EI Series 1, Part 3
Wesley Johnson, Energy Knect
One of the many positives that the pandemic has brought to companies, is the encouragement to figure out ways in which they can better connect with their clients and support their needs. This has resulted in many companies having to embrace in digital transformation, and for those who have, they have been rewarded with multiple benefits such as revenue growth, stronger customer relationships, efficiency and optimization across their workflows.
Following our research for this article, we found that companies who embrace digital technologies are not only able to find the edge that is required to stay ahead in today’s competitive market, but are also likely to be 26% more profitable than their peers, according to a study by MIT.
Below, we have highlighted our top three technology solutions that are currently driving new business and revenue growth for companies along with the key benefits that are associated with leveraging these technologies.
According to an MIT Sloan Management Review and BCG AI survey, almost 90% of executives agree that AI represents an opportunity, but only a mere 18% have tried to use the technology to generate revenue.
AI improves a company’s capability to grow revenue and generate new business in two distinct ways, according to BCG. It has the ability to detect weak signals, which can help companies develop, refine and generate multiple forecasts. Secondly, the speed at which AI works provides companies with the ability to analyse large amounts of data to make more informed decisions in real-time. By improving the accuracy of forecasts coupled with making real time decisions, AI can help companies generate more revenue.
AI has the ability to act as your sales teams most valuable partner by offering them insights into what the next best actions are to take, based upon a menu of high-end options that are more likely to drive commercial results. Furthermore, AI technology can improve accessibility to client data wherever and whenever you may need it, helping your team be more efficient when working remotely. AI also has the ability to offer more data-driven insights into your customers to help identify sales trends and buying signals and streamline workflows which can automate communications and trigger notifications.
As companies focus on growth after the pandemic and economic crises, they should consider not only cost-cutting, but also long-term revenue creation. AI is positioned to help companies make faster decisions and tailor their solutions to gain a competitive advantage over their peers.
According to Sales force’s most recent State of Marketing Report, 70% of high-performing teams are far more likely to use tools such as predictive analysis compared to 35% of low-performers. As technology has evolved, it has become much more affordable and accessible for companies of all sizes, not just the giants like IBM and Amazon with the expertise to leverage the tech in their favour.
Gain a competitive advantage – one of the primary benefits of predictive analytics is to identify market trends and gain a competitive advantage. Your client’s buying behaviour is forever changing and if you can identify these changes first, you will be better equipped with the insights to align your product or service to your customer’s needs.
Client insight – being better informed will autonomously lend itself to a more productive salesperson. Predictive analytics can provide you with information about your client’s buying behaviour, their expectations, whether there are any cross or upselling opportunities, or whether there is any competition moving in on your territory. Using this data, your team will be better positioned to tailor their sales and marketing approach to your client’s needs, which will also result in more meaningful conversations.
Personalization – analytics can help salespeople drive more personalization at scale. It allows companies to offer more personalised and targeted products which can encourage greater sales success. Companies who can segment their audience and target their prospects with a personalised message that has resonance, will have greater conversion success.
One of the primary components that determines a successful salesperson is the time they spend on selling. Sales Automation has the potential to reduce the costs of sales by freeing up time spent on repetitive and unrelated tasks and to unlock additional revenue by automating outreach to clients in the sales funnel. On average, high performing sales reps spend 20-25% more time with customers than lower-performing reps, according to McKinsey. Companies that standardize and automate non- customer-facing activities, such as admin tasks, free up time for activities that directly deliver commercial results.
According to McKinsey, early adopters of sales automation consistently report increases in customer-facing time, higher customer satisfaction, efficiency improvements of 10 to 15%, and sales uplift of up to 10%.
While sales teams make more data-based decisions, winning deals still takes a human touch. According to the state of the connected customer survey by Salesforce, 81% of business buyers expect companies to understand their needs and expectations. In this regard, selling is a deeply personal activity that requires a great deal of soft skills and trust. We believe automation is not the process of replacing human workforce, but rather the process of working collaboratively to provide optimal service to clients.
Deployment of tech
Bringing in technology is arguably the easiest bit, but to capture the real benefits from automation, companies will need to find ways to ensure their strategy is embedded into the culture of the organisation. McKinsey highlights that, those with standardized sales processes in place and collocated sales support functions usually capture bigger benefits from technology integration and see an impact faster than their peers. This is because their costs of integration, technological deployment, and change management are lower.
Having everyone on board and everyone driving it forward, will be pivotal to the success of the integration, and that’s why we believe that the Money Ball Strategy could be an effective approach in deploying technology. If you are able to build a strong team of champions who can demonstrate their success from using the technology to the rest of the team, we believe that this will help you obtain the adoption you need.
We suggest that your integration process should also be rolled out fairly slow, perhaps in bite sizes, allowing the end-users time to digest the real benefits and value of their new digital sales partner. This will also offer you the time to develop successful narratives to showcase to the rest of your team, to help you gain the additional internal support you might need to roll out the tech successfully.
Research suggests that the net global spending on digital is expected to increase to more than $2 trillion by 2022. Moreover, 79% of companies have admitted that COVID-19 has encouraged an increase in their budget for digital transformation. This is perhaps an indication that technology has become more accessible and cost-effective than ever before. The value and benefits of adopting technology have evidently become far more significant than the efforts and the expenses companies have to undertake to deploy the technology.
When you allow your company to embrace digital transformation, you will not only see benefits such as revenue growth, but also the optimization and improvement of your existing workflows and operations, which will provide you with the edge that is required in today’s competitive business landscape.
The Energy Knect Approach
At Energy Knect we believe that every client we work with deserves a tailored approach to their unique challenges and goals. Our extensive experience, business knowledge and expertise is stimulated through our continuous engagement with our senior advisory board and global network of senior industry professionals. As a result, Energy Knect are well positioned to identify potential improvement areas within your business development function and employ proven business development strategies to support new business and revenue growth without the heavy investment tag.
We welcome you to join our free online networking community for senior Energy professionals here.