Wow your customers and employees with a digital sales model

  • Posted on February 23, 2016

Digital Sales

This is a guest blog post written by Avanade alum, Dave Nelson. 

Beginning with mainstream use of the Internet, then followed by the explosion of mobile, companies have invested significant time and resources digitizing the customer – giving them new and interesting tools for interacting with the brand. However, in many cases the same level of investment has not always happened behind the curtain within the organization with its most precious resource/largest asset: the employees.

We saw early investments in the development of websites and mobile apps wherein a customer would place an order or send an inquiry, only for it to end up printed and re-keyed into a legacy system back in the office. While we now have a more seamless technical interaction between front-end and back-office tools, most sales and service workers are still having to navigate multiple systems with different user interfaces that simply don’t fit the underlying process flow – i.e. selling. It’s time that the workplace catch up to the digital revolution in order to drive true personalization and real process support for both the customer and employee.

Digital Sales Generate More Revenue

At this point you might be asking, “Isn’t it best practice to be hyper-focused on the customer? What does a digital workplace have to do with the customer relationship?” The short answer is everything, when you consider that sales has one of the highest turnover rates of any profession in the world. Fewer than half of organizations’ salesforces regularly hit their quotas, and enterprises continue hiring “feet on the street” without getting the ROI that they expected.

However, the right digital tools in the hands of salespeople can be a game-changer.

Today’s digital sales tools can help salespeople better understand their customers, anticipate and respond to rapid changes in customer buying behavior and – simply put – actually help them sell. Consider, for example, Avanade’s work with a leading global beverage manufacturer. Through the implementation of an intuitive mobile sales solution allowing sales reps to execute and engage optimally at the point of sale, Avanade helped the client transform its entire sales workforce from traditional product representatives to brand ambassadors – and sales soared while low-value administrative tasks for the sellers dropped significantly.

Advice on How to WOW

For organizations looking to better engage their customers and sales employees, consider the following:

  • Understand that customer and employee needs are not all that different – both groups want tools that that let them complete transactions quickly, easily and in the manner most comfortable for them.
  • Take the time to understand who within your organization is going to make the best use of certain tools based on their unique roles and skills – then put something in their hands, try it, adjust or move on quickly.
  • Move away from long, expensive, multi-year global programs in favor of more agile digital workplace pilots. Agility is key in a rapidly evolving digital landscape.
  • Work together with leaders across lines of business to jointly define what success looks like and how you will measure it. True digital transformation cannot be led solely by IT; business leaders must have skin in the game.
  • Look at other industries as well as your competitors and observe their approach to the digital workplace and customer engagement – what can you learn from them?

In a new Avanade report, we polled senior IT leaders from UPM, Fujitsu and Williams Martini Racing, plus savvy industry experts from Accenture, The Digital Workplace Group and The Future Laboratory on how they have transformed their sales operations.

Download our new report and find out how digital sales are revolutionizing teams – helping them work smarter, sell more effectively and accelerate revenue for their companies.

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