Professional Services and coming to terms with Digital Transformation!
Digital transformation – a phrase that’s increasingly used to describe the actions now needed to make the necessary adaptation to an Industry 4.0 world. Across all professional services sectors, the implementation of CRM is increasingly recognised as the most applicable of tactical trends to achieve their desired business outcomes.
For many switched on professional services leaders, coming to terms with digital transformation has become the defining way by which they can rebuild their business models to meet the demands of today’s 360 customer and employee engagement data interface. Nevertheless, research uncovers that many professional services continue to suffer from the pain-points inflicted by competitor disruption technology.
Deep problems within professional services
Results from a recent Edgewater Fullscope survey of Professional Services leaders show there is still a significant gap between those organisations who have already implemented a CRM solution and others who view digital transformation itself as the biggest challenge. The findings also suggest that key issues, such as leadership thinking, employee engagement and the skills gap continue to cause deep problems within professional services organisations among many of the leaders who responded.
More than 50 per cent of professional services leaders admitted that digital transformation was their No.1 challenge, along with their current leadership thinking. Half the professional services leaders who responded also cited employee engagement as a major challenge at their company. Recent research into Professional Consulting, for example, found that more than a third (38 per cent) of employees in this specific business sector leave for a better opportunity compared to just 13 per cent who sought a better remuneration package and benefits.
It has become increasingly clear that being forced to work with silo’d information systems inevitably leads to employee frustration. The need to switch tasks between applications as a standard routine not only leads to lost productivity and lowered satisfaction but can ultimately end with employee attrition.
Increasingly aware of the challenges
The results of the sample survey, strongly suggest that a large proportion of professional services firms are increasingly aware of the challenges that digital transformation imposes upon their existing customer and employee engagement models. Research gathered by Edgewater Fullscope during two decades of implementing CRM repeatedly finds that increasing employee morale is among the most desired of business outcomes. Research has shown that implementation of CRM can see employee morale soar by 37 per cent, thereby, reducing attrition and retaining a company’s most valuable of assets. (State of Digital Transformation Report, Altimeter Group, 2016).
Measurable, statistical gains are key to business outcomes needed by professional services implementing CRM. Among the top listed business outcome requirements, a 5 per cent increase at least in productivity can be achieved after stopping the switching of tasks between silo’d information. In turn, this had led to a 37 per cent increased customer engagement in digital channels, a 28 per cent increase in acquiring new customers and ultimately, a 30 per cent increase in customer revenue.(State of Digital Transformation Report, Altimeter Group. 2016 | Digital Evolution: Learning from the Leaders in Digital Transformation Economist Intelligence Unit, 2015).
The research shows that, undoubtedly, an increasing number of professional services organisations have been more readily able to get to grips with how to properly implement and maximise the revenue possibilities of CRM. Indeed, they have seen almost instant and significant results from an improved company performance. Nevertheless, it seems far too many organisations are still struggling to come to terms with the changes they now need to urgently make.
The cost of just doing nothing – just “waiting to see what will happen” - is no longer going to work as an executive solution. Industry 4.0 is underway and competitors are biting the bullet. The longer the decision is left, the more likely a company will be left behind by the marketplace, and ultimately, loss of market share.