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CEB: The Six Shifts Behind the Digital Transformation of Business

"Avoiding change, though, is impossible. And these next few decades will be an era of sweeping change. One of the biggest and most disruptive forces behind all this change is digitization, and the faster companies stop resisting and work out ways to take advantage of it, the more likely they are to still be operating 15 or 20 years from now." - CEB

Times are a changin'. CEB recently shared their predictions for the next big shifts that are/will be taking over the business industry. It's important to take note of these and reflect on how your business may, or may not be, prepared to adjust to them. Historically, businesses that try fighting these massive types of shifts don't succeed and ultimately end up needing to adjust (think America's movie studios trying to prevent the introduction of DVD players). Here's a quick breakdown of the six shifts to be aware of:

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Demand for Personalization is Increasing

With the amount of data available to any organization these days, it's not surprising their customers expect a unique, individualized experience with their product or service. Even at the prospect level, people expect personalized experiences through their buying journey, as there is no longer one decision maker over a purchase decision - and each decision maker needs to see your product or service from in a way that brings value to their unique needs. (We use intelligent demo automation to personalize the buying journey for prospects).

 

Data Reliance is Deepening

Having data to help understand your customers, new trends, etc. is an incredible thing - but we all know too much data can be overwhelming and lead to analysis paralysis. More so, companies are becoming so data reliant that they can leave prospects or customers feeling "stalked" and annoyed by constant in-your-face marketing strategies. 

 

The Line Between Products and Services is Blurring

As CEB puts it, " products are turning into ongoing 'experiences'". Technology has created mutliple new channels for customer support to connect with customers (think social media - particularly Twitter, where many companies now have designated Twitter profiles for customer support, i.e. @Uber_Support). Quality customer support is no longer the exception - it's the norm.

 

Machines Play an Increasingly Large Role in Work

Automate. Everything. At least, that's what we aim for at Consensus (of course, not at the cost of quality - but where it's possible, we try to do it). This will create a shift in employment towards needing more specialized skills (where basic skills jobs are taken over by machines). We're using dynamically personalized videos at Consensus to not only provide a personalized experience for prospects, but to save sales reps time from not doing high-level, repeitive demos.

 

Formerly Clear Lines Between Corporate Functions and Roles Are Blurring

As things like automation and ongoing customer experiences shift the business landscape, this inevitably impacts how organizations function on the inside. These shifts require flexibility within roles, to take on things not necessarily in a job description. Sometimes, these shifts can create brand new roles (think Sales Development, Google's People Analytics Department).  

 

Change is Accelerating, Large Firms Are Not

"With customers wanting things on-demand, new machines increasing speed and efficiency, and start-ups exploiting new digital technologies, large companies are struggling to keep up." Implementing new anything into large firms is often a long, tedious and complex process. This could mean more hope for those smaller firms, as agility and flexibility are much easier for them.

 

Which of these six trends strikes a chord with you most? How is your organization going to adjust? Leave a comment below!

 

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