start-ups. Another possibility is one

To bring the group of employees into an innovation-driven, digital environment, to stimulate new ideas and to promote the exchange with other companies and ways of thinking.

The digitization of sales is the basis for future competitive advantages in the B2B business. In the future, the decision to buy will be shaped by digitization, whether or not one’s own company adapts to it. Customers who do not find important information for them in the initial phase will probably opt for another provider without being aware of it. Many product and system providers are still a long way from fully digitized distribution. It is all the more important now to remove hurdles and start implementing them.