Man at window, title: digital transformation

We continue our topic Digital Transformation and Sales Performance Management. in this part of our interview series, our expert Mario Pufahl, CSO at ec4u, talks about the role of employees when it comes to the digital transformation. 

„Our methodology for a digital transformation is minimally invasive.“

The transcript of the interview part „digital Transformation part 2“:

Do employees need to adapt to digitization?

Not just employees need to adapt to digitization but also the managers. ec4u is a good example: we as a company are standing for digital transformation. When I go to a customer, I cannot bring my writing pad with me. I obviously have to bring a digital tool with me to make notes showing that I know what I am talking about when I talk about digital transformation. This also applies for my colleagues. Consider what your own company stands for. Every company has its own DNA and if this DNA contains digitization, you need to consider what you communicate to your customers:

  • How digital are you and how digital does the customer think you are?
  • How can you help individual employees, who are not digital? This also applies for managers.

A three-step methodology for change management

We have developed a methodology for this kind of „change management“. If a company wants to digitalize its processes, the sales unit shouldn’t be forced to shut down until everything is set. The performance must not decrease.
Our methodology has similarities to a knee surgery: in the past, you went to the hospital for the surgery for at least two weeks and afterwards you needed a four to six week-long rehab. Today, this is not possible anymore.
Nowadays, you work on an important topic and practice it. Ask yourself: does it also work in everyday life? You take the resulting feedback and continue practicing with a new topic. That is how the transformation is implemented without losing flexibility.

The first phase (“scan”) of our “Fast-Track”-methodology entails identifying knowledge and experts amongst your employees.
In the second phase (“focus”), you need to watch the behavior of your employees and consider how you can change it if it needs to be changed.
The third phase (“act”) is about that change. The aim is to not only inform your employees but also change their behavior regarding digital transformation, so that they also start to think digitally.
If a customer is using an app, then the employee should know this app and ideally use it himself. Because if the employee knows the apps and solutions, the customers use, he can be so much more convincing, talking about weak points, advantages and solutions.

Is it possible for a customer to send you a fax despite the digitization?

If a customer wants to send me a fax, he is very welcome to do so. A colleague of mine, Reinhard Janning, has written the book “Customers call all the shots“ and I think the title says it all.
I cannot dictate the way of communication because the customer is very important to the company and its employees. If a customer prefers sending a fax, then he can send me a fax. And if he wants a fax in return, I will send him a fax in return.
Even if this is not my ideal approach or channel, the customer is king in this case. If, for example, 80% of my customers want a fax, we as a company need to reconsider how we make it efficient to satisfy the customers‘ wishes and simultaneously keep our processes and costs lean.

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