When it comes to digital transformation, one of the most common questions is, ‘where do I start?’. The most straight forward answer is ‘where it’ll make the most sense from the customer’s point of view and provide them the most value’. Digital transformation is key to improving your B2B customer experience but the customer experience is what’s also driving the need for digital transformation. It’s a vicious cycle.
In this post, we’ll discuss how you can digitally transform your B2B organisation.
5 steps to successful digital business transformation
- Remove siloes and bring teams together
- Look at where your business currently is and then where you want to be
- Focus on reducing internal friction, not just the delivery
- Empower your people to take advantage of new technology
- Take a phased approach
1. Remove siloes and bring teams together
It’s easy for information to end up being siloed if your teams aren’t collaborating. This includes collaboration within a team and across teams/departments. But if you don’t know what other teams/employees know or you don’t ask them for help, you could both be creating double work for yourself.
This isn’t productive.
For example, marketing teams attract prospects and leads with their messaging and content. So, they will know how best to attract potential customers. Sales own customer relationships and speak to customers (potential and existing) on a near-daily basis. So, they will know the customer’s language and what sort of messaging will resonate best with them.
Sales and marketing teams should work together and pool their knowledge for the best chances of attracting and converting promising leads. No guesswork or duplicate work required!
2. Look at where your business currently is and then where you want to be
Achieving a state of digital maturity can be challenging for all businesses and sectors. But it’s particularly the case for the B2B market because digitalisation is still rather new to the landscape. In contrast, ‘going digital’ has been the norm for B2C businesses, thanks to organisations like Amazon leading the way and rising consumer expectations.
Despite a lack of digital transformation ‘roadmap’ for B2B organisations, you should start by looking at where your business currently is. Know what systems and processes you currently have in place, what’s performing and what’s not. Then look at where you want to be.
3. Focus on reducing internal friction, not just the delivery
In a recent webinar on B2B e-commerce strategies, James Baker, our Senior Digital Customer Experience Lead, said: “Delivery is not the important thing here. What we need to do is get the idea out, present it and get buy-in from the business.”
Without buy-in, you’ll likely experience internal friction and that will hold back the success of your digital transformation project. Or any project, for that matter. So, you must prioritise getting your team onboard and engaged - especially your everyday users. Here are some tips to help with that:
- What’s in it for them? People will naturally be more engaged if there’s a benefit for them
- Get them involved from the start - this can make people feel more accountable and motivated in helping the project be a success
- Get their input - a great way to simultaneously encourage accountability and gain a varied range of ideas
4. Empower your people to take advantage of new technology
Digitally transformed businesses tend to have an ‘easier’ (and we use this word in the loosest sense) time when it comes to adapting to unpredictable change. They can, for example, access valuable, real-time insights on market trends and how they apply to their business. This will allow these businesses to better mitigate the impact of an unpredictable event on their supply chain.
Read more about the benefits of advanced analytics for your supply chain here.
But, unsurprisingly, digital transformation isn’t easy. One of the biggest hurdles is creating a digital-first culture. Whatever you invest in, you must teach and empower your people to take advantage of this new technology. That’s how you ensure the work you’re doing in the digital space doesn’t go to waste.
5. Take a phased approach
There’s nothing to say you can’t tackle everything in one go but it’s a wise idea to take a phased approach. “Digital takes time and planning. Eventually you will get to a place where things are more automated and agile but it does take planning,” Nazanin Ramezani, Senior Product Evangelist at Episerver, told us in this webinar.
And this is certainly true when it comes to something as complex as digital business transformation. As mentioned in an earlier point, look at where your business currently is and then decide where you want to be. After that, tackle changes and hurdles in stages (e.g. getting your team’s buy-in and reducing internal friction) rather than all in one go.
Learn more about successful digital business transformation for B2B organisations
As the technology becomes increasingly more advanced and customer expectations grow, embracing digitalisation becomes less of an option. It’s a necessity and the challenge is how quickly and successfully you can transform your business.
In our guide to successful transformation in the B2B sector, you’ll learn the secret ingredients to successful digitalisation in the commerce space. Download it below.