Greg Whitaker
Greg Whitaker Executive Business Unit Head: Wholesale

Modern businesses know that digital transformation is no longer a nice-to-have – it’s a have-to-have if they want to survive. This is why many businesses have started investing extensively in their transformation journeys in the last few years.

However, there are some businesses that remain reluctant to invest in digital transformation – whether for lack of understanding or fear, it’s essential to help your customers understand the value of digital transformation and the cost of being left behind. Wholesalers have a role to play in educating customers and helping them find their digital footing.

How not to begin

You might need to convince key stakeholders in a company that embracing digital transformation is necessary for any business, and that failing to do so is likely to jeopardise their survival. But leading with this kind of statement is not likely to go down well, even if, on some level, they know it’s true.

It’s also a mistake to focus on the technology you have to offer and lead straight into a sales pitch. It’s a safe bet that those who haven’t yet embraced digital transformation aren’t tech-savvy, and they’ll be bewildered, intimidated and skeptical when you try to sell them platforms and tools they’ve never heard of. They’ll probably tell you that they’ve “been doing just fine without any of that stuff, thank you very much”.

The right approach

It’s best to start with a conversation about their business. It’s vital that you understand what it is they do, how their business is structured and how their processes work. Find out where their pain points are. Where are the most labour-intensive and inefficient parts of their process? Seek to understand the most common reasons for customer dissatisfaction and where mistakes are most frequently made.

Chances are that the solutions to these problems are digital. Digital transformation effectively sells itself through tangible benefits that amount to significant cost savings, added agility and improved efficiency. The challenge is to convey the most relevant information in a straightforward and convincing manner.

Ease them into it

Be sure to listen to your customers. There’s a reason they’ve resisted digital transformation up to this point – it might not be a good one, but it has to be addressed. They’re likely to be daunted by the scale of the task ahead, one they might not understand or entirely trust. Some customers might even think they are already digitally transformed because they have a website and use email.

Help them to understand that digital transformation is an ongoing process and must be tied to a strategy that allows the business to optimise processes that fit within that strategy. They don’t have to do it all at once, but if the core of the business isn’t digitally transformed, other digital transformation efforts will be undermined. It’s about making incremental steps that your customers’ teams can keep pace with, but remember that there can be no half measures. Technologies must do something for the business and be integrated throughout that business - random investment will do little more than add unnecessary bulge to the budget.

Digital transformation is a company-wide project, not something that happens in isolation. Everyone in the business should be informed about the process and the end goals because it’s important for all of them to buy into it. Then you can begin to talk about the tools they need and a blueprint for the implementation of your wholesale solutions.

Moving towards being software-powered

Being software-powered means that essential business processes are driven by software instead of people – requiring business models and processes to be reimagined so that the business’ fundamental operations can be streamlined.

To really become software-powered, businesses will have to exploit cloud or hybrid cloud strategies to benefit from digital, without intensive hardware investments. But the true benefits of cloud will be hard to realise if connectivity is not optimised for ultra-low latency, high quality and secure connections.

It’s up to you to help your customers embrace this digital future. We can help you and your customers expand your business, so consider partnering with us as your telecommunication provider.

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