Digital Evolution to accelerate your Go-To-Market strategy was a catchy phrase and discussion in the board room in 2020. If executed correctly, it can completely change the course of 2021 revenue growth. Most companies have learned that digital transformations are high-risk undertaking with a high failure rate. Improving the Go-To-Market motion and aligning digital interactions to the customer journey has clear benefits. That said, doing so without moving to an agile operating model is difficult, especially for established companies. Being agile means iterating fast, don’t be afraid to course correct or even fail, and most of all build a flywheel for feedback from your customers.
SBI’s meta-research indicates that 70% to 95% of Digital Transformation efforts fail. In the B2B space, digital commerce accelerated more in the last year than the previous 10 years combined. Market Leaders are focused on agile digital Go-To-Market evolution that reduces friction in the customer journey. The investments have a rapid impact on revenue. Our CEO interviews found that market leaders understand their capabilities and align their digital strategies to the Revenue Growth Strategy. We have introduced the Digital Maturity Model to facilitate this process. The maturity model is sequential. Companies must first, for example, establish level 2 capabilities before moving to level 3.
Paths to Leverage in Delivering Digitalization
There are several paths to agility and several ways to leverage digitalization in your Go-To-Market strategy, but many different starting points. An approach and some common elements are described below.
First, let’s talk about embracing agility and what that means in our current environment. Before COVID-19, organizations were already required to manage change and make decisions quicker based on business and technological change; however, the pandemic has now accelerated this need for change. Companies feel the pressure to make changes to their business models to fit changing requirements. The need for speed and agility will not slow down — digitization, automation, analytics, and the other emerging technologies are moving at an amazing pace. If you are an “Accelerator” in your market, you embrace this change to slingshot your business into 2021. A recent research report articulates an accelerator’s characteristics versus a survivor or an observer. Typically, organizations establish teams that combine customers and users aligned with designers, developers, testers, data analysts, and customer-journey specialists. But now, organizations have launched teams across the whole spectrum of business and technology. Examples include retailers who built teams around specific product categories to drive volume and margin. Telecom companies have assembled teams to quickly simplify products and decide on build versus buy or partner to increase speed to market.
As you think about driving digital transformation and innovation, 3 key steps have proven to be critical. First, organizations need to reimagine their Go-To-Market model. The second is to reallocate the budgets to fund “in year” digital innovations that will change the customer experience. Lastly, this will require organizations to realign the resource to manage the new motion. A research report from 2020 talks about how to think about these 3 steps and shows how to plot your organization on the digital maturity model.
Best Practice 3 Step Guide Is Simple
3 key steps to consider as you design and implement your digital strategy:
- Reimagine or aspire to be your industry Accelerator – Successful agile transformations need strong leadership and alignment from the top. The roadmap needs to be articulated with an iterative approach that is clear. The roadmap should give enough direction for the organization to start brainstorming the ideas and testing the design. Adopting an agile operating model can alleviate challenges in the current organization. In a Go-To-Market Digital transformation, it is clear that “tech touch” and web interaction is critical to a successful cost and revenue balance. Different buyers want to engage differently depending on the product, demographic and firmographic data, use focus groups to iterate and ideate quickly.
- Reallocate people and budgets to support the roadmap – As the organization aligns to the new operating model, a reallocation of people and budgets are critical. This needs to happen as an ongoing activity and not a yearly event. Once the team aligns to the new motion and the roadmap is defined, adjustments to budget and focus need to follow.
- Realign the organization based on the transformation – Once there is a clear path to the new operating model, there will be a requirement to realign at an organizational level. This needs to be well planned, and leadership will drive this change. This will change the resource allocation based on how you have segmented your markets. Be prepared from more of your lower level segmentations to be managed digitally (i.e., SMB), and your smaller cross-sell, upsell, and renewal transactions to be managed the same way.
If you are trying to decide where you are and how to accelerate, use the diagnostic below.
The SBI Revenue Growth Maturity Model is a rapid diagnostic that helps CEOs evaluate their organizations on eight “buckets” to better understand their Maturity Level and revenue strategy. This exercise will define the starting point of the organization as the digital-first journey begins.
As you navigate 2021, consider digital evolution in your Go-To-Market as a critical component of your strategy. If it is active today, think about leading, mapping, and executing in an agile framework with the steps identified above. Iterate the plan based on the market, economic and environmental conditions. Build trust with your team and your customers, and you will realize how valuable this investment is to the future.