Winter Is Coming: Digital Needs to Pay Its Way with a Downturn Around the Corner

Guest blog by MHI member company Atlatl, Inc.

On the whole, 2018 was a rather a good year for our economy. Companies enjoyed new stock prices, record profits, and new advances. But 2019 is here, and on over the next 12 months there’s a good chance we will see the convergence of political instability, increasing trade tensions, and a market that has potentially topped out.

With this on the horizon, how prepared is your organization? Most companies have realized to survive in this modern age they need to transform, yet less than a quarter of companies have achieved anything close to digital transformation. The problem is that most vendors are selling digital nirvana, while most companies find themselves lost in the cycle of ideation. As if frozen in fear and uncertainty, companies stall under the weight of not knowing where to begin their journey. Knowing this is an important investment in valuable resources, we want to offer you a few thoughts on how to make this critical shift and best prepare your organization for any challenges that lie ahead.

1. Take aim at targeted projects instead of wholesale reinvention

– Don’t get wrapped up in the elephant, focus on a part at a time
– Targeted projects will drive the most impact
– Focus first on efficiency, productivity, and process improvement

2. Begin at the top of your value stream and start with a transformation of your Sales Process: Why?

– Benefits and efficiencies will be driven downstream to other areas of your business
– Provides the greatest impact felt by your customers
– Winners during a downturn will be those who provide the best experiences, the fastest and most accurate turnarounds

3. Utilize a digital selling platform to open B2B online commerce

– Your website is your best sales rep, power it to be your biggest weapon in your selling arsenal
– Ensure your site speaks to your customer’s wants and needs, solve their pains, don’t just tell your stories
– Build a digital journey that can end with B2B online commerce. This can open new channels of revenue not capitalized upon before

Those who succeeded during the last downturn were prepared. They were able to outperform their competition. Making smarter use of overhead and investing now in ways to streamline and automate will pay huge dividends when and if downturn arrives.