How Digital Transformation is Impacting Sales, Service and Marketing


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Breakthroughs in and the exponential pace of disruptive innovation are fundamentally changing the way we do business. Brands and organizations are looking to digital transformation as the key to innovation, growth, and the discovery and creation of new business opportunities. Customer acquisition, the customer experience, and customer retention have become make or break stakes.

In a recent interview, Ray Wang (Principal Analyst, Founder, and Chairman of Constellation Research and author of the best-selling book Disrupting Digital Business) gave his insights on the impact of digital transformation on key business processes. For sales, service and marketing, real-time intelligence – and the ability to act on it – means everything:

The Impact of Digital Transformation on Sales

“By mining the patterns that are happing in the marketplace, tying that back to relevant news, tying that back to tribal knowledge within the team—it gives you a competitive advantage.”

“For salespeople, the shift that’s happening is that you have access to better data and better information,” says Wang. “You can actually get to team and collaborative selling techniques that you weren’t able to get to before.

“And over time, a lot of the selling that we were able to do by gut is happening in front of you in terms of insight. What digital does is it democratizes the ability to access information, and ultimately democratizes decisions and allows every sales rep to be productive.

“We’re seeing a whole bunch of machine learning services evolve, and that means they study patterns to see why certain sales are more effective, or why certain techniques are more effective, or how certain products work with each other.

“That information is going to arm your sales teams so that they can be more successful with certain types of accounts. And by mining the patterns that are happing in the marketplace, tying that back to relevant news, tying that back to tribal knowledge within the team—it gives you a competitive advantage.”

The Impact of Digital Transformation on Customer Service

“We are in a post-sale, on-demand, attention economy.”

“In transformation, post-sale engagement becomes extremely important,” notes Wang. “We are in a post-sale, on-demand, attention economy. What people don’t realize is that everything that comes after the sale is now more important than just the sale—because in an on-demand economy, instead of buying the whole thing, you’re accessing and not owning.

“You’re buying smaller and smaller pieces of a product, service, or experience. So, customer service and customer success is really about all of those things that get a customer to come back and renew.

“So we see customer service as not just that continuing engagement and customer success. It’s about developing loyalty and creating relevant engagement points so that people come back. It’s also about issue-to-resolution, which is the original point. But, it’s more than just the resolution. It’s about understanding what the customer really needs, driving a demand signal and helping people design new products and services.

“People say customer service is part of marketing, customer service is part of sales, customer service is part of commerce. Really what they’re talking about is anything and everything happening after selling to the customer. That process requires a lot of care, especially when we think about what happens in digital transformation.”

The Impact of Digital Transformation on Marketing

“The way we do marketing today is about to be changed – you don’t have to guess anymore.”

“A lot of marketing has been based on gut-driven decisions. But in digital, you see what really happens, not what you think people are going to do,” notes Wang. “And because you get that level of a signal, the signals you have are so rich, that you can cut out a lot of the false-positives and false-negatives. So when you run a campaign and do an A/B test your immediate reaction is, ‘I’m going to do an A-to-X test because I can. And I can deliver mass personalization at scale.’

“You can do things that you couldn’t do before because you’re seeing things happen in real-time. And that changes not just how you service a customer and in terms of the brand perception, but it also changes the types of experiences and immediacy of experiences that you can deliver to customers. Plus, it changes the way you alter campaigns in the process, because you understand the impact of context in those campaigns.

“The way we do marketing today is about to be changed – you don’t have to guess anymore.”

Tricia Morris
Tricia Morris is a product marketing director at 8x8 with more than 20 years of experience at technology companies including Microsoft and MicroStrategy. Her focus is on customer experience, customer service, employee experience and digital transformation. Tricia has been recognized as an ICMI Top 50 Thought Leader, among the 20 Best Customer Experience Blogs You Must Follow, and among the 20 Customer Service Influencers You Must Follow.


  1. I’d argue guessing has been moving away for a decade since the marketing community started to embrace ROI. Is it pervasive? No. Are all marketer doing deep analytics? No. They are on the way however.


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