The Covid-19 pandemic changed the reality for companies around the world. Many had to adapt and completely alter the way they operated. Some failed to do so—and paid the price. In a world where we couldn’t meet in person, we had to rely on our digital connections to do business.
While some companies were crippled, others found new ways of working and even thrived. They adopted digital technologies to do so, and this is the new norm for how many organizations must operate. We can’t go back. Moving forward, companies must be nimble, willing to change and adopt new digital tech.
Technology and innovation reports by Bain, Deloitte and other consulting giants all point to the same thing: Those who choose to digitize their operations come out ahead of the competition. First, we saw it with consumer goods. The e-commerce landscape has completely changed over the past 5-6 years, and now, business to business (B2B) is next.
B2B leaders must consider changing the way they sell, the way they communicate and the way they operate. And they must do so quickly or be left standing last in line.
Not only must companies find ways to do business in this digital format, but they must also do it better than previously. Buyers are getting increasingly sophisticated. They know what they want and expect to have more and better customization, much more so than we have been used to in the past.
As if this wasn’t enough, sustainability and transparency have become major topics in terms of employer branding concerns. Businesses that wish to attract and keep specialized talent must aim to meet their employees’ standards when it comes to environmental ideals. Digitizing aspects of operations is a great way to achieve sustainability targets, and the right online communications are vital when it comes to conveying transparency in these matters, which is crucial, both internally and externally.
The demands of modern organizations are many, but few are as important for long-term growth as digital flexibility. Leaders of today not only need to be open to digitalization but also need to embrace the change that comes with it.
As an obvious example, business travel used to be the main way for B2B companies to expand and grow, but a company relying on these efforts today could be hard-pressed to find success. It goes without saying that a company that sends out its sales force on physical crusades can lose both speed and efficiency in comparison with competitors who meet the customer digitally. I believe that the companies that can offer a professional, digital sales experience will likely win the war against those who continue to fly between New York and Los Angeles for meetings.
To digitize or die might sound harsh, but it is nevertheless our reality. But with that said, how can leaders get used to the change that’s needed? Is there a way to fast digitalization, especially since the distance between doing nothing and doing something often feels incredibly wide at first?
Well, you’re in luck. There is one trick to managing change: Start small.
Take one small step to get going. Many wait for the right time or the perfect moment to initiate change. And some never will. If you start by taking one small step, half the battle is won. Then, just keep going.