How outdated processes damage your business – Part 4: Missing insights
Outdated processes are more than just an annoying obstacle hampering the day-to-day operations of a business.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 But how do outdated business processes devolve into obstacles in the first place? What are the real effects of outdated processes on a business?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?
In the fourth and final part of our series, we explore the impact of missing insights on your business processes. In other articles of this blog series, you can also learn about how obsolete technologies, data silos and lack of system integration are causes and drivers of obsolete processes.
Part 4: Missing insights ? Blind decisions based on outdated processes
Smart decisions can only be made if the right people in the right places can access the information they need at the right time and in the best possible way. Often this information is collected but disappears into data silos or in the endless loops that characterize outdated and isolated business systems. Decision-makers then have to search through countless databases, individual solutions and many different formats to find what they’re looking for. Decision making based on real-time data paints a very different picture! In a recent McKinsey survey, 61% of managers surveyed said that more than half of the time they spend on decision-making was avoidable.
Effects on Marketing: Manual labor versus automation
Intelligent, meaningful insights are one of the key factors for successful marketing. If this data is not available or difficult to access, the quality of processes relying on real-time information declines. This affects all strategic decisions, planning and evaluations as well as internal reporting. Ultimately, efficient and targeted marketing can only be as good as the database from which it draws all its decisions. A recent Gartner survey showed that the majority of all marketing teams are hopelessly overwhelmed with the integration and evaluation of data.
- Missing customer insights prevent a targeted, demand-oriented communication strategy and lead to content that does not find readers.
- Competitor and market observations are sporadically collected and not evaluated, preventing opportunities and risks from being taken into account in current strategic decisions.
- Reporting in marketing has no real data basis without insights – decisions and results cannot be presented in a comprehensible way.
Effects on Sales: Competitors get the deals
A successful sales team need reliable insights. Sellers need to know which problems and challenges exist in the industry and which topics are trending in order to quickly and effectively close deals. In addition, insights on prospects and customers help to offer targeted solutions to individual problems. If this data is not available, not maintained or there is no possibility to access it ad-hoc, the sales team enters the competition on a weak footing. According to a recent McKinsey survey, sales departments with access to reliable customer insights close 82% more deals than sales teams without those insights.
- Without intelligent insights providing helpful tips at the right point in the sales process, the risk of losing sales opportunities increases.
- Strategic decisions regarding sales activities without market and target group insights miss customer needs.
- Performance measurements and strategic reporting without reliable internal data are unreliable and cause bad decisions.
Effects on Customer Service: Helpless service staff
In order for Customer Service staff to ensure satisfaction among customers and solve their concerns as quickly as possible, they, like all other departments, are dependent on real-time insights. These insights provide answers to questions such as: Which issues are currently occurring and why? Which problems are to be expected? Which channels do customers prefer to interact with when it comes to Customer Service? What is the performance of customer service and what must be done to improve it? In a recent Microsoft survey, 31% of customers said that a well-informed service representative was the most important criterion for a successful customer service experience.
- If Customer Service does not have access to insights on market developments, agents are unprepared for any customer inquiries on these topics.
- Missing insights into the level of knowledge and performance of employees in Customer Service lead to a deterioration in service quality and dissatisfaction among customers and employees.
- If there are no processes for the internal sharing of insights, important findings from interactions with customers remain unused within the department.
Solution: Standardization and automation in the processing of insights
Day after day, your employees collect data. The challenge now is to set up intelligent processes that deliver this data to those who need it, where and when they need it most. For this to happen, the data must be standardized and incorporated into a fully integrated system. The solution should be designed for company-wide communication and offer reporting functions for many different roles. At the same time, it is important that the new insight processes be highly automated in order to minimize effort spent on collecting, evaluating and distributing data. After all, employees should benefit from insights and not merely administer them.
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
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