You have changed. I have changed. Buyers have changed. 74% of today’s B2B buyers conduct more than half of their research online before making a purchase, and Forrester predicts that 12% of all B2B sales in the US will take place online by 2020.
That's the reality of living in the digital economy.
When was the last time you made a big decision without going online first to research? How often are you on your mobile every day? Checking Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn?
Even if we deny that things around us are not being impacted digitally, that's not stopping this reality from progressing fast. There is a ton of opportunity but of course change brings challenges. Society, businesses, and individuals are experiencing things constantly that we haven't before.
Do you have all the answers on how to create effective digital business models? Does anyone?
It's a continuous journey, we are all doing our best to figure it out.
Don't Fear Change
It's tempting to ignore change and focus on what's worked for you and your business in the past. You may have noticed your efforts are not delivering results like they used to. Yet many are just trying to do more of the same - do you really think that will fix the problem?
I'm not saying it's easy to do your best to keep up and continuously learn. I'm consistently learning new things every day, failing, and then mixing it up again. I believe continuous learning is not only required, but more fulfilling than ignoring what's going on. Take one step at a time to learn how leading companies are shifting to better serve their markets and grow with digitally driven, customer-centric focus.
Ask your clients, colleagues, friends, family and mentors how they learn - then find what works for you because we all learn differently. For example, how often do you read? Do you receive personalized insight from tools like feedly?
Commercial Strategy is Evolving
At Sales for Life, we're privileged to collaborate with B2B leaders in Sales, Marketing, and Enablement every day. From massive global players to emerging start ups, it's clear that commercial strategy is evolving. The customer has more power than the company they buy their products and services from.
Buyers determine your fate so let's help them grow their business and succeed, not push a self-serving agenda. It's a great time (and necessary) to work together on breaking down age old sales and marketing silos, mapping out how your buyers invest in your solutions, and building educational content to support their journey.
If your business model is not bringing value to the customer from their point of view, then in my opinion it's not a business model – it's simply a spending spree doomed to go broke. Let's create value for the customer, first, and always.
Are You a Change Agent for Continuous Learning in your Organization?
You may have noticed internally at your organization there are people that continuously learn and those who don't. It's a cultural shift to embed this type of learning focus.
I was recently collaborating with a Commercial Leader from a global, leading tech company. She was a lifelong learner and it really showed in the way she listened, discussed new ideas, and in how she empowered her team. We had a chat about how she approached learning and what she believed it took to be successful in today's world. She summarized her beliefs:
"If we are not continuously learning, then who is? How will we innovate, break down silos, and grow as people? Ongoing learning directly relates to my team's commercial success - year after year my top performers read the most, collaborate the most, and constantly challenge the status quo."
What wise words she shared – learning is bigger than you and I, it's critical for humanity's growth and survival.
The shifts that are taking place in business are tough. Economic pressures alongside the educated mindsets of customers are causing a lot of changes in how we serve them. If value is perceived and delivered, then the economic impact can become sustainable.
Both internally and externally, continuous learning is more important than ever. Based on the speed of change, I think working in and on your business requires structured discipline.
Have you ever noticed you come up with great ideas when away from the office or hanging out with friends and family? Bill Gates made a point of 'think weeks.' I believe we can all benefit from making time for thinking and learning as a priority to put things into perspective, and if it's not a week, a couple days is also doable.
Temptation For The Easy Way Out
It's an exciting time to be in business and to be living in this dynamic, digital world. The temptation for the easy way out won't go away. If we keep a positive mindset, continuously learn, and collaborate across cultures, industries, with colleagues and clients, and in our personal experiences – we can build game changing opportunity together.
It's going to be hard work, we will stumble. This never ending learning journey will enable us to grow as people, society, and in business. Let's enjoy the ride and learn together.
Where do you think business is headed? Let's connect to share ideas.