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You Gonna Keep that Customer? Getting Your Digital Transformation Strategy Right Matters Now More than Ever

Like it or not, we’re all digital now. 

Manufacturers and distributors prioritized digital transformation, by force perhaps, throughout 2020, and we recognized the critical need for it once field sales, tradeshows, and any in-person schmoozing abruptly shifted to virtual-only settings.

As the world resumes a semblance of normalcy, one thing is for sure: We can’t go back to the way we did business in 2019. Today’s B2B customers won’t have it.  

Now accustomed to one-click orders and next-day delivery, customers will not tolerate a cumbersome, outdated experience. And if you want to remain competitive and protect and grow revenue, you must take friction out of the buying and selling process. 

Operational excellence is table-stakes to stay competitive. Digital transformation is the answer, but the journey to achieve it is often convoluted.


Remember the customer always, but especially when implementing automation 

Amazon has a core pillar in its strategy to remove friction from its customers’ buying process. Manufacturers and distributors—your competitors—are using technology to do the same thing for their customers.

9% of your business is won or lost from competitors based on the experience you deliver.

Indian River Consulting Group 

Frictionless relationships with your customers and suppliers are critical in this era of rising customer expectations and global supply chain constraints. Companies must ensure their businesses are scalable and resilient by automating operations and refocusing on providing stellar customer experiences.

Companies that focus on the customer experience are 60% more profitable than those who do not.  



Prioritize the customer experience when identifying which technology investments to make. Sell to customers the way they prefer to buy; if you don’t, they will find someone who will. They aren’t going to change to suit you. It’s your business to cater to them.  

Increase sales efficiency by closing the digital automation gap 

Companies spend billions per year on digital transformation initiatives, yet more than 40% of B2B transactions still involve emailing documents between buyers and sellers and manually entering them into systems.

This mundane task typically falls to customer service representatives (CSRs) or salespeople, who should focus on delivering a superior customer experience, not entering data.  

 The Customer Service and Sales teams are at the heart of revenue. Having these valuable people execute non-value activities erodes growth, strains resources, hinders the customer experience, and ultimately stifles the bottom line.  

“The whole idea [of digital transformation] is: take friction out of the process for your customers so your salespeople have more time to build these relationships. That is a huge difference between B2B and B2C.”

Mike Marks, Managing Partner, Indian River Consulting Group


Important caveat: Although eliminating manual processes has tremendous benefits, employees familiar and/or comfortable performing manual processes may have concerns about automation and how it affects job security, so open conversations are vital.  

Digital transformation enables teams to amplify the effectiveness of their personal relationships and the opportunity to build new ones. Automation certainly cannot replicate the human connection that builds trust and repeat customers, so it’s a matter of conveying “yes, let’s do more of that” while technology tackles the processes that distract us from what we do best. 


Transform your processes the right way: a conversation with IRCG’s Mike Marks 

Digital transformation involves stakeholders, collaboration, enterprise-wide cooperation, and a willingness to change for the better.  

There’s no step-by-step instruction manual. But Indian River Consulting Group’s Managing Partner Mike Marks has seen it all and compiled a proven set of best practices to accelerate your digital transformation, including the missteps that can push you all the way back to the starting line.  

So whether you’re just starting your digital journey or are already implementing it, watch the on-demand Lunch & Learn, “Closing the Digital Automation Gap,” with Mike Marks, Managing Partner at Indian River Consulting Group. 


“Some manufacturers view digital transformation as an event, not a journey. For a successful transformation, companies need a good technology partner to guide them on taking logical, sustainable steps along the automation journey.” 

Vinod Rana, Global Head of Customer Innovation Centers for Belden, Inc.
Manufacturing Business Technology


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