The 4 Pillars for Digital Transformation Success – Digital Leadership Associates

I’ve just seen a Tweet from Tiffani Bova, below, where she talks about some MITSloan research where she mentions the 4 pillars of digital innovation success, which are:

  1. Employee experience
  2. Customer experience
  3. Finance
  4. New operation models

What I found interesting about this, is that there is one thing that binds these all together that could give your business a “quick win” and demonstrable ROI as part of your Digital Transformation. What is this? Social Media!

How is this you may ask?

Social media is now used throughout the organisation, tactically I admit, but here’s a thing. If we took all of those silos and made then strategic, this could have a massive impact.

I’m defining “massive impact” as incremental (new) revenue impact of 30% as well as being able to take market share from your competitors. I will return to this. Let’s re-look at social media and how we can create a “massive impact”.

Social Media is now used by Finance, Procurement, Supply Chain, Human Resources, Internal communications, Marketing and Sales, I could go on.

For example, in terms of internal communications, companies are now running more and more on social, rather than email.People understand that the short messages, collaboration and working in groups and teams, that social media is far better for this than email.Here we are talking about products like Slack (which we use), Yammer, Chatter, Glip and Oracle Social Network.

McKinsey research, which you can read here, states that using an internal social network can increase the efficiency of works by 20% – 25%.For a company of 1,000 employees that is 200 – 250 employees for free!That is a massive cost benefit.

Using an internal social network also impacts on the employee experience, customer experience and finance, as well as providing you withe infrastructure to support new operating models.

Here at DLA and my previous company, we run and ran the business on social and it made a number of business impacts:

  • Returners were able to contribute faster.
  • New starters were able to contribute faster.
  • Our sales forecast was 95% accurate.
  • Reduction in the time needed for meetings.
  • Business operations responses were provided and shared in a timely manner.
  • We had visibility of the prospecting process, seeing who was prospecting and who wasn’t.
  • Support of the merger of sales and marketing and support of ABM (Account Based Marketing) strategy
  • etc…

The nature of social is that internally it can impact all departments and allows employees, customers and partners (our Slack is used by our partners) to collaborate in real time.

Let’s look at each of these pillars one by one.

If we look at employee experience with social right now, it is probably used in Recruitment, either advertising job ads on a job site, LinkedIn or Twitter or monitoring Glassdoor.

How can the employee experience be transformed with the use of internal social?

If we look at a company today the only real differentiator is it’s people. Most products are pretty much the same as the competition and corporate marketing usually does not differentiate, in fact corporate marketing usually says the same as everybody else. We are number one, we are the best, we are market leader. The companies secret sauce is it’s people.

Just by empowering them to talk about the companies products and services and how great the company this. This authentic blogging will be shared and amplified by friends, until your company is the best place to work. Look at Google, Apple and Facebook, everybody wants to work there and they won’t ask how many days holiday there is, as everybody wants to be a Google, facebook or Apple employee.

Social can also help companies become the employer of choice by activating the employees to talk about how brilliant the company is, better still “externalising the culture” of the business.

As discussed above, internal social networks can support Finance, Order to cash, Procurement and Order to Invoice processes. Social is ideal for collaboration with partners, suppliers and customers. Speeding payments both into the company and leaving the company. If you think about the CPQ process (configure, price and quote) there is usually a collaborative process going on between Sales, Commercial and Finance, which can be speed up, as well as being made more accurate through the use of social.

Social will also support the business operation model, but in fact provide both an agile and flexible operating model rather than the rigid models in the past. Teams, not necessarily from the same department or same company can be spun up quickly. This enables companies to flex to meet the challenges of digital disruption and disrupters.

At my last company at the end of the quarter sales people had to submit closing plans on deals that were forecast to close that quarter. When this was done on email, there was a backwards and forwards as comments were made and closing plans were updated. This was done on a “copy all” email. It would clog up the email and to be honest, nobody looked at the plans. As soon as we put this on social, it saved business operations 25% of their time that week. Allowing them to focus on actual closing business.

Social is used in Marketing, Sales and Customer Service today usually in silos and usually tactically. Social is used in Marketing and Sales to build relationships with prospects and customers, to share with these prospects and customers, insightful and educational content and for these prospects and customers to see that the business has experts that can solve the buyers problems.

We all know, (as we all do it), we go on-line and do research before we buy any product or service and that content will help buyers make the choice for your product or service.

Methodologies like social selling are seeing incremental (new) revenue growth of 20 – 30%, which in the current times of failing marketing practices and failing legacy sales programs, is transformational. And certainly worth a punt!

Customer Experience also supports the need for being a channel should something go wrong. Customers can use social media to complain and up until today, this has been a tactical use of social media, trying to brush the problems “under the carpet” rather than seeing it as a Research and Development (R&D) as well as an opportunity to engage with prospects and customers.

HTC for example, ran an advert which was a disaster, people went on-line to vent their anger and many people said they would walk away from HTC. HTC ran a program reaching out to these people and the response to the people, had to use the letters, H, T and C. Many of the disgruntled customers saw the funny side and were turned around.

New Operation Models

In the past, a company would purchase an “operating model” from a big 4 consultancy and it was like pouring concrete into a mould. Once it was set, you couldn’t change it. Since Lehman’s went down and with the introduction of the internet, companies need to break away from rigid operating models and implement, flexible and agile processes. Social media is an excellent way to support this new agile way of working.

Finally I said I would come back to sales and marketing, and while we have shared a typical ROI above, with those sort of figures we are seeing that a transition to social is in fact self-financing. Where the revenue gained, is re-invested in the project to support the role out.

Business Case

There is a clear business case for taking social strategic, with incremental revenue gains of 20 – 30% as well as employee efficiency gains of 20 – 25%. Add to that all the other gains, like getting new starters contributing quicker, new sales people contributing quicker, accelerating the pipeline, reducing the time in meetings, have an accurate sales forecast, etc.

Getting Started

To get started, there has to be a clear sense of direction given by the Board (C-Suite), Digital Leadership Associates (DLA) can support this by running workshop with the C-Suite to enable them to understand the business case and strategic imperative of social media. This isn’t teaching the CEO Twitter, this is a strategy workshop, with activities where the management team come up with a road map, social mission statement, as well as a strategic appreciation for the opportunities of a social transformation.

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