When it comes to evolution, you don’t want your business to be left behind.
Digital transformation is already disrupting most industries and companies. Those who are out in front leveraging new strategies and tactics to improve customer acquisition, retention and loyalty will be the big winners. Those organisations that keep doing it the same way they have been doing it for years will lose out. In the words of Ray Wang, “Digital Darwinism is unkind to those who wait.”
So, the first question is: “Where do we begin?” Here are the three steps we recommend to get started with digital transformation.
1) Focus on business outcomes. When we engage with organisations that are trying to figure out where to start, or in some cases how to hit the reset button on their digital transformation, we recommend that their first step is to look at the business outcomes that they want to achieve. These can be summarised in many ways but they are forward-looking and articulate a benefit to the organisation that, to be successful, will also benefit the customer. Most organisations are looking to drive specific business outcomes in the customer lifecycle including:
- Improve customer acquisition
- Improve customer retention
- Improve customer share of wallet
- Generate new business models and/or markets for customers
These are all good starting points and a first step in your digital transformation journey.
2) Determine business outcome progression. Now that you have an ultimate business outcome, the next step is to look at the progression that your organisation will need to go through to achieve this.
Let’s examine the conceptual progression of business outcomes from Adoption through to CRM ready in the below image. The business outcomes on the right under the ‘CRM ready’ arrow are the ones that we want to achieve ultimately. In most cases, your organisation will need to achieve the ‘Adoption’ and then the ’Efficiency’ outcomes first.
Understanding where you are in your digital transformation journey will help to set the right business outcome progression.
3) Get and keep executives involved. The third step (which actually needs to come first) is getting and keeping the executives engaged and leading the initiative from the beginning. This sounds familiar, right? This isn’t “executive support” where they say that they are behind the initiative. They need to be involved in leading the project because it is that impactful and important to the organisation.
Beyond supporting and funding the digital transformation, what executive engagement is needed?
Here are the two key areas that need specific executive engagement:
- Define the target long-term business outcomes with the team
- Help the team determine the needed business outcome progression to achieve these long-term outcomes. For example, if we were to take a business outcome to use digital transformation to increase revenue with our tier 1 customers, executives need to be there to say: “What are the tactics that we’re going to use to achieve that?” They need to help create the right business outcome progression given where the business is currently.
After the business outcome progression has been established, the team can create the right set of steps and activities that need to be undertaken to achieve a successful first phase. In almost every case, the business outcome progression will need to be tracked in a solution. The executives need to be there to make sure that the process stays on track and, ultimately, are in the key design sessions with their sleeves rolled up. They need to be able to look at the solution and say: “Yes, that actually measures our business outcome. That actually helps us track our tactics. That’s going to allow our team to execute the things that we need to do in order to hit our objectives.”