3 Steps to Starting Your Digital Transformation

Published April 19 2017 by David Kohar
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Digital Transformation, is already disrupting most industries and companies. Those who are out in front leveraging new strategies and tactics to improve customer acquisition, retention and loyalty will be the big winners.

Those organizations that keep doing it the same way they have been doing it for years will lose out.  In the infamous words of Ray Wang, "Digital Darwinism is unkind to those who wait."

So, the first question is, “Where do we begin?”  Here are the 3 steps we recommend to get started with Digital Transformation:

1)    Focus on Business Outcomes.  When we engage with organizations that are trying to figure out where to start, or in some cases how to hit the reset button on their Digital Transformation, we recommend that their first step be to look at the Business Outcomes that they want to achieve. These can be summarized in many ways but they are forward looking and articulate a benefit to the organization that in order to be successful will also benefit the customer.  Most organizations are looking to drive specific Business Outcomes in the Customer Lifecycle including:

  1. Improve Customer Acquisition
  2. Improve Customer Retention
  3. Improve Customer Share of Wallet
  4. Generate new Business Models and/or Markets for Customers

These are all good starting points and a first step to your Digital Transformation journey.

2)    Determine Business Outcome Progression.  Now that you have an ultimate Business Outcome (or 3!) that you are trying to achieve, the next step is to look at the progression that your organization will need to go through in order to start positively impacting each one of these.

Let’s examine the conceptual progression of Business Outcomes from Adoption through to CRM Ready in the below image. The Business Outcomes on the right under CRM Ready arrow are the ones that we want to get to ultimately.  In most cases, your organization will need to achieve “Adoption” and then the “Efficiency” Outcomes first.

Understanding where you are in your Digital Transformation journey will help best set the right Business Outcome progression.

3)    Get and Keep Executives Involved.  The third step (that actually needs to come first!) is getting and keeping the executives engaged and leading the initiative from the beginning.  This sounds familiar, right?  This isn’t “Executive Support” where they say that they are behind the initiative but rather that they are in leading it because it is that impactful and important to the organization.

Beyond supporting and funding the Digital Transformation, what executive engagement is needed?

Here are the two key areas that need specific executive engagement:

  1. Define target long term Business Outcomes with the team.
  2. Help the team determine the needed Business Outcome Progression in order to achieve the long-term outcomes that the organization is looking for. For example, if we were to take a Business Outcome to use Digital Transformation to Increase Revenue in our Tier 1 Customers Business, executives need to be there to say, “What are the tactics that we’re going to do to try to achieve that?”.  They need to help create the right Business Outcome Progression given where the business is currently.

After the Business Outcome Progression has been established, the team can create the right set of steps and activities that need to be done in order to achieve a successful first phase.  In almost every case the Business Outcome Progression will need to be tracked in a solution.  The executives need to be there to make sure that the process stays on track, and, ultimately, are in the key design sessions with their sleeves rolled up.  They need to be able to look at the solution and say, “Yes, that actually measures our Business Outcome. That actually helps us track our tactics. That’s going to allow our team to go and execute on the things that we need to do in order to hit our objectives.”

For more, check out this video on How to Start Your Organization’s Digital Transformation.

David has an extensive track record within the CRM marketplace and has been involved in the CRM industry since it began. His knowledge has established him as a leading expert in Microsoft Dynamics CRM. David leads Sales Support, Corporate Adoption Programs and Solutions for prospective and current customers.

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