What is digital sales transformation?

Gartner estimates that 80% of B2B Sales will be digital by 2025. If you can’t transform how you engage digital-first buyers, you will be left behind. But the benefits of Digital Sales Transformation far exceed future fitness and profitability. Find out how you can make better business decisions, enhance agility and resilience and scale your sales capability with Digital Sales Transformation.

Gartner b2b sales estimates for 2025

What is digital transformation?

In a nutshell, digital transformation is about changing how we do business through technology. The objective is improvement – streamlined processes, automated tasks, improved customer experience, greater agility etc.

It’s making sure you can compete in a progressively digital economy. And make no mistake – whether you’re selling to a business, or consumers, providing products, or services, you’re competing in a digital economy for an increasingly digital-first customer.

Digital Transformation can be as simple as a start-up setting up Xero Accounting and integrating with their bank so that manual reconciliations become a thing of the past. Or as complicated as a century-old bank modernising legacy systems to enable data integration with custom mobile apps.

Digital transformation presents businesses with a chicken-and-egg dilemma. As technology disrupts, customer expectations change which drives further disruption. Similarly, the pace of technological change necessitates the type of organizational agility that only technology can deliver.

Growth graph

5-key benefits of digital transformation:

  • Increased agility and resilience – in a market characterized by unprecedented change, agility is essential. The right technological levers can make you more adaptable and resilient to change.
  • Reduced Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) and reduced Time to Value – consumption- and subscription-based software- and infrastructure-as-a-service offerings mean reduced capital and wasteful expenditure.
  • Improved and increasingly personalised customer experience – integrated tech stacks that allow for an end-to-end view of a customer’s journey and omnichannel digital touch points create more opportunities for engagement and optimization.
  • Data-led business decision-making – integrated data visualization yields actionable insights that businesses can leverage to improve processes and customer and employee experience.
  • Improved employee productivity and satisfaction – automating repetitive, manual tasks frees employees up to focus on high-value business activities.
graph showing ideas increasing growth

Digital transformation of sales and marketing

Digital Sales Transformation is about using technology to improve business sales and marketing functions – end-to-end – from top-of-funnel market awareness, to lead generation, to onboarding and customer relationship management.

The 4-pillars of digital sales transforation:

  1. Strategy – Digital transformation is business transformation. It should start with a clearly defined and well-articulated objective centred around improving the customer experience and digital buyer journey. It should take into account various personalities and where they digitally consume information and make purchasing decisions.
  2. Technology – Technology is the great enabler of digital transformation. Choosing your tech stack is critical for success. Part of your digital sales transformation strategy should include a business process scoping exercise that informs what applications and platforms you select.
  3. People – one of the biggest obstacles to successful digital transformation is cultural. Working with your people from the outset is critical for buy-in and adoption (and therefore success). Talk to sales, marketing and account management teams and make sure your tech stack addresses their needs and pain points.
  4. Data – Data is the most valuable byproduct of doing business. And perhaps no more so than in sales and marketing. The right tech stack will enable and should include data analysis and visualization tools that result in actionable insights to streamline buyer journeys and optimize conversion funnels.

Selling today is about leveraging multiple platforms, channels and disciplines to engage digital buyers where they are at and harness the power of technology to visualise engagement data, automate processes and integrate systems.

The ultimate objective of digital sales transformation is sustainable, scalable business growth.

Digital Sales cycle
indicators for digital transformation

3-Ket indicators that you need to pivot to digital sales enablement:

  1. Cold calling isn’t producing the same results – your sales and pre-sales teams are spending no less time prospecting and calling, but can’t meet their KPIs. They report that prospects are better at screening calls and less inclined to engage on the phone.
  2. Referrals are drying up – you made a name for yourself and consistently met revenue targets through referral business. But the network is saturated, or your contacts are retiring and their successors don’t do business in the same way.
  3. Repeat business is less reliable than it used to be – you are finding customers increasingly fickle and increasingly empowered to switch to competitors. Your competitors are also getting better at conveying compelling messaging online where these customers are shopping.

Why digital sales transformation matters

Digital Sales Transformation matters because B2B buyer behaviour is changing. Digital adoption and online buyer comfort, already trending, were fast-tracked by the Pandemic and restrictions on physical engagements.

Gartner estimates that 33% of all buyers desire a seller-free sales experience and projects that, by 2025, 80% of B2B sales interactions between suppliers and buyers to occur in digital channels.

Add to this, new technologies that make it easier for prospects to screen calls and changes in regulations that make it more difficult for companies to make unsolicited calls and the imperative to shift to digital buyer enablement has never been greater.

To compete in this buyer-centric digital market, you need to reset, pivot, and transform operations to meet digital buyer expectations and behaviour.

sales graph increase with digital growth

Key takeaways:

Digital Sales Transformation is about building a sustainable, scalable sales strategy that aligns sales, marketing and customer service, increases market awareness, generates leads, and reduces sales cycles. Before embarking on this journey, it’s a good idea to understand:

  • What is Digital Sales Transformation and why you should care?
  • The 5 key pillars of Digital Sales Transformation.
  • Why traditional prospecting/lead generation is failing.
  • 3 key indicators that your business is at risk.
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