If you’ve been following our Next Gen: B2B series, you’ve likely come away with plenty of ideas and inspiration around digital transformation at your company. In our first webinar, we looked at laying a solid foundation in order to win at business in the post-COVID economy. In our second webinar, we explored the front end of transformation: leveraging multichannel engagement strategies in order to provide your customers with exceptional experiences, every time they interact with your business. In our third webinar, we turned our attention to the back-end of B2B business: optimising your revenue to profitably grow your business, even in a downturn.
To round out our series, we’ve taken a deep dive into how exactly your business can get started with a new digital transformation project — especially considering the fact that most of us are contending with decreased budgets and increased staffing difficulties. The good news? You don’t need a multimillion dollar project budget, or a team of highly qualified data scientists to get started. In our final webinar, hosted in collaboration with our friends John Cosgrove from Lightfold and Ian Calpin from Salesforce, we explore how business owners can compete — quickly and with a very small investment.
Our hosts kicked off this final webinar very pragmatically, urging listeners to take a second look at how we’ve traditionally considered data silos within organisations. While previously organisations have sought to bring all data together into a single, accessible system, John describes this method of thinking as outdated and ‘stagnant’.
Instead, he sees data existing in different places as the inevitable result of a data-rich modern infrastructure. The key to utilising this data? To make it incredibly accessible and to ensure it flows throughout the organisation to the benefit of customers. Ian agrees — seeing a health data flow as having both a ‘push’ element (being fed throughout the organisation), and a ‘pull’ element (accessing useful data from different sources to provide an updated view of the customer).
Both Ian and John acknowledged throughout the webinar that B2C companies had led the charge on utilising the 360 Customer View to drive sales over the past few years. As we mentioned in our first webinar, this has, in turn, increased customer expectations when dealing with B2B companies. They now expect fast, personalised experiences in their B2B dealings — and companies who don’t meet these expectations have a high likelihood of falling behind the competition.
However, there is one factor which can be missed when B2B companies look at optimising their customer engagement. Rather than a buyer/seller relationship, B2B companies are dealing with an entire ecosystem that includes every person within the supply chain, along with every employee of the business. Every person within this ecosystem must be empowered with the right data in order to do their job — not just those in traditional sales, marketing and service positions.
To conclude the webinar, we looked at the unfortunate reality that many businesses are needing to do the same (or more!) with limited resources. However, the solution isn’t to pull back on your data investment — rather, get smarter with your existing resources. ‘If you’re going into tighter times,’ says John, ‘you need to compete.’
Post-COVID, investment in customer data is no longer a luxury, or even a helpful marketing spend: it’s a mission critical operation. Thankfully, though, you don’t need to completely overhaul your entire data strategy in order to make a significant impact on your business operations.
Instead, start with a single, iterative, value-based project that will provide outsized benefit to the business. From this project, you’ll be able to focus on fixing a single issue, while also having the opportunity to analyse company-wide considerations like security, privacy and GDPR compliance. As your needs grow (and as your projects gain traction), you’ll be able to get more sophisticated and utilise your learnings for other projects in different areas of the business.
If you’ve made it through all four webinars, you might be under the impression that digital transformation is necessary, but you have no idea where to begin. Our experts recommend taking two crucial steps to kickstart your next transformation project:
We hope you’ve enjoyed our journey through digital transformation for B2B businesses in the post-COVID world. Our hope is that we’ve demonstrated that a solid data strategy isn’t just for large enterprise — it’s also an essential tool that mid-size operations can utilise to truly compete (and win!) in the digital age.
If you’re looking for a partner to join you on your digital transformation journey, we’d love to hear from you. Cloudwerx has established partnerships with leading platforms, including Salesforce UiPath and Mulesoft and our friendly team will work with you to determine the right way forward, crafted around the beating heart of a business: your people. Get in touch today!