One of the hottest topics in recent months has been the impact of the accelerated digital transformation process on Business-to-Business (B2B). Companies want to anticipate B2B trends as they look ahead to 2022 and join the transition now in progress lest they fall behind.
What role does ISDI CRM play in the digital transformation process of a business model? What is the added value of your custom solutions for businesses when it comes to reorganising processes, aligning departments and integrating various tools and platforms? And once the training and tech partners have been chosen, where do you start if you want to succeed in responding to these changes?
Hyper-digitisation, B2B and pioneer communities
David Rodríguez San Agapito, Region Manager at ISDI CRM Worldwide and specialist in New Business development and in growing the Trailblazer community, reminded us during a recent chat how “in terms of digitisation, we have made a decade’s worth of progress in just eighteen months”. And how all this has led to a training boom within this segment. “Businesses need to optimise the use of tools to maximise their digital transformation. They cannot find profiles in the market and so need to train their own employees, which increases employer branding and talent retention at the company”.
The change has affected everything to do with automation, collaborative tools and CRM used to personalise the customer relationship and customer experience, in many cases by turning B2C tools into B2B ones. Within the B2B world, the volume of business per transaction has risen. In 2022, digital capabilities will become more embedded and cloud technologies even more dominant. According to a recent study released by IDC, only the Salesforce economy will be able to create 9.3 million jobs worldwide and 1.6 trillion dollars in new business revenues by 2026 surrounding the platform. The role of ISDI CRM is to enable its partners and clients to join this growing economy.
Don’t fear technology: you don’t need to be an expert, but you do need to know the possibilities it offers and how to use the tool best suited to your needs
“There are many innovative technologies that we have heard about but haven’t got around to using in our daily lives: artificial intelligence, predictive analytics, blockchain… we need to be ready for what lies ahead”, explains Rodríguez, “and training itself has also changed: it is now the teams themselves who are calling for online classes in a bid to become more efficient in their day-to-day work”. In this context, it is essential for employees to master the tools that their company already offers them and, at the same time, to embrace new tools for working in a fully digitalised environment.
The Salesforce economy: main profiles and entry points
There are major opportunities to be had around the world, and especially in Spain: “ISDI CRM was born to respond to that need for training and growth in the EMEA region and particularly across southern Europe. It aims to bridge the gap and meet the needs of companies that are acquiring Salesforce, with more than 200,000 clients worldwide, along with a wide range of cloud solutions for all industries and needs and along different verticals —Commerce, Marketing, Business and core CRM”.
According to Rodríguez, data and automation are the most sought-after team skills for those looking to join the cloud technology market and the digital transformation of companies. Technical profiles such as developers and architects are in very high demand. We then have the functional profiles more geared towards data and marketing automation. Profiles related to the user experience are also in high demand within the market. There is a common thread to all these profiles and that is technology. This does not mean that you absolutely have to be a technology expert. If you are a technician, ideally you should specialise in one or more specific technologies. And if you are not, then for your profile to be fully functional you must be able to understand and communicate with these specialised profiles.
When it comes to securing entry into the Salesforce economy, David Rodríguez signals three key areas of training: “If you have a business profile or are going to be running a Salesforce cloud from a cross-functional vantage point, or connecting clouds, your entry profile will be Admin or ADX201. If marketing is more your thing and you plan to be an end user, handling tools, building journeys and working with databases –Data Extensions in Marketing Cloud– you will need to do the MKT101. And if you are a developer, then to understand all the language surrounding Salesforce –namely Apex and Visualforce– you will want to get trained in DEX450”. Beyond that, there are specific courses in Pardot, Tableau, Commerce Cloud, and so forth.
Success stories for in-company digitisation
What defines a well-structured B2B digitalisation project today, with all the necessary elements for its proper development and ultimate success? “As with all in-company projects, it is essential for the management team to get involved. In transformational projects, the top-down has to be properly aligned so that everyone is absolutely clear about the objectives and aware of the work involved. It is often difficult to set aside five days for training in digital technologies”, remarks David Rodríguez, “yet those five days will translate into years of growth down the line. It is a long-term investment”.
A good prior analysis of the business and a clear set of objectives will help steer the process and help the professionals put into practice everything they have learned during their training. ISDI CRM is all about learning by doing, as this is what engages the teams: learning the technology from real use cases that can be applied to the business.
It is often difficult to set aside five days for training, yet those five days mean years of growth
ISDI CRM is adept at offering bespoke solutions for the digital transformation of businesses. Rodriguez highlights a number of outstanding success stories: “For some of our partners, we have already trained more than 50 trainees per project and have helped them to grow, both as a team and in their ability to serve their customers. In some cases, we have helped them achieve growth targets that will almost double their team and capabilities in just one year”.
“Another case in point would be that of a leading insurance firm. It presented a series of needs which we at ISDI CRM saw as an opportunity for them to embark on a project based on Salesforce. They have now implemented Service Cloud and Marketing Cloud, which work alongside the other systems that were already in place at the company. It is an inspiring case because it points directly to the need for organisations to unlock the true value of the tool and obtain a 360º, omni-channel view of their customers. It was a very satisfying project and it helped us, from a training standpoint, to give the teams a much clearer and more focused vision of each customer and show them the different channels through which their customers were communicating with the company”.
Technology partner and B2B training partner
ISDI CRM focuses on the training aspect of this profound change. It accompanies digitisation processes in coordination with another tech partner or supplier, while also supporting the process of implementing the tool within the organisation as it works alongside the company’s in-house teams.
Rodríguez San Agapito summarises this process: “In the preliminary inspirational sessions we aim to convey why the change that is going to happen is so important and why it is we are delivering the training. The training then focuses on hard skills, in which we go over the tool and explain where it can take them. From that point forwards, the teams will often become emboldened in spotting and communicating new needs and we can then propose ad hoc solutions for them.
“ISDI CRM is the only official training partner of Salesforce in Spain. We offer official training throughout the EMEA region. Our official training courses, which include open editions, are repeated every one to three months and are aimed at a maximum of 10 to 16 students, depending on the course. We also offer hands-on training courses, which are also open to everyone and are repeated throughout the year. This type of training goes beyond the scope of our official courses and responds to a specific need that we detect within the market. The aim is to recycle or refresh knowledge, with annual certification releases and regular updates. And this knowledge can be further enhanced by taking part in webinars, attending events, and so on. In the case of Salesforce, there is also training on how to unlock the full value of the community through Trailhead”, Rodriguez explains.
ISDI CRM: tailor-made training for a changing future
“We have master’s programmes known as Training Paths y Roadmaps, which go beyond a single platform”, says Rodríguez, who goes on to add that “aside from our open courses, ISDI CRM also offers private ad hoc training so that the transformation of each business becomes a new success story. These courses can be official, if the business wants to certify its teams, or otherwise hands-on, where we seek to help the business become more efficient in using the tool. We adapt to the existing level of implementation within the teams, which can range from “phase 0”, where they need to start using the tool and do it properly, to later stages of development, where we aim to make them more adept at using the tool and interconnect departments or teams that were not optimally aligned and develop a B2B business model”.
To summarise all that has been said, and as a message that can serve as both inspiration and advice and perhaps even mark the start of a journey, David Rodríguez San Agapito has the following words for B2B companies, organisations and business models that are now facing their digital transformation: “Don’t be afraid to meet technology head-on. You don’t need to be an expert, but you do need to know the possibilities it offers and how to use the tool best suited to your needs. Change waits for no-one and to take advantage of the opportunities ahead, it is essential to connect technology and people and to attract, retain and hone talent. It is both a challenge and a huge opportunity for growth. Training is key to success. At ISDI CRM we have a global vision, we personalise our services and we have all the necessary experience to accompany businesses on this journey”.