Last week I wrote about my top take-way from the US Gartner Symposium event. My talks with CRM leaders revealed a persistent interest in technologies and processes that will help them to digitalize their sales processes. Commonly, IT leaders frame this as a digital transformation request.
The use of the term “digital transformation” in this context is fine, but it does differ significantly from Gartner’s terminology. At Gartner, we use the term digital transformation to refer to the process by which companies combine new digital technologies, new business models, and new revenue streams to create entirely new digital products for their external customers.
If IT leaders aim at applying new digital technologies to change/update/transform their internal processes, like sales execution, then they engage in digital optimization.
For sales processes, digital optimization can take a lot of different forms. Certainly, artificial intelligence tools that guide sellers about what to do next with a deal or what to do with a prospect fit into this category. And so do dynamic pricing systems. And so do salesbots. But tools that don’t rely as heavily on algorithms are just as relevant here. To some Gartner clients, digitalization is more basic. They simply want tools that reduce manual data entry, making it easy for sellers to record, in the SFA system, what actions they’ve taken with prospects and what they plan to do next.
I applaud these efforts, both big and small. And I credit the significant number of companies that are pushing these initiatives into their CRM Sales technology roadmaps.
So, yes digital transformation of sales processes is a real thing. No matter what it is called, it is a trend that is gaining traction and relevance.
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