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How IT and sales can work together to drive growth, innovation and improve stakeholder experience

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According to the latest research by Argyle and Salesforce, IT no longer just keeps systems up and running. Today’s IT leaders must be much more strategic in driving business growth. The most influential action that a CIO can drive is to work with other business units to further enhance the experience of stakeholders such as customers, employees, partners and communities. The sales team is the first choice for cutting-edge tools, including artificial intelligence, and is more motivated to transform technology than ever before. Studies support this:

According to IT leaders, the CEO’s top priority for IT is the same as before COVID-19. According to IDG, it will lead the Digital Business / Digital Transformation initiative. According to Gartner, nearly 67% of the sales team has been completed, is in progress, or Forrester is planning a sales transformation to further evolve its capabilities. Almost half (46%) of companies say marketing and sales are primarily areas of investment in AI adoption systems.

IT and sales need to work together to drive growth, innovation, and a better stakeholder experience

According to the survey, “When digital transformation becomes a reality, IT leaders and sales leaders need to agree on a unified goal for digital transformation across the business and the next steps to reach it. This means the following basic understanding: Next Steps:

Why teams need a shared definition of digital transformation Why it’s important for IT and sales to work together How to promote better IT and sales partnerships Shared understanding of digital transformation

The definition of digital transformation is as follows: “Digital transformation is the use of new technologies and services to evolve business models, sales strategies, marketing practices, product offerings, and the entire organization.”

Global spending on digital transformation is projected to reach $ 2.3 trillion in 2023, according to a new study by International Data Corp. (IDC). According to Deloitte, just over half (55%) of CIOs are currently acting as trusted operators in their business. Here are some survey data points to consider from the Salesforce state of the Connected Customer Report:

Eighty-four percent of customers say that the experience a company provides is as important as a product or service. 73% of customers say that one special experience raises expectations for other companies.

The success of digital transformation benefits both departments and customers. The future of autonomous enterprises is based on the single source of truth shared throughout the business. MuleSoft’s latest research identifies eight trends that will shape digital transformation in 2021. The use of data analytics is one of the key trends.

Why collaboration with IT and sales is important

As an IT leader, you and your team are focused on building the best technology stack possible. A colleague in the sales department wants to close a deal. Great technology and closing deals have one thing in common. It’s an improvement in the customer experience. Get out of the IT silo and work with your sales force to build a great customer experience together.

According to Salesforce 2020 sales reports, sales reps are using automation and AI to optimize their processes. As technologies like artificial intelligence mature, sales reps are finding some relief in the form of automation that helps them spend more time on actual sales activities. Sales and use of AI has increased significantly over the last two years. AI is rapidly being adopted in sales activities. AI isn’t as popular in sales as marketing (used by 84%) yet (used by 84%), but adoption in sales has skyrocketed in recent years-21% in 2018. It was AI in 2020. Therefore, the growth of AI in sales is an extension of human capabilities, not a replacement, as salespeople are tasked with more complex tasks.

High-performing sales reps are using additional data sources to gain better customer insights. Sales reps greedily devour information from many sources so they can understand and advise their customers. Eighty-eight percent of people say it’s important to anticipate customer needs in the current economic climate. Customer insights include customer communication history, customer purchase history, competitor insights, and customer staff changes. Sales teams rely on the use of technology and access to data to make faster, more informed decisions.

“Transformation happens when leaders stop focusing internally on technology, products, departments, or systems. –Salesforce President and Chief Operating Officer Bret Taylor.

The common goal of IT and sales is to improve the customer experience

Sales jobs are expanding and more strategic. From training to technology to performance analysis, the sales department has recently been wearing a variety of hats. Colleagues recognize their significant contribution to both keeping the lights on and developing strategies for growth. 89% of sales reps say that sales activities play an important role in the growth of the business. The better your IT support, the more likely your sales activities will bring strategic value to your business.

How to Build Better Partnerships with IT and Sales

According to McKinsey’s research, digital transformation is not always successful. Think about it:

Less than 30% of digital transformation initiatives have been successful, and only 16% of respondents say that digital transformation of their business is helping them improve performance and sustain change over the long term. Sustained.

Digital transformation is difficult. You need a team approach to succeed. The CIO playbook says, “As an IT leader, you need to use this time to understand the sales process. Understand where your team is hitting obstacles. Where customer dissatisfaction is blocking sales. Identifies. ”According to the survey, the six items that should be included in the IT and Sales Collaboration Checklist are:

Evaluate the current process. What are the manually performed sales tasks that can be automated? What is your sales team spending valuable time on non-sales activities? Discuss with sales reps as well as sales leaders to understand how digital transformation affects sales. Speak the same language. Each team has its own shorthand. Reduce the technical talk and explain the solution in simple words. Ask follow-up questions if you use words that your sales leaders don’t understand or refer to your customer experience. Curiosity is a sign of a great leader. Work on the data. Data drives sales. How can IT provide easier access to real-time information for sale? Where are the obstacles? How can a data silo be disassembled? Technology creates the breadth and scale that IT teams need to make customer centricity part of the company’s DNA. Therefore, prioritize data democratization to improve the employee and customer experience. Establish a meeting schedule. How long do teams meet often? Who should be included? Digital transformation will be an ongoing initiative rather than a short-term project, so make sure you have the right leaders in your room working to build a cross-functional collaboration muscle. .. Absorb feedback and implement. If the sales team says the solution doesn’t work, listen. Be prepared to suggest alternatives. Similarly, explain why you are proposing solutions and give an overview of the features that support them. Communicate clearly. Agree on what success looks like. The team coordinates the integrated success benchmark between the team and sales to perform the measurement method. Establish shared metrics, goals, and KPIs and how often they are tracked. It outlines the process for adjusting as needed and reviewing the project as needed.

Sales leaders focus on skill re-learning and training to accommodate accelerating technology and digital transformation. The study concludes that “successful companies recognize the importance of strong IT and sales partnerships.”

According to a Salesforce survey, sales leaders are accelerating their digital transformation plans since 2019. Many leaders admit that they are not ready to fully map the changing priorities of their major businesses. For example, only 26% feel they can fully adapt their team culture, and 28% say the same about staff skills. 77% of sales leaders say digital transformation has accelerated since 2019. 66% of sales leaders are also focused on improving the skills of their existing employees. 63% of sales reps are confident in their ability to train / skill up their reps. This is the key to getting the most out of new technologies such as AI. Without a partnership with IT, sales cannot accelerate digital transformation. Successful CIOs must recognize that improving sales execution leads to growth, profitability, and most importantly, a better stakeholder (employee, customer, and partner) experience. not.

Learn more about how IT and sales can work together to drive, grow, innovate, and improve the stakeholder experience.

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