Selling the Digital Transformation


Author: Mark Savinson

It's not about the technology, it's about the journey and the outcome, says Mark Savinson.


In a recent episode of The McKinsey Podcast, named ‘Digital Transformation on the CEO Agenda’, there are a few aspects all sales executives, managers and leaders should listen out for if they do, in fact, wish to sell digital transformation.

  • Rodney Zemmel (Senior Partner) says, “The point of digital transformation isn't to become digital. It's actually to generate value for the business” and goes on to highlight that, if you want to be transformational, any digital transformation should give a total economic impact of greater than 15 to 20% of overall EBITDA.
  • To achieve this, Mr Zemmel says you must consider building a new, digital business as well as transforming current business. One must “focus on a particular area” as opposed to sprinkling a little bit of digital across the business, he added/
  • Discussing metrics, Kate Smaje (Senior Partner) said there “should be a set of outcomes across the business” that you're driving to – regarding operational or financial metrics.
So, why are these three points so important to anyone selling the components of digital transformation? The answer appears clear… It is not all about the technology. It is about the business value and outcome the technology enables. Yes, the quality and effectiveness of your technology is part of the equation, but the buying decision will be about the journey and outcome digital transformation delivers. That goes well beyond providing new technology.

I would argue that, to be successful, salespeople need to start a discussion with CEOs about why a digital transformation is needed and what business value it can deliver. This should set the scene before we discuss what the digital transformation needs to look like, as it must be linked to why your customer should do it in the first place. Failing to do this results in a ‘build and they will come’ strategy – something we’ve all seen fail in the past.

Once we have helped the CEO and their digital transformation strategy and helped stakeholders define why they are changing the outcomes they want to achieve and what a solution may look like, we can then discuss why they should choose you to deliver that transformation. By the way, to deliver the desired transformation solution, maybe we should focus as much on the people and associated changes they will face as we do the technology and what that will deliver!

Let's stop talking about the technology and let's start focusing on the business outcomes we can deliver. Our buyers want help, so let's start helping them uncover the business outcomes they can achieve.

If you want to understand more about how you can enable your sales team to “sell with a buyer’s perspective”, contact us.

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