Five-Steps to a Successful Digital Transformation

5 Steps to a Successful Digital Transformation

A successful digital transmission adoption depends on having a sound strategy. Businesses that have successfully embraced digital transformation don’t just adopt individual technologies to solve their problems. More often than not, they have a defined strategy with clear objectives to guide the transformation of their overall business.

What follows are five steps, that when mapped out and implemented properly, will help you develop a successful digital transformation strategy for your business that will reap benefits almost immediately.

1. What is Your Digital Transformation Objective?

When adopting new technologies, there are two missteps that businesses often make. First, they look to embrace technologies currently in use in other departments within their company, or even look to an application currently in use by a competitor. Second, they look to improve their capabilities without giving any thought to specific goals or problem areas that they want to be solved. So, in effect, they may still be spinning their wheels because it’s not solving their current isolated and siloed company-wide technology issues, making it even more difficult to integrate and scale in the future.

The better way is to start by defining what you want your business to accomplish through digital transformation. Define what a successful digital transformation means for your overall business and for your customers. And make sure that includes what would make for better customer engagements and experiences. By establishing these objectives, your business can adopt the right technologies, keeping a clear focus on improving the overall business, instead of just individual processes. Not only does this help in developing a comprehensive strategy that involves and transforms the entire business, but it also avoids the siloed adoption of technologies, including disconnected legacy systems and unorganized databases.

Defining the overall objective is the most important step in developing your digital transformation strategy. It aligns and drives transformation at every level of the business, even reaching the customers, enabling you to create a lasting competitive advantage. In addition, it provides a reference point for assessing and determining specific actions to take and initiatives to act upon in the transformation process.

2. Design Your Customer and Employee Experience

With defining your objectives behind you, it’s now time to focus on designing the experience you envision for your customers and employees. Remember, a proper digital transformation prioritizes and values user experiences as much as it adds and introduces new functions and capabilities. So, instead of only focusing on the requirements of new solutions and the constraints of your current technologies, your business also needs to focus on the experiences you want to provide your end-users.

For this step, your overall transformation objectives should be mapped out as specific and detailed goals. These goals should include how a staff member’s work can be streamlined via new software, applications, or functionalities. For customers, goals should be focused on things such as making a better shopping experience through your website or mobile app. And don’t forget to include ways your staff members can better collaborate, engage, and interact not only with each other but with your customers through your new digital platforms and technologies.

3. Evaluate Your Current Technologies

In the first two steps, we talked about where your business wants to be and what you want to achieve through digital transformation. The next step will be a hard look at where you currently are and gives you an idea of where your business started in its journey and the gaps that need to be filled.

In this third step, take stock of your company’s existing software, applications, and technologies. You have to determine, based on the objectives you established and the design you’ve created, which specific technologies need to stay active, upgraded, automated, or discontinued.

The goal in this step is to match the technologies with the outcomes they deliver and the problems they solve. This can help prioritize the technologies that will be updated in your digital transformation and align them with the objectives and the desired experience. It can also help determine the integration solutions your business needs to bring together siloed and disparate systems.

4. Your Solutions and Partners

Step four in your digital transformation strategy is centered on assessing and selecting possible solutions to meet your established objectives, your desired staff and customer experiences, and filling in the gaps of your existing technologies.

If you don’t have the internal capabilities to make your digital transformation upgrades and need to outsource your solution, this step’s main requirement is that you complete a careful and thorough review of possible solutions and offerings from different vendors. In addition to the capabilities and functionalities of the solutions a vendor can offer, they should also have a proven track record and should be flexible to work with. The vendor also needs to be able to provide the necessary post-sales support without delay. It’s not out of the question that problems could arise after the development and implementation of your chosen solution.

You may also want to consider creating a comparison chart of solutions and vendors. Think of it as an objective tool in your quest for making an informed choice.

5. The Digital Transformation Implementation Timeline

The fifth and final step in your digital transformation plan assembles the overall business objectives, desired experiences, existing technologies, and possible solutions together and consolidates them into an actionable plan. A digital transformation initiative takes time and resources, both human and financial, thus the reason it is often done in stages. It is critical to carefully plan when each action — such as a technology assessment or a vendor meeting — should be taken to ensure that human and capital resources are available.

Your implementation timeline will also give all stakeholders, from C-suite executives to staff members and customers, a much-needed heads-up to generate support for the digital transformation initiative while minimizing disruptions to your business operations. A digital transformation project, like any other business project, requires continuous support from every corner of the organization to ensure its success.

Finally, an implementation timeline provides your business with a benchmark it can use to compare actual results with planned results. It also aids the project leaders in managing and governing the project.

By following these simple, but important steps outlined above, your business will be well on its way to developing a successful and seamless digital transformation strategy.

At Ad Victoriam Solutions, our consulting team helps companies with their digital transformation strategies every single day, and every step of the way. Our certified experts learn your business, connect your data, then help your company deliver the type of customer experience that taps into the preferences of your modern customer. Let’s put a plan together today!

Related Article:
It’s the Best Time for Digital Transformation – Here’s Why

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How to Convince Your Stakeholders It’s Time to Get a CRM

How to Convince Your Stakeholders It's Time to Get a CRM

In 2020, the term “digital transformation” is more than just a buzz phrase. It’s the single biggest reason why business stakeholders need to end their nightmares with their disparate systems and implement a unified Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool to even have a chance at meeting their business goals.

From having the ability to unlock and analyze data to delivering better-connected experiences to their employees – who in turn can offer more personalized experiences for their customers – stakeholders who implement a unified CRM are making the decision to end their company’s struggles with data across teams and systems.

But how do you – as a dedicated and concerned employee – get buy-in to implement a CRM from all of your company’s stakeholders? Well, here are some thoughts on that…

Do Your Homework

The end goal is to make “the pitch” to your stakeholders about implementing a CRM a slam dunk. So, first, go about collecting as much evidence to support why this makes sense for your company’s future growth.

Start with your sales team. Ask them: What does your pipeline look like? Do you think you are doing a good job of tracking your current opportunities? Do you feel focused on your daily outreach efforts to close a deal?

Once you have those answers, it’s time to map out the specific features and capabilities you think your CRM should have.

From there, research companies that are already using the CRM you’re most interested in and solicit feedback from them on how that system is working for them. Quiz them on what they like, what they don’t like, and what results they’ve seen from using that system. It won’t be hard to find those companies. Just look at the CRM product company’s website for a “Customer” page and randomly pick a few of their customers and reach out to them.

Free Worksheet Download: Justifying the Need for a Sales-Focused CRM

Cost vs. Benefits

Some might say this is the biggest hurdle you’ll need to get over when presenting your case to stakeholders for a CRM implementation.

First, try to approximate how much your company is losing without using the CRM product you’re interested in. You can do that by going back to the “Do Your Homework” questions you asked the sales staff and do estimates from there. In particular, based on current sales data you’ve assembled, estimate a percentage of how much more a salesperson could close each month by using a CRM, and also estimate how much your company is losing over a month or a quarter by not using the CRM.

What Will Implementation Look Like?

As you begin planning how you envision your new CRM implementation would go – because your stakeholders are going to ask – start by being ready to answer the questions, such as:

  • Does your company have an internal resource who will be your project champion? Will that person have the time and expertise to lead your CRM implementation?
  • Do you have data cleansing or migration needs that your team has the skill set to address?
  • If needed, is your team able to integrate your technologies (ERP or legacy system) with your new CRM platform to create a 360-degree view of your data?
  • Should you consider adding a consulting partner to guide you through implementation? What are the costs involved with that?

D-Day

So, now that you’re armed with a plan of attack, it’s time to gather your stakeholders and make your case. How and when you do that can only be determined by your internal knowledge of the company’s culture, i.e. do you make your presentation in a formal setting or casually over a meal?

Our advice, don’t sweat the how and when. Just be sure you do your homework, weigh the costs vs. benefits, and have a well-thought-out implementation plan. And to help you with your plan, you can download our free “Justifying the Need for a Sales-Focused CRM” worksheet that will show you how to gather all the ammunition you need to convince your stakeholders. And remember: You’ve got this!

Adding a CRM can serve as a key driver of digital transformation for your company, and the Salesforce® consulting team at Ad Victoriam has years of experience implementing and integrating systems with great success. Perhaps we can help you make the case to your stakeholders about the benefits of a CRM? We’re excited to get you there! Let’s talk now!

 

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