I won’t sugarcoat it: we are living in one of the most disruptive business environments in human history. Across every industry, supply chains, customer journeys, and sales models are rife with challenges and organizations are scrambling to find new ways to drive business.
At the same time, this new world offers up its own set of opportunities. Constraint breeds creativity, and even though we’ve been painfully thrust headlong into a seemingly digital-only society, I believe that our struggles and experiences today will set the foundation for the businesses of tomorrow.
What we are seeing
The past four weeks in the US have been tumultuous. But, as a global company, Capgemini has for months been on the front lines enabling clients to respond to this new reality. Across our APAC and European clients, we’ve identified trends and imparted strategies that have helped them weather the storm.
From years to weeks. The largest disruptor we’ve seen is roadmap compression. Establishing customer-centric direct-to-consumer (D2C) experiences has long been an aspirational priority for organizations but, in this changed world, these business models are now a vital need. And when timelines and iterations shrink from years to weeks, new challenges arise.
The entire buyer journey has changed in the blink of an eye. Buyers are now working remotely, relying on digital experiences to facilitate previously face-to-face interactions. Field sales teams now have to get creative in finding ways to remain connected to customers whose budgets and plans have completely shifted. Naturally, being able to go D2C addresses many of these challenges but cutting corners to rapidly roll something out creates more issues than there were in the first place.
Out of the field. Beyond the acceleration of D2C strategies, today’s disruptive environment has wreaked havoc on traditional sales models. Through all the twists and turns, the field sales expert always had a place at the table. Now, the field hasn’t just changed: it’s completely vanished.
We’ve seen content, marketing, and inside sales teams try to pick up the slack, but these groups and systems were never engineered to do so. Without the field sales agent earning face time and building relationships, organizations are scrambling to fill the void, and doing so mostly unsuccessfully.
The organizations that have been able to react and pivot in the face of disruption have one thing in common: they have invested heavily in data strategy, infrastructure, and organization. They are able to leverage customer data in myriad ways to offer relevant interactions and service-oriented experiences (subscriptions, for example) to keep business flowing even without the use of their field sales teams.
So, what is Capgemini’s solution? How can we come in and fix this? Truthfully, we don’t exactly have a solution. There is no magic wand, accelerator, or packaged-service offering for addressing today’s unprecedented and chaotic business environment. Telling you that there is a simple solution or a quick fix would be an outright lie.
What we are doing, though, is reinforcing our core identity and doubling down on the way we approach our tailored solutions for each of our clients. We look at issues from the outside in – starting with your end customer and analyzing your business from their perspective – and we believe approaching today’s immense challenges this way will drive more value than ever.
We also are firm believers that collaboration and cooperation are the clearest path to value. In these trying times, we are establishing a series of workshops, bringing our most experienced experts, clients, and industry leaders together to share ideas and find a way through. Your business is unique. Your challenges are unique. And therefore, your solutions need to be unique.
If you have any questions at all, please don’t hesitate to reach out and get in touch. We’d love to hear your story, understand your business, and share what we’re seeing to help you find a path forward.
David Harrelson has over 25 years of business development, executive management and digital consulting experience within high-growth organizations covering a unique mix of software sales, digital strategy, creative design and digital technology enablement in both domestic and international markets.