There’s much discussion today on digital transformation and business process automation with the intention to help business leaders transform their businesses into competitive, efficient digital industry leaders. Top of mind for these business leaders is, “How do I navigate this ever-changing landscape when reaching for the goal of being an industry leader in this modern age of digital business transformation?”
A business process can be defined as a set path in driving sales and business opportunities, from client research to invoicing the client for services rendered. What are the business processes that organizations follow in a consistent manner to accomplish the sale? And are these processes evolving effectively through a business and technology strategy?
In Gartner’s “10 Business Cost Optimization Ideas,” former Vice President Distinguished Analyst John Roberts says, “The key to effective enterprise cost optimization is to have proactive processes in place as part of business and technology strategy development to continually explore new opportunities.”
We can improve business closing with proper business process strategies that help the sale conclude in our favor and serve our customers long after the sale. Areas for improvement, though not all-inclusive on digitally enabled business processes, may include:
- Engaging early – According to research from the CEB Market Insights Leadership Council in 2012, “The average customer had completed more than one-half (57%) of the purchase decision-making process prior to engaging a supplier sales rep directly. What’s more, customers have already defined their needs, researched solutions, settled requirements, and are starting to benchmark price.” Automating the engagement during client research is key in today’s selling environment. Know when your prospects are conducting research by monitoring landing pages, using customer relationship management to track and engage with these buyers early.
- Make it easy through self-service – Prospects and customers want as many self-service opportunities as possible. Today we’ve seen self-service engines that improve business processes increase in virtually every industry. These self-service engagements give the enterprise more opportunity to engage and serve these prospects and customers.
- Business process automation – Business leaders who think outside the normal box in their digital strategy will recognize when process automations are justified. Taking self-service to the next level is to initiate the internet of things (IoT) technology to assist in customer service and field service business processes. A proactive and predictive service model—rather than a “break, fix, call in and wait” model—is available to the business using IoT technology. With the inclusion of IoT and machine learning capabilities, enterprises are now capable and prepared for the service economy. This process automates business processes and allows customers to be served, even if the customers don’t know they need serving.
There are more areas where technology can assist today’s growing enterprises in being more efficient and customer-focused. When I have the opportunity to discuss business process improvement through technology with business leaders, a well-known saying is typically brought out: “But we have always done it this way.” In the adoption of technology-driven business processes, organizations don’t necessarily need to change the way they’ve always done it. Where paper processes were passed from desk to desk, using approval queue processes and tracking exactly where the team is in each step helps keep business flowing in a familiar way—not changing the process but improving through digital technology and automation where needed.
Business leaders who are truly leading the way in the digital era have adopted streamlined, thought-out processes that allow their businesses to win more and better serve their customers.
Contact Woody or your trusted BKD advisor if you have questions.