DX (Digital Transformation) in the modern business world is "the total transformation of your business for the better through the use of information technology https://slimtime.co.jp/ . It is not just about introducing information technology, it is about fundamentally transforming the existing organization and operations and creating a new way of doing business for the future.
In today's business world, various systems (core systems, ERP, etc.) are being introduced regardless of industry, and "XX-tech" (sales-tech, fin-tech, etc.), which integrates IT with traditional business practices, is also in the spotlight. While these refer to information technology and IT services themselves, DX is a term that refers to "transformation.
Today, DX is generally used in the sense of "using information technology to transform our lives and businesses for the better.
For example, IDC Japan, a research firm specializing in IT, defines DX as "the use of third platform technologies (cloud, big data, social technologies, mobility, etc.) by companies to create value and establish competitive advantage through new products and services, new business models, and new relationships.
With the gradual introduction of digital tools and inside sales to support this kind of sales, the common wisdom that "sales is earned by foot" is becoming a thing of the past. On the other hand, there are many organizations that have not been able to achieve the desired results.
With pandemic outings and face-to-face meetings restricted, the importance of DX in the sales field has been reaffirmed.
What is DX in sales?
There is a fundamental difference in the way sales organizations are expected to operate in the "foot in the door" era and in modern sales. Marketing for lead generation, interaction with prospective customers, and call center operations for customer support are all based on information technology, including the Internet, and outside sales (field sales) is becoming an integral part of this. Many departments are beginning to integrate with each other through information technology.
The goal of DX for sales and marketing is to optimize the entire process through the active use of information technology, rather than leaving this integration to happen inefficiently. We need to centralize scattered customer information, share strategic goals across departments, and flexibly restructure the sales process in response to social and market trends.
DX in Sales and Sales Tech
The key to realizing DX in sales is the use of sales tech (tools that make sales IT). It is important to develop the IT utilization skills of sales staff.
Ad hoc introduction of sales tech is only a temporary partial optimization and will not lead to results. It is necessary to use it with the awareness of reviewing the entire organization and sales process.
Examples of Sales Process and Sales DX
The following are specific examples of how sales processes can be transformed by DX and how DX can be introduced and tools used.
Lead Acquisition: Promotion of Digital Marketing
The conventional mainstream method of acquiring leads through outbound sales (door-to-door sales and tele-appointments) is inefficient because it often wastes time and money on people with low probability.
One of the keys to improving sales efficiency is digital marketing. By using digital media such as email newsletters, websites, and SNS to capture the interest of prospective customers and encourage them to take action such as making inquiries, it is possible to narrow the focus to highly-certain prospective customers.
Customer Cultivation: Promoting Inside Sales
With the Internet and mobile devices becoming part of our daily lives, the possibilities for non-face-to-face sales have expanded. Inside sales, which is the use of digital tools to approach distant customers from within the company or from home, is expected to increase in importance in the future.
Inside sales is particularly suitable for nurturing customers from prospective customers, and is expected to act as a link between marketing and field sales departments in both directions.
Strengthening sales capabilities through DX
The following are some specific examples of DX implementation methods and tools.
Sales enablement refers to the use of digital tools to optimize all aspects of sales activities and sales organizations (sales process design, sales content management, salesperson training and evaluation, etc.).
In the U.S., a variety of tools have emerged to help with this. Currently in Japan, tools for managing sales content and internal documents using mobile devices are the main tools being used. Catalogs, white papers, videos, manuals, meeting materials, etc. can be safely managed on tablets and smartphones and taken out to sales locations to present to customers, share information between headquarters and stores, and be used for telework.
Expansion of sales content
Sales content (websites, digital documents, etc.) is the key to digital marketing, inside sales, and sales enablement.
It is important that the marketing, inside sales, and field sales departments share goals and provide feedback to each other in order to expand effective content.
Online business meetings
The introduction of tools for online business meetings using video calls and screen sharing functions will improve the efficiency of sales activities and expand sales opportunities.
By replacing some of your in-person visits with online meetings, you can reduce the number of visits and travel time and increase the number of contacts per hour. You will be able to respond to remote leads that were previously difficult to approach.
In addition, it is easy for supervisors and professionals to sit in on business meetings or attend as supervisors, which can be used to speed up the sales process and train new employees.
Online meetings can also be used for nurturing by inside sales. Furthermore, it is not uncommon in the future for inside sales to complete the closing process alone through online negotiations.
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