Transformation Through Technology
GUEST EDITOR – Krishna C. Kalva
Digital transformation is the responsibility of everyone involved in the customer
It is a well-known fact that more than 70 percent of all transformation projects fail. A strong contributing factor is an organization’s inability to adopt new required behaviors quickly and completely. With life sciences sales transforming from explaining products to co-creating solutions, “smart” professionals who are inclined toward sales and technology are in high demand.
So, how do organizations adapt to differentiate and to retain a competitive advantage?
Intelligence is reflected in every human interaction where the business transaction and utilization of technology work together. Digital is the future of engaging with customers, driving organizations to make investments to become smart.
The Digital Transformation
The digital transformation involves change in leadership thinking, encouragement of new, innovative business models and leveraging technology to improve the experience for both stakeholders and customers. It is the responsibility of everyone involved in the customer experience to make this change successful. Organizations on this transformation journey agree that skill enhancement and competency development drives culture. This is an opportunity for the salesforce to come together and build a new culture of sales.
Many leading organizations in the life sciences industry are on a journey to champion digital transformation. To support the transformation, sales education helps develop an industry-leading salesforce.
Corporate identity and culture helps identify focus areas (such as values-based selling) to maximize the impact on the business. Stakeholders are consulted to define a strategy and to evolve the educational methodology from product-based to competency-based and leading toward digitalization.
The Right Framework
In order to drive the strategy, a modular and role-based global competency framework needs to be defined to further develop key sales roles. Competencies are identified and placed in various building blocks and mapped against roles that are both customer and non-customer facing. Since this transformation is evolutional, it is necessary to simultaneously interact with stakeholders to gain their current perspectives on competencies, the learning landscape and impact measurement.
The expectation is to continuously deliver a message for the organization based on the perspectives gathered. The success of this approach resides with the sales manager, as a coach, to provide ongoing feedback to the sales professional. Coaching is aimed at both business and people skill development and the sales manager is the change agent here. Sales professionals can become smart professionals once they have sharpened both the edges of business and people acumen.
A key business driver in this approach is to better understand the reality of the customer and to take relevant actions to address the challenges that the customer is facing. The sales education community and the salesforce play a crucial role in establishing a community of best practices by sharing goals and methods, joining forces to make an impact on the organization.
To summarize, organizations must utilize collaboration by identifying the overall goals and develop an educational strategy to invest in salesforces. This collaboration is evolutionary, and culture continues to play a big role in making this successful.
Leading-edge technologies (artificial reality, virtual reality, artificial intelligence, etc.) and educational methodologies exist and will continue to inspire us as we bring learning closer to the learner. Success is achieved by identifying use cases based on the customer’s new digital reality and to choose relevant technology to make a greater impact on the learning experience. This approach will drive the change and fuel the pursuit for excellence.
Krishna C. Kalva is learning solution manager at Siemens Healthineers. Email him