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A common dilemma or misconception – Do I Invest in Digital or do I Invest in People?

A common dilemma or misconception – Do I Invest in Digital or do I Invest in People?

I’m often asked what is the right strategy for my business? Invest in digital or invest in people.

My response is simple, you’ve got to invest in both, but in a complimentary way.

In my experience, those businesses that are thriving in the rapidly evolving digital world blend the speed, ease of access, convenience & efficiency of digital services with the authenticity, experience, & expertise of talented empowered people. It’s about getting the mix & balance right.

If I think about how my children, who have grown up in an increasingly digitalised world, like to access products & services, they look for:

  • Ease of Access
  • The speed and convenience of digital services, particularly for straightforward administrative tasks,
  • Supported by ease of access to talented people when they are looking for specific advice & guidance.

A selection of staff in some of my clients gave an interesting alternative perspective on the “dilemma”. Whilst some saw the advent of digital as a potential threat to their futures, the majority, saw it as an opportunity to:

  • Strip out some of the inefficient, duplicated, & mundane processes they have historically had to  do day in day out.
  • Deliver a better, faster, & higher quality service to their clients
  • Focus their skills on the areas where they can really add the most value to their customers
  • Contribute positively to the culture that attracts high quality talent into the business.

As someone who is passionate about:

  • Talent development
  • Creating the culture to grow your people
  • Building an exceptional customer experience
  • Using Technology & Data as an intelligent Business enabler

it feels to me that those business that blend their digital & people strategies in a well thought through complimentary way are the most likely to:

  • Grow their businesses faster & more profitability than the rest
  • Create an environment that attracts in the best & most dynamic talent
  • Stimulate a continuous improvement culture that uses technology & people expertise in the right proportions & in the most effective areas
  • Deliver a dynamic & engaging customer experience

Author Derek Findlayson

 

 

 

What does it take to win & succeed in a rapidly changing Digital world?

What does it take to win & succeed in a rapidly changing Digital world?

Why is it some businesses see Technology as a real barrier to growth in their business & other’s see it as the platform to push forward at a different trajectory & win market share?

Well if there was an easy answer everyone would be doing it, but here’s a few pointers we see day in day out from working with some of the fastest growing & most successful business in the market:

What are some of the things the Winners do differently

  • Structure – Invest in shaping & structuring their Data in a way which enables them to use it proactively as a valuable asset.
  • Enrichment – Actively enrich their data with relevant 3rd party Data to elevate their insight to the next level.
  • Segmentation – Segment their Customer data to target & personalise any marketing, communication, or cross & upscales activity.
  • Alignment – Match their data to relevant stages of their Customer Journey
  • Analysis – Analyse & interrogate their data to identify relevant patterns & insight
  • Elevate – Use Machine Learning & artificial Intelligence at appropriate stages of the Customer journey to optimise their proposition & success
  • Intelligent & Relevant Cross & Up Sales – Use their Data Intelligently to cross & up sell relevant products & services to their clients at the most appropriate stage of the customer journey.

Getting the most out of your Technology, Data, Customer knowledge, & Insight is increasingly setting the Winners apart from the rest.

Talk to us if you are interested in knowing more about our approach to helping businesses enhance their use & understanding of Technology, MI, Data, & Customer Insight.

Author Derek Findlayson

Data & customer insight – a rapidly changing world

Data & customer insight – a rapidly changing world

I find it fascinating to see the different approaches adopted by businesses in managing & investing in their MI, data, & customer Insight.

At “one end of the spectrum”, we see businesses with historically a very “light touch’ approach to:

  1. The MI they measure.
  2. The Data they collect.
  3. The Customer Insight they gather & proactively use.

Whilst often still being solid businesses, they typically:

  1. Struggle to achieve the growth achieved by some of their competitors who use MI. data, & Customer insight to a greater extent
  2. Measure success in their business on a very limited & very narrow set of KPI’s which are mainly “backward looking”.

At the” other end of the spectrum”, we see businesses who continually invest in & enhance their approach to gathering & integrating their MI, Data, & Customer Insight.

These businesses:

  1. Have a huge appetite & thirst for Data, & Customer Intelligence.
  2. Continually look for ways in which they can use the data & insight they gather to enhance their customer proposition, journey, & experience.

When it comes to these “data hungry” businesses we find 3 common characteristics:

  1. Integrating all their Data – Wherever possible, they look for ways to Integrate all their data – Customer Journey, customer advocacy, business performance, CRM, Multi Channel Marketing activity & interaction e.g. social media, SEO, email, PPC, live chat
  2. “Dynamic Data” – Choosing & shaping the right Dashboard – They integrate all of their sources onto a  “real time” Dashboard that gives they dynamic data to proactively to drive success & improvement in their business
  3. Focusing on the right metrics – They measure a much wider range of relevant KPI’s that look both “forward” & “backward”

Through having an integrated approach to aggregating & using their data, these businesses typically:

  1. Outperform the competition in terms of Growth, Cross & Up Sales, & accelerating Customer Lifetime Value.
  2. Uncover more opportunities within both their existing Customer base & their Prospect pipeline.
  3. Create & capitalise on the ability to benchmark their business against the market.
  4. Quickly drive real value & time savings from having all of their data in one place in a format they can easily access & interrogate.

Talk to us if you are interested in knowing more about our approach to helping businesses enhance their use & understanding of MI, Data, & Customer Insight.

Author Derek Findlayson

 

Why sales training is not always the answer

Why sales training is not always the answer

A prospective client called me recently with a bit of a conundrum.

Most of his Business Development Managers had missed their targets at the end of the first quarter of 2017 and yet they had all been through an expensively provided 5-day Residential Sales Training Course from an Internationally recognised Sales Training Company. Too often Sales Training for BDM’s in the General Insurance Sector is non- sector specific, it often focuses on general sales techniques, and generic sales skills, without understanding the true complexities of B2B selling in our quirky but beloved Insurance sector.

Sales Training courses major on the theoretical, and without real life instances, scenarios, and working with experienced Insurance Professionals, people will not gain value or their own self development, or impact your bottom line.
General Insurance Sales people do not learn by training alone, it is only where a robust coaching system has been wrapped around specific classroom learning that drives true results.
Did you know that 65% of Sales people who receive proactive and pragmatic coaching have better qualified pipelines, and deliver 35% higher win/conversion ratios than those who attend classroom training alone?
If you want to understand how implementing a simple, cost effective, pragmatic industry specific coaching programme could improve your Sales and Business Development results then please contact Kate@intelihubconsulting.com.

Author Kate Mutter-Bowen

Customer Advocacy – “The Real Differentiator”

Customer Advocacy – “The Real Differentiator”

Our existing customers at InteliHub know that “Customer Advocacy” is something we’re really passionate about. For us it’s one of the cornerstones of any successful business & a real differentiator between the best businesses & the rest.

Being privileged to work with a range of “fast growth” businesses both within & outside the Insurance market we see some common themes in those that are outperforming the rest:

  • A real “Clarity of Strategy & Business Planning” to bring it alive is a “cornerstone”.
  • A focus on developing & investing in talent underpins creating a great customer experience.
  • A continuous focus on innovation & driving & embedding change keeps you ahead of the competition.
  • Investing in developing & differentiating their proposition keeps them relevant to their evolving customer needs.
  • Using customer insight, data, & intelligence smartly is an increased & growing focus.

Blending these together in a way which drives & enhances Customer Advocacy & Experience consistently seems to be “pivotal” to outperforming the competition & a theme that sets the “best performers” apart from the rest.

Those businesses that focus on their Customer experience & Customer Advocacy & get it right get some really “tangible” business benefits in return. Typically:

  • They attract customers to them.
  • They gain more referrals.
  • They achieve higher average spend per customer.
  • Through constantly looking for ways to evolve & improve their proposition, they tend to be more innovative & faster paced.
  • Great people want to work in businesses that are focused on creating a great customer experience, so they find it easier to “attract the best talent”.
  • Their businesses attract higher valuations when they choose to sell or restructure them.

Looking at the list above, as both a business owner & a customer myself, that feels like a good investment to me …

Talk to us if you are interested in knowing more about our approach to helping businesses enhance their customer experience & customer advocacy.

Author Derek Findlayson

The relevance of coaching in a data driven world

The relevance of coaching in a data driven world

I am working with a client at the moment, whose business is leading edge in that it is data driven. His view is that Agile businesses who ‘learn fast or ‘fail quickly’ have the edge in this market, but his concerns lay in his employees’ business skills and business practices are not keeping pace with the technological advancements around them.

The number one challenge for his business was not only to change and develop faster than his competitors but to create systemic change within his organisation.
In the last few years, his business has made step changes to engage with an ever-changing technological environment, moving from hierarchies to flatter structures, from command and control to employee engagement and leadership. Yet, still his people were not where he needed them to be. He decided to engage us as external coaches to coach his internal staff & leaders.

Our aim to work in partnership to embed a coaching culture, overlaid with KPI’s & data efficiency, to develop their business and staff for strong business growth – – ‘This is how we do it’.

Talk to us if you are interested in knowing more about embedding coaching programmes for cultural change.

Author Kate Mutter-Bowen