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Digital Transformation: Bolster Sales & Marketing in the COVID-19 World & Future

There is no doubt that the spread of Covid-19 has sped up the digital transformation process for many sales teams. Within the blink of an eye an increasing number of interactions are occurring over a screen, rather than in person.  And Martech, sales enablement or digital sales tools are becoming an essential part of the sales toolkit.

Companies, who had embraced technology at the core of their business before the pandemic, have been much better equipped to survive in the face of disruption. In many cases they have thrived.  

However, most businesses, large and small, have had to swiftly evolve. They have quickly adapted from hosting online events or webinars to working from home or providing online deliveries. Everyone has been forced, in one way or another, to find innovative ways to minimise the commercial impact and to keep business moving forward.   

IDC conducted a survey in China in January 2020 with C-level executives across 10 different industries. It found that organisations who had adopted an IT and digital transformation strategy, in the fight against the outbreak, reported improvements in their ability to work collaboratively over long distances. They also felt they had experienced gains in online marketing and business development. Additionally, the organisation as a whole had recognised the value of digital transformation and information technology. 

If you’re considering digitally transforming your sales or marketing, but need some advice on how to start, this blog will shed some light on:

  • Better customer experiences
  • Digital sales tools for events, exhibitions and sales enablement
  • A customer centric approach
  • Design thinking for a digital age

Four main areas of Digital Transformation  

We think of Digital transformation as any changes made within a business which harnesses technology to improve customer outcomes and experience.  

There are four main areas of digital transformation, the business process, model, domain and culture.  And, according to Forrester, those that harness it effectively throughout their business find it’s 10 times cheaper and faster to engage customers, create offerings, harness partners, and operate their business.  

Better customer experiences…… 

Businesses with effective digital strategies are able to tap into emerging technologies quickly, in order to launch new offerings and continue with business as usual (as much as that is possible). These businesses are insights driven, harnessing and applying data and analytics at every opportunity to differentiate their products and deliver valued customer outcomes.  

Digital transformation improves customer outcomes in all industries, helping businesses to:   

  • Deliver easy, effective and emotional customer experiences 
  • Improve customer value  
  • Anticipate what customers need and engage them immediately along every step of their journey 
  • Organise and operate with a focus on the customer 

However, according to the New York Times own digital strategy, “too often digital progress has been accomplished through workarounds to a problem” leaving barriers to transformation in place.  

So, companies need to be mindful that, although offering an ideal opportunity to address their digital strategy, simply overcoming issues arising from the current situation might not be the best approach.

Working with interactive experiences specialists, like POP, can be beneficial when looking to take the right approach and adopt technology with lasting results.  

person holding black tablet displaying Coloplast interactive touchscreen digital presentation
Coloplast’s digital sales tool differentiates them from their competitors and frees sales from inefficient and out dated sales tools to have valuable sales conversations whether face-to-face or remote with customers.

Events, exhibitions and sales enablement in a digital world 

Many sales and marketing functions have found that the pandemic has accelerated digitisation across the marketing team. It has broken down resistance to the use of marketing automation and other digital platforms. Boundaries between event marketers and other marketers in the team have also been blurred (B2B Marketing). 

There is no doubt that physical events have always been a critical part of B2B marketing. But the current crisis has seen this channel being shut off overnight. Face-to-face meetings, events and exhibitions have been cancelled or postponed. This has affected B2B brands profoundly and left a widening gap in customer engagement strategies. 

B2B Marketing conducted a poll of B2B Marketers recently. Most respondents believed that there would be a permanent shift away from the way events had been run in the past. Siting that they envisioned physical events being two-stream in the future. This could mean that, even when they become possible, it is likely that high risk people will still need to exclude themselves for years to come.  

So, all events in the future will need some kind of strategy to accommodate both types of delegate. This is where interactive sales enablement tools and virtual exhibition spaces, which are available online to a remote and global audience, will be key.  

Created using Progressive Web App (PWA) technology which combines the very best attributes of responsive websites and native apps. Think Pinterest, Forbes, Financial Times, Spotify, Instagram. PWAs deliver a high level of performance regardless of device or network condition with native app qualities; they enable reliable, fast and engaging interactions. Businesses will see enormous benefits of embracing this cutting-edge technology as it becomes the natural next step in the evolution of app and web technology. 

Our virtual experiences offer a 3D space online where customers can explore 3D product models, videos, interactive presentations, PDFs and a wealth of other assets. Now, there really is no need for people to come to you when you can broaden your reach by making your most valuable content readily available, at any time – virtually and globally. 

Sales enablement tools, designed to enhance and support face-to-face conversations, really come into their own in the current climate. Many of our clients, for whom we have developed interactive sales tools, have been able to carry on almost as normal and have these vital conversations.   

Using video conferencing and sharing the interactive on-screen customers can have a similar experience and conversation as if they were still in front of a salesperson.  

Customer centric approach

But, and this is a BIG BUT, it isn’t all about the technology. In an increasingly digitally-led society it’s even more crucial to know your customer and start with their needs first and not the technology. 

Knowing what is most important to your customer and the problem that you are solving for them is absolutely key to meeting your business objectives and theirs. You have to put yourself in your audience’s shoes and ask those all-important questions: ‘What do they want?’, ‘What do they need?’, ‘What’s their current reality?’, ‘What are their pressures?’ ‘What excites them?’ ‘What wows them?’ and “Why should they care about you?”

Knowing the answers to these questions and thinking of how, in their everyday life, they interact with a variety of products and services throughout their day, will really help you to define your audience’s journey. Deciding on the most relevant content and visuals to create a personalised experience online. The more personalised an experience the better –  authentic, human content makes for a much more persuasive, immersive experience and ultimately keeps you connected to your customer. 

Design Thinking

We’ll bring almost twenty years of Interactive Communication experience into the frame and we’ll work with you through the entire process. We use ‘Design Thinking’ as our methodology  – starting and revolving around your customer and your strategic objectives. This approach forms the strategy behind the content, creativity and technology. Bringing your world to life digitally and making sure your business objectives are met.  

We work with our clients through the entire process on their strategic objectives, messaging, design & branding, development and deployment- a complete 360 service.

Next steps…. 

Whether you have adopted a digital transformation strategy already or are just embarking on one, a willingness to adapt and innovate is the critical success factor. Take a look at what’s possible with POP’s interactive sales experiences platform

Want to find out more? Get in touch today on +44 (0)117 329 1712 or to speak to us about how we can help you to improve your sales and marketing strategy.   

Holly Worthington
Co-Founder and Customer Success Lead
If you’ve got an idea and want to chat it through then just get in touch. Or give us a call 🤙 on 0117 329 1712.
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