Leading business performance – that’s what all organizations strive to achieve. At the most basic level, we are talking about sustained and profitable growth. But if talking about it seems easy enough, getting there is another story.
The companies that cracked the code have adapted to meet the evolving needs of the customer despite the increasing complexity of an ever-changing economy.
To be successful, they must find ways to accelerate revenue and manage key relationships, while tackling the complexity that threatens to slow them down.
The keys to digital transformation
If you look at who is winning in the market, these are the companies that not only embraced digital transformation early on, but also made it a fundamental part of their foundation moving forward.
So what does it take to win today? The best performing companies have five things in common:
1. Top-down analysis to know where to start a digital transformation journey.
Before a business can even think about the technology it is looking to implement, it must first analyze the business as a whole and the goals it is trying to achieve.
It is important to fully understand “who” the business is today and how it has evolved over time or under current circumstances. Once businesses understand this, they are in a better position to reshape business architectures in ways that best suit business goals.
Another option is to work with a third party vendor to perform an audit of the business. This will help get an unbiased view of where a business can improve. A supplier would also be able to provide industry best practices on what similar companies have done to become more efficient.
2. Obtain buy-in from all teams, especially business leaders.
Cultural transformation is the key to the success of digital transformation. One of the biggest challenges businesses face when implementing new digital strategies is ensuring that all team members are involved. This can be done through strong and clear internal communication. Outlining clear KPIs that will help show benefits such as increased sales efficiency, customer satisfaction, and revenue, will help everyone involved understand why changes need to be made.
When business leaders are on board, they can help act as advocates for projects and initiatives, while also encouraging and rewarding agility among the rest of the teams involved. It is also crucial to provide training on all new technologies prior to implementation, while continuing to support and answer any questions, and to perform troubleshooting as new strategies are deployed.
3. Meet with customers wherever they are on their digital transformation journey.
The popular adage “ patience is a virtue ” does not apply when the end goal is to achieve peak business performance. Doing business becomes more and more difficult every day because the ever greater complexity of a changing economy causes friction between companies and their customers.
Victory goes to those who are impatient and challenge the status quo with new business models that leverage digital transformation to accelerate. Those who can eliminate this friction work disproportionately, even in the unpredictable times we find ourselves in today.
The secret to eliminating friction is to meet with customers wherever they are on their digital transformation journey. This applies to businesses of all types in various industries – from small retailers trying to bridge the technology divide with their older buyers, to large manufacturers looking to streamline complex buying and fulfillment processes.
Winning companies are transforming the way customers do it by meeting them where they are at and enabling them to deliver a pleasant, frictionless customer experience.
4. Make customers agile so they can scale at speed their customers.
Another key element of digital transformation is the ability to scale at the speed of the customer. Successful businesses invest in a way that gets the customer from point A to point B as quickly and painlessly as possible. This requires understanding that it is less about features and functions than removing screens, clicks, and other bottlenecks.
For example, consider the success of Door Dash over the past six months. While the food delivery service worked well before COVID-19, it was doing even better during shelter-in-place and quarantine. Door Dash understood the sticking points in its customer journey and implemented things like contactless payment and contactless pickup.
Today, the volume of its collection business is growing by double digits due to the elimination of friction and the ability for customers to pay and receive their meals earlier. To be successful, you have to move faster to meet the needs of today’s customers while simultaneously increasing the agility to prepare for an uncertain future.
5. Provide clients with resources for a fully digital world, from anywhere.
Staying nimble in a dynamic market requires the ability to go fast in a straight line while navigating corners with confidence. This is all the more important as businesses grow and avoid the inevitable curveballs in their digital transformation efforts.
For example, today we need to provide our customers with the resources they need to be successful in a fully digital world and work from anywhere. Because let’s face it, even when the pandemic is under control, returning to the office will never look like it was before. Businesses that invest to help their customers face complexity with confidence are adding capabilities under the hood to make functionality faster, more reliable, and scalable.
High performing companies achieve peak business performance by reducing friction in customer interactions in an increasingly complex market. Those who can meet their clients at any point in their digital transformation journey to help them scale at the speed of their clients in a fully digital world and to work from anywhere, are poised for success today and in an uncertain future.