For years we’ve heard talk about the digital imperative and radical new ways of doing business, but as we prepared to change the world, something interesting happened – the world changed us.

Almost overnight, the business landscape changed due to COVID-19, and now we’re on the precipice of an exciting new digital frontier. This frontier is a seemingly limitless place of new technologies and innovative strategies. Companies now build more meaningful relationships, reimagine their business models, and reinvent their processes and functions to empower their workforces and better connect with their customers.

For these businesses, the future is filled with promise and new opportunities. They’ve become more agile, resilient, and better prepared to face the unpredictable. But what about the businesses that haven’t adapted, who are stuck treading water in the uncertain seas of the new normal? For these organisations, the time to digitise their business is now.

 

What does digitising your business mean?

Put simply, digitising a business involves introducing new digital technologies to improve business processes and functions. For instance, companies can implement AI to automate routine tasks, use digital platforms to teach the workforce new skills, break silos to unite data and share intelligence across the organisation, and leverage CRM systems and chatbots to provide better customer service.

Digitisation enables businesses to improve operational efficiency and drive productivity. Even better, it provides them with tools to face a rapidly changing future.

 

Getting the most out of digitisation

The global lockdown made business-as-usual a thing of the past for many companies. Companies that had undergone a digital transformation were able to quickly move to remote working, engage with customers on new channels, and leverage data to understand the shifting needs of the marketplace. Many of the creative new business models we’re seeing are powered by digital solutions, and the gap between digitally mature businesses and other companies is widening.

By leveraging the power of digital, businesses can create apps to empower employees and customers and put the customer at the centre of their processes. Here are three ways that digitisation can enable companies to grow stronger and seize more opportunities.

 

  • Efficiency: Digitisation can have a powerful effect on operational efficiency. By using digital tools, companies can unite disparate data from across the organisation and provide a 360 view of the customer for all team members. Additionally, digitisation creates a 24/7 office, accessible from anywhere and at any time. 

  • Productivity: Automating low-value repetitive tasks can free your reps to focus on more important work. And in an age when new challenges are constantly emerging, the need for agility and diverse skillsets is evident. Digital platforms can be leveraged to skill up the workforce quickly and easily over coffee breaks or commutes.

  • Profitability: Digital solutions can cut operating costs and enable businesses to better connect with their customers. By leveraging Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems, companies can better identify cross-selling and upselling opportunities and deliver exceptional experiences that drive loyalty. 

 

Six tips for digitising your small business

The power of digitisation can provide immediate benefits and offer businesses the flexibility needed to face an unpredictable future. But every Digital Transformation (DX) is unique, and every DX strategy will be different. With this in mind, here are a few tips for getting the most out of digitisation.

  1. Know your direction: Digitisation is a powerful engine, but you’ll need a map to get where you want to go. Figure out exactly your business’s pain points, and then see how digitisation can help address them. What does the ideal version of your business look like? How can digitisation help you get there?

  2. Get in the cloud: To maximise the flexibility that digital solutions provide, you’ll likely want to look for cloud-based tools. Not only will cloud-based solutions cut the costs of having to maintain an IT infrastructure, but they’ll also keep your workforce connected and engaged, wherever they may be.

  3. Get the stakeholders on board: Digitisation is not a replacement for the workforce; it’s a way to empower them. Getting the whole team on board can be difficult if people are worried about being automated out of a job. Ensure that the team feels valued, has a say in the process, and is part of any DX strategy.

  4. Assign roles: In line with the above, be sure to include stakeholders in the DX process. It may be helpful to assign them specific functions based on their feedback and skills. Not only will this help create loyalty, but it can also help develop new skillsets.

  5. Pick the right partner: When choosing an external partner to help implement a DX strategy, look beyond those who are just providers of technologies. Instead, search for a strategic partner who can help identify your unique business requirements and offer the right solutions for your specific needs. 

  6. Reimagine everything: Many businesses turn to digitisation to do what they’re already doing, just more efficiently. And increasing efficiency and productivity are certainly powerful benefits. But think about other ways that digitisation can turbocharge your business. From improving sales and marketing to creating entirely new business models and seizing new opportunities, digitisation can help companies to transform.

 

The digital future is already here

Salesforce’s State of the Connected Customer report reveals that nearly 90% of business leaders expect companies to accelerate their digital initiatives in the wake of COVID-19. And in a world where seamless digital experiences have become standard, it’s clear that there’s no going back to the old world.

Businesses that aren’t using digitisation to empower the workforce are stuck in a slower, less productive, less-connected world. And companies that aren’t using CRM systems to provide more personal and relevant communications are no longer meeting the new standards of engagement expected by today’s customers. For these businesses, the time to transform is now.

To see which CRM system is right for your business, check out Your Complete CRM Handbook.