Outdated processes are more than just an annoying obstacle hampering the day-to-day operations of a business. They take root in your company’s identity, create impossible trenches between departments, cause dissatisfaction and inefficiency among employees, and jeopardize the company’s overall success. But how do outdated business processes devolve into obstacles in the first place? What are the real effects of outdated processes on a business? And most importantly, how does yours change course?

Read Part 1: Obsolete Technologies

Part 2: Data silos – a breeding ground for inefficient processes

Bad business processes create data silos which jeopardize the access and transparency a company has over its data. Feeding this problem is a lack of communication, escalating access restrictions and non-integrated, isolated IT solutions. The consequences of intransparent business processes are devastating: without a company-wide database, variations in data management across departments become irresolvable and cause massive losses in productivity. According to a CrowdFlower study, IT departments spend 80% of their time cleaning up the mess caused by data silos.

Effects on Marketing: Failing to speak a prospect’s language

Data silos in marketing result in teams having little to no access to reliable information for planning, executing and measuring campaign success. In other words, they operate blindly or emotionally. As a result, some teams lack efficiency and are rarely defined by success, and marketing cannot offer potential customers the answers or solutions they need. Meanwhile, other departments and colleagues are denied access to important information about leads, activities, customers and strategy.

Examples:

  • Limited access to target group insights from other departments leads to ineffective communication.
  • The lack of documentation regarding past campaign results increases the risk of errors and causes unnecessary extra work.
  • Inadequate distribution of marketing documents and campaign information to the rest of the company fuels inconsistencies in branding.

Effects on Sales: When inefficiency and errors prevail

If sales process is not designed from the ground up to include the systematical transfer of information, that information often goes entirely unused – data silos! This valuable data consists of phone call logs, sales opportunities at various stages of maturity, competitive insights, trade fair reports and more. Rather than festering, it could feed into intelligent processes that actively support sales in their day-to-day activities!

Examples:

  • Without an internal sales communication process to efficiently share data and information, team performance deteriorates.
  • An incomplete overview of sales opportunities renders the measuring of performance time-consuming and inaccurate.
  • Without transparent tracking of sales activities, erroneous sources and causes of lost sales opportunities cannot be localized.

Effects on Customer Service: Poor troubleshooting

A single poor experience with Customer Service can today be enough for customers to look for new product and service providers. Since data silos can completely isolate Customer Service from the rest of the company, employees often lack access to important information from other departments, which in turns impedes their efforts to ensure customers satisfaction and engage in effective troubleshooting. In these cases, case resolution requires considerable effort, takes too long for customers, and delivers poor results.

Examples:

  • Without the latest insights from the product development department, customers receive outdated and incorrect technical information.
  • A lack of cross-departmental communication of customer data requires customers to describe their situation every time they get in touch with your company.
  • The root cause of the problem is never remedied because product-specific customer complaints are not passed on to the development department.

Solution: Identify, prioritize and demolish silos

In order to tear down these data silos and the corrupting processes that build them in the first place, businesses must engage in a solution that is interdepartmental and which leverages the full advantages of current digitization tools. The first step is to grain a big-picture insight over your business, then identify and target individual silos. Data silos and their related obsolete processes can be eliminated department by department and replaced by new, integrated, intelligent and future-proof processes.

Digitalization is just starting to take off and many of your competitors have failed to modernize their technologies and processes. This means it’s not too late to start! Take advantage of this opportunity by addressing the issues surrounding your processes and gain a clear competitive advantage with technology like Microsoft Dynamics 365.

Time for action

Are you ready for top-level digital process optimization? Gain unparalleled insight into how digitization can benefit your business with the AlfaPeople’s CRM Business Process Review. Learn more!

Marketing Manager at AlfaPeople

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