Guest blog post by Zack Alspaugh, Marketing Specialist of APTTUS Corporation:
The transformation to digital business has reshaped how we engage with customers, design business strategies, and ultimately execute on our workload.
As Jorge Lopez of Forbes.com describes:
“The fact is that digital business will disrupt all industries and business executives, CIOs and technology providers will need to think differently to help their businesses avoid disruption. This is a new world that makes the prior ones obsolete while creating massive opportunities for those who can visualize the opportunity.”
While pundits frequently theorize on the landscape of future business models and the overwhelming influence of connected device, the heartbeat of this era-defining conversation is speed.
Although new technology has allowed companies to operate more efficiently and effectively, it also forged a double-edged sword where competition and customer demand scream for our attention at the same time (in other words we have the need for speed).
Cindy Bolt, Salesforce’s SVP of Manufacturing Goods, put it bluntly during her presentation last month at the Salesforce World Tour Chicago: “Customers expect speed to market.” If you can’t deliver what a customer wants and within the customer’s timeframe, you simply aren’t delivering.
Forrester, in a recent report explained that “while 74% of business executives say their company has a digital strategy, only 15% believe that their company has the skills and capabilities to execute on that strategy.” Are you doing enough to keep pace with the speed and transformation of digital business? Here is a look at 3 quick strategies that will make you more efficient and responsive:
- Lead with speed – beat competition to the punch by providing quotes first.
Just like in a sprint, deals are often won and lost out of the blocks. Sometimes your best ability is availability: being able to provide a full proposal in hours as opposed to days or weeks will not only get your foot in the door, but will give the impression that you are responsive and efficient in all aspects of your business. Don’t underestimate that first move advantage. Believe it or not, in a recent Apttus survey, we found that 40% companies can’t get a deal proposal out in less than 3 days.
- Cohesive processes – Avoid miscommunication or department bottlenecks.
It’s a connected world, from wearable devices to the Internet of Things. Your business process should be just as fluidly connected. Siloed processes constantly slow down deals: the most notorious of which is your contract management processes. Legal needs to be thorough with their work, but the due diligence needed to get the details right strips Sales teams of the time needed to move fast to stay ahead of the competition. The long standing joke amongst sales reps is “legal should really be called the sales deterrence organization,” but it’s not really a laughing matter. By tying together your contract management and sales processes, you drastically cut down time lost in negotiations and redlining. In fact, companies that have automated their CLM have seen a 50% reduction in their contract cycle times. Another easy win, and one of the cornerstones of digital business, is e-signature for contracts which will ensure your deal can move at the speed of modern business, rather than suffocating in the bygone era of physical documents and mail delivery.
- Mobility – take productivity with you wherever you go!
It’s no secret that our mobile devices have increasingly become a staple in our lives – whether it be for personal or business use. So when we’re constantly on the move, the opportunity to be productive doesn’t have to stop once we close out our desktops. With powerful platforms and robust functionalities that supports mobile and tablet usage, there are no longer limits to when or where you are able to do business. Mobility is an essential ingredient for speed; the ability to respond at a moment’s notice is now a must. Imagine the many advantages a sales representative has when he or she is capable of sending over a contract that can be approved by electronic signature. The prospect is quickly able to approve and sign that contract wherever they may be – something that the traditional pen and paper would have taken weeks or even months to do.
The evolution of digital business is continuously changing the way we conduct business. With the right technology, speed is now an opportunity all companies should grab and develop so their processes are as responsive as possible in the appropriate areas.
Has your company utilized digital business to its advantage?