We know that is sometimes hard to avoid the temptation of yearning for the past, especially in times of uncertainty like the one we have suffered from the irruption of the pandemic in our daily lives. 2020 will be a crossed out year in many calendars.
But, when we look back, we also understand that the only thing certain is that we know that any time in the past… was past. And in the last months, from March on, will be marked as a profoundly disruptive time, in which we had to make a virtue out of necessity. Each crisis brings forward a unique and unrepeatable opportunity, for those who want, can and know how to take advantage of it.
2019 was better than this year in many things, but not so in terms of digitization and technological development. 2020 will remain as a key year, which will leave a legacy of forced learning and progress in the digitization processes of companies, at a speed that a few months ago would have been almost unthinkable.
Change, response and resilience
In Spain we finished last years with several reports that were not very encouraging about the technological modernization of companies. Employers and unions reached an agreement, while the UGT (General Union of Workers, a major Spanish trade union) described the situation as “deeply deficient and disappointing”, the CEOE (Spanish Confederation of Employers’ Organizations) demanded a national agreement on this matter supervised by Parliament. The average spent per company on ICT had fell a 25% during the year. Among the 28 countries that formed the EU in 2019, Spain ranked 22nd in companies with a high level of digital intensity, according to Eurostat.
At the same time, there were reasons to be optimistic: The perception of the importance of joining this process did not stop growing, although with a certain disorder. The number of companies with a presence on social networks tripled those that sold online. An impulse was needed to connect awareness and preparation, needs and objectives. An impact that helped – or forced – to understand and take advantage of this disruption process. Not just limiting ourselves to being there, but doing it fully and trying to get ahead of the next wave of change.
It is advisable to review today the report submitted the Observatorio Vodafone de la Empresa 2019, in collaboration with ISDI. There is a headline that summarizes perfectly and simultaneously what was happening then and also happens today: “Spanish companies perceive the benefits of digitization, being an aspect that they take into account when day-to-day concerns allow it.”
In 2020, companies from all over the world have suddenly found out that daily concerns are those that were previously projected five to ten years from now.
Flexibility that strengthens
Enrique Polo de Lara, Spain Country Leader and Managing Director at Salesforce Iberia, recently outlined this fact in the following manner: “The way out of this crisis is through the modernization of companies. In the report that we published a few weeks ago, surveying executives from around the world, more than 70% of Spanish executives said that the pandemic had accelerated the digitization processes of their companies”. A modernization that, according to the Senior VP of the American multinational, is here to stay.
“Before there were many people who were reluctant to technology, but the first sixty days of confinement have accelerated the digitization of the world by six years”, Nacho de Pinedo, CEO of ISDI, quantifies the change emphatically.
With 2021 already looming on the near horizon, both large companies and SMEs and the self-employed – which represent more than 90% of the business fabric, and support more than 60% of employment in Spain – need to have an X-ray of the post-COVID professional. To establish the roadmap that will allow them to resist, adapt and advance in a context in which digital innovation commands and urges.
While concerns grow about the structure of the labour market in the nearest future, we’re watching how professionals related to marketing, digital analytics and e-commerce have multiplied by 2.5 in just over six months. By the end of 2021, at least 40% of Europe’s GDP will be digitized, according to IDC data.
In a globalized, technical and volatile post-COVID scenario, companies will have to ensure a series of capabilities that connect the strategic with the technical; manage a very broad perspective of the business and be able to reach a high level of specialization. It will be essential to move with ease between concepts that have become realities, such as data analytics or marketing automation.
Customer in the center
In this situation, the differences between productive sectors and between B2B and B2C companies are going to be reduced even further. The digital opportunity, the opportunity of resilience, recovery and sustainable growth, puts the client at the center of the new situation. The transformation will be guided by principles that have become almost commandments: proximity, productivity, flexibility, efficiency and speed. The social need to share knowledge to reinforce the response to the challenges of disruption materializes, in the business environment, in the need to have vertical and adaptable solutions, incorporating an ERP system in companies of a certain size.
Using a tailor-made CRM software is becoming essential, almost regardless of the size of the business project, to participate in a true Data Culture, respond to market demands, new and emerging, and benefit from automated learning processes through Big Data, AI and Data Analytics.
By incorporating powerful CRM software into our business, we can easily perform key tasks such as:
· Linking the different sites and online presence of the company with the CRM to improve the acquisition and data analysis, and to optimize decision making processes.
- Improve direct marketing and the different communication channels, such as database management, segmentation, personalization and sending of mass communications, etcetera.
- Improve workflows and management of company resources, and enhance the reskilling of templates.
- Increase the productivity and success of the sales and e-commerce teams, monitoring processes, atomizing certain repeated actions and facilitating the alignment of insights and leads between the commercial and marketing departments.
- Optimize time management to take advantage of downtime and run tasks in the background. This makes it possible to neutralize the impact of downtime on productivity and on employee motivation, something especially important if you are working from a home office.
These are five key aspects that will be extremely familiar to any manager or team leader who has been forced to reorganize activities and tasks, re-evaluate objectives and plan strategies during the year that will soon end.
Two levers and an opened door
Technology and training will continue to be two main levers that will allow us to push ourselves and step cleanly over obstacles, solving with success challenges such as the ones we’ve encountered since the beginning of this emergency situation, which has not ended yet.
Most of the changes are here to stay. It is necessary to have a solution to allow the alignment of business resources, sales strategies and objectives, communication and marketing campaigns, with the management, acquisition and growth of the client portfolio. Always maintain a quick and empathetic response capacity, improving your experience to strengthen your loyalty and increase sales. Being up to date with their needs in times when being present and maintaining proximity with the client make the difference, more than ever.
At ISDI CRM we are lucky to be living this process as a training project, in contact with students who are also technology professionals, in a sector that is transversal to all of them right now. And aside Salesforce, the world’s leading CRM software. It has allowed us to continue being an open door to the ecosystem of international relationships and partnerships.
For us, 2020 has also been a demanding and revolutionary year of analysis and discovery, sharing a global vision that we verify is capable of promoting and empowering companies of all sizes and sectors, to enhance flexibility and reinforce response capacity, which allows them to adapt and grow. And of all this… we would like to give extensive testimony.