Re-engineering the go to market engine around the customer

We previously discussed the three key stages on our digital go to market transformation roadmap, detailing what you need to do and in what order. In this new blog series, we’ll explore each of these stages in greater detail, starting with how to operationally reorganise your business around the customer.

While every organisation’s journey is unique, there are 3 broad stages that businesses typically navigate on the pathway to transforming marketing and sales around today’s digitally-empowered customer.

The first stage ‘Operationally Pivot to Customer’ is critical because it sets the foundation and impetus for future transformation activities, but how do you actually get moving? In this blog series, we will explore the 6 key steps involved in this stage, providing some practical tips for accelerating progress.

Today’s post will explore the first of these steps:

Step 1 - Securing Executive Sponsorship and Educating the Business

Most business leaders fully comprehend the imperative and benefits of becoming more customer-centric. The key challenge however, is working out how to fundamentally change the business, while balancing this with actually running the business for today and delivering near-term numbers.

Of course, on top of this is the significant challenge of taking the business on the transformation journey. Often, many employees have not yet felt ‘the pinch’ of the new buying environment, so are not completely convinced of the imperative for change. Given the nature of the shifts required, the business will have to transform deeper and further than it ever has before. As a result - all leaders, staff and stakeholders will need to be behind the change in order to gain traction. Securing executive sponsorship, as well as gaining buy-in from the wider business, will be instrumental in successfully transforming the go-to-market approach.

The following are 3 key tips which we believe make an instrumental difference in achieving this:

Clearly Communicate the ‘Why’ and ‘How’

With transformation fundamentally disrupting many across the business, it is crucial to communicate a compelling rationale for change. What are the internal and external catalysts? What will be the upside opportunities behind successfully embedding this change? And the downside risks if we don’t? ‘Scar tissue’ over long and painful transformation programs is common, so plan your transformation in stages. Ensure that people understand what the blueprint will look like, as well as what benefits will be sequentially unlocked along the way.

Leverage Pilots to Expedite Change

One of the best ways to speed up change is by running short pilots with clearly defined business goals and commercial outcomes. This enables the business to test and evolve new ways of working into business-as-usual operations, effectively building buy-in along the way and de-risking larger transformation decisions. Aligning the leadership team behind a commercially robust pilot is a much easier sell than a far reaching and expensive business-wide transformation agenda.

Over-achieve On Sales Engagement

Educating people across the business and bringing them on board will be a significant hurdle to overcome, particularly with traditionally sales-driven business lines. With most salespeople typically feeling a deep sense of ownership of the customer relationship, the introduction of digital channels can often be perceived as threatening. Drawing out these concerns early, articulating a clear vision of the brighter future digital can bring to all, as well as leveraging your pilot agenda to show them the value – will all be key to getting sales behind the transformation agenda.

What’s Next?

While sponsorship and buy-in will determine a key part of the likelihood and rate of success, this is only the first step. The next step on the pathway to genuine customer-centricity is realising that you cannot be relevant to everyone, all the time. Too many broad market segments will quickly evolve into too many customer types, personas, value propositions and too much content being required to generate scale. Our next post will explore how tighter segmentation and customer understanding will set-up the business to be more relevant and customer-centric.

Worded by Chris Horn