Three questions to gauge the digital maturity of your business

I’ve spent my career helping startups to Fortune 100 brands reimagine how digital can meaningfully advance their business. During that time, I’ve worked with a myriad of companies at various stages of their own digital journey. 

Unfortunately, the vast majority of companies are still deploying digital in a largely gratuitous manner. That’s terribly unfortunate as the opportunities are much, much bigger.

With that in mind, here are three questions designed to help you diagnose the impact of digital on your business:

Can you correlate revenue back to digital?

Some suggest it’s impossible to measure the ROI of digital.  That’s simply not true.

The modern consumer has changed. They buy differently thanks to the advent of digital. They have unprecedented access to information and are more empowered as consumers. 

Unfortunately, most sales organizations are still wired around yesterday’s buying behaviors. And while the ‘HOW’ of selling hasn’t changed, some of the finer details have. Solving for this can be as simple as taking a fresh look at the buying behaviors of your target and working with your sales team to help them engage prospects in a value-add manner on their channels of preference.

Proof point: A three month social selling pilot for a global B2B technology company yielded a 180% increase in sales. Today that company has over a dozen salespeople exclusively focused on digital channels.

Do you leverage digital insights (from customers, prospects, etc;) to inform business strategy?

Your customers are talking about you and your competitors each and everyday online. They’re telling you exactly what they like and dislike about your business and your category. Are these insights being mined? Are they landing on your desk? Are they informing business strategy?

More often than not, no. And while many modern businesses tout some form of a digital insight competency, they’re often focused on things like top performing Facebook posts or similar. While such data is indeed important, it pales in comparison to understanding the biggest customer pain point for a particular product and feeding that back to the product team (as example).

Proof point: A global B2C technology provider used such insights to determine they were plugged into only 30% of the post-sale conversation about their product. By focusing solely on the digital platforms they controlled, they were missing the lion’s share of actionable insights.

Are you leveraging digital internally to motivate and empower the workforce?

All too often we think about the external digital opportunity within considering how we might use it to improve internal communications, employee satisfaction, overall productivity and so much more.

The easiest diagnostic here is to look at how information flows within your business. Are employees engaged in the broader company mission? Are they able to shape and contribute to it based on their respective areas of expertise? Is the process of expertise location and knowledge sharing frictionless or wrought with obstacles?

Proof point: The implementation of an enterprise knowledge management system for a global technology provider with 35k employees yielded $40M in cost avoidance in three years and resulted in a 5% drop in employee attrition. 

 

Admittedly these are exemplary questions in the grand scheme of things, but they do poke at some of the core opportunity areas that continue to go untapped by most businesses.

How’d you do? Is digital being meaningfully leveraged within your business or does some of this feel more aspirational? Are there other key questions you feel should be included to gauge overall digital maturity?