It seems that all major CIO and IT research conducted in the aftermath of 2020 point in the same direction: IT and its ability to support businesses’ digital transformation is more important than ever.
CIOs’ influence has grown, their relationship with the CEO has strengthened and demand for customer- and employee-facing new digital services is at its peak. At the same time, the IT department needs to keep taps of the technical debt accumulated during rapid service development and respond to ever-increasing cybersecurity threats.
Indeed, CIOs have a lot on their mind at the moment – but what should be the northern star, guiding the long-term goals? As companies’ revenue grows more and more dependant on IT, one of the most important things to consider is digital sales.
1. Accelerate the development of digital customer-facing solutions
Gartner states that businesses should go online together with their customers and that 2021 is the time to invest in customer-facing technology. On the other hand, this is not a new trend, and businesses have done this for a long time. However, the speed has increased tremendously, and this requires that development is not only done in an agile manner, but also measured in rapid feedback loops and in business terms. And the better CIOs perform for the business, the more business asks of them. (Do note this also works the other way around.)
2. IT and sales should have joint targets
In 2021 IT and business must come together even closer, and work together especially in building the digital customer journey jointly with IT, sales and marketing. Targets need to be aligned: 1) sell more and create more revenue and also 2) sell better. Both of these targets should be in IT key metrics.
3. Sell more, sell better – with data
Selling more means that growing the business with digital commerce and growth hacking, or in other words, data-driven development iterations, should be on every CIOs agenda. Selling better requires us to utilise data as much as possible, and to constantly find new opportunities to apply that data and insights for automation, personalisation and better customer service.
4. Be ready to deliver digital sales development
CIOs still need to also worry about the foundational capabilities that enable the business and protect the digital aspects of it. The core layers of the IT systems should be protected, and feature backlogs cannot be exploded every week when someone has a good idea. However, this cannot hinder the business from making rapid experimentations and incrementally improve the customer journey.
IT, sales and marketing leaders alike need to enable the speed by building the digital sales development capability, where each experiment is based on data, measured with business impact and the ones that create business value can be chosen for further development.
Dive deeper into digital sales for leaders in IT
Looking for a deeper dive into digital sales from a CIO’s perspective? In our handbook, The Digital Sales Handbook for leaders in IT, we’ll discuss all the pressing themes for CIOs in the upcoming year, and how to navigate through the time of disruption.
Some of the key themes in the handbook include:
Metrics and measuring IT solutions based on their revenue impact and direct sales impact
Leading an impact-driven and sales-enabling IT team
Digital sales and marketing architecture
Digital capabilities that enable the top-line growth
Real examples and success stories from IT leaders from various companies
Lessons and strategies in revenue-driven IT
The Handbook is a crystallisation of the key themes leaders in IT need to understand in 2021 to push their digital-enabled sales forward. The book includes interviews with industry experts from companies such as Stora Enso, SAS, UPM and Tiger of Sweden. Learn how your IT can become an active driver for digital sales!