A Business Services Company Moves to Become an Agile Digital Player

Sweeping transformations invite the invasion of startups, which have the advantage of working with a clean slate. But for companies with lingering legacies, the best approach is to try to gain the agility of a startup.

Such was the challenge for an established provider of business services to organizations around the world. Faced with the pressing need to go digital, the decentralized enterprise has centralized its digital technology development (of web, mobile, tablet, and digital products).

The changeover yielded the same benefit for both the company and its customers: greater access to information. By analyzing the incoming torrent of information, the company has identified new revenue streams. Today, customers who use the web collect 60% of the information they need about the company before they talk to a salesperson. As a result, the company has been able to shift many field sales roles to telemarketing, accelerating the sales cycle and reducing the cost of sales. A telephone sales person typically entails a third of the cost of a field salesperson and souped-up online customer
service has increased the level of customer satisfaction.

While determining an exact ROI on its digital initiatives is challenging, one executive points to the payback resulting from “savings from existing product development budgets” as the company reallocates spending from aging systems to newer digital platforms. Making the transformation is demanding, requiring “a concerted effort,” says the executive. “The speed of competitors and reacting to online and digital marketing is increasingly important.”

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