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Going Global Means Going Digital
Blog / For Sales Pros / Aug 14, 2018 / Posted by Nikolaus Kimla / 1641 

Going Global Means Going Digital

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Go Digital to Go Global: How to Survive in Today’s Globalization of Commerce

It cannot be overstated that the adoption of technology is the only way to survive in today’s globalization of commerce. Here is a great quote that says it all:

“Digital is the main reason just over half of the companies on the Fortune 500 have disappeared since the year 2000.”

–Pierre Nanterme, CEO of Accenture

So why is it that, for a company, failure to adopt technology means fading away?

Elemental Transformation

To begin with, a fundamental transformation is occurring. In actuality, it’s been taking place for a number of years, but it has now reached mammoth proportions and just continues expanding. That transformation is the evolution of the digital world.

50 years ago, no one would have conceived that someone in Bangkok could type something on a computer keyboard, hit “Enter,” and have that message instantly appear on a computer screen on Boston. Similarly, no one would have imagined that they could instantly discover everything they needed to know about a company that was trying to sell them something, so that the company’s offer could be truly evaluated. Or, who would have figured that a majority of opinions regarding a product or service could be gathered from around the world in minutes?

Today all of this is possible. Everyone, from an individual all the way up to and including a giant corporation, is having to make wide allowances for the digital world.

An elementary focal point for the digital world is processes. A process simply is the optimization, for humans or automation, of a task or a set of tasks. Any tasks which can be automated most certainly will be automated—just look at the continuous advancement in robotics. Other types of processes, such as sales processes, are intended for human interaction and use. It is processes that enable optimum speed so as to compete in today’s business world.

The harnessing and use of data trends is another very important focal point. As an example, medical analysts can monitor data trends for certain medications being sold in a particular region, and conclude with certainty that a flu is occurring there. Google Trends makes it possible for anyone to see what searches are trending. Businesses utilize such functionality every day for everything from marketing to product development.

Complexity Overload

But there is another, radical change brought about by the digital world that must be dealt with head-on, as it will overrun anyone who doesn’t.

While the whole world has become interconnected, that means that all the information coming from everywhere is literally available to everyone, practically as soon as it is released. What kind of information overload can that lead to?

One might also ask how easy it is to stay abreast of information just in one’s own area of expertise. Several centuries ago, the major information possessed by the entire world was at the fingertips of the leading minds of the day. This was so true that someone like Leonardo da Vinci could be a leading light in many different fields; he was a painter, an inventor, an architect, an astronomer, a scientist, a writer and a number of others.

Today, though, simply trying to keep current on the latest information in one of these fields would require more time than the average human has in a day—even if they never slept.

There are 2 drivers to this major problem:

  1. The speed of innovation
  2. The exponential growth of every area of life

For an example of the mind-boggling complexity that is coming at us every day, let’s return to a discovery made all the way back in 2003 with the Hubble telescope. The entire visible sky was mapped, with that telescope, using deep field squares. Because the Hubble telescope is in space, the “entire visible sky” means the entire sphere of space.

After examination, it was estimated that each of the 65,000 deep field squares contained 10,000 galaxies. Multiplied out, that makes for an estimated 16.5 billion galaxies. That totally boggles the mind! We haven’t discovered a tiny fraction of 1 percent of the universe.

So as you can see, just in our lifetimes, things have been discovered that are beyond the ability of us to imagine. There are surely many more to come.

Simplification: Pipeliner CRM

Along with the rest of the world, sales has become increasingly complex, too. Where once there was simply a couple basic hats—a “salesman” and the manager—today we have field sales, inside sales, SDR sales, vertical sales, horizontal sales, and much more. Because of the digital age, we also have many more times the sales channels we once had.

In addition to applying sound and proven business principles, at Pipeliner we have also been searching for methods of addressing today’s overwhelming complexity. We weren’t going to go the way of many other applications and display hundreds of charts and graphs as, for example, financial market applications do. Interestingly, our legacy CRM competitors have always dealt with sales complexity in this way, and in so doing they have made sales next to impossible to truly bring under control.

We addressed this issue right in the beginning of our development with what we call instant dynamic visualization, applied throughout our application. The mind processes visual images 60,000 times faster than words, so visualization is vital for keeping up with the breakneck speed of today’s commerce.

But there’s more. Not long ago I was on an international flight and found myself seated next to a Boeing 747 cargo pilot (traveling as a passenger). I told him that I was fascinated with the cockpit of an airliner, just because there were well over a hundred instruments there. I then asked him what he did under extreme circumstances—how many instruments would he really be paying attention to? He told me, “Not more than 4 or 5.”

The human mind cannot track hundreds or even dozens of indicators—so in day-to-day management, what is the answer?

For that, Pipeliner turned to cybernetics, the specific science applied in dealing with complexity. Cybernetics pioneer W. Ross Ashby referred to cybernetics as the “science of simplification.”

The first application of cybernetics to Pipeliner came with our Automata release, in which we added our Navigator feature. With its breakthrough Navigator functionality, Pipeliner CRM moves far beyond the standard concept of a CRM dashboard. We have brought more focused and innovative ways of bringing instant intelligence to all users, no matter their function in the organization—intelligence that cuts out the noise for users, allowing them to easily navigate complexity and focus immediately, and in real-time, on what is most important.

We aim to assist sales managers and salespeople navigate the complexity of today’s sales world. And by doing so, we are greatly helping them to master it and succeed.

    About Author

    A 30-year veteran of the computer industry, Nikolaus has founded and run several software companies. He and his company uptime iTechnology are the developers of World-Check, a risk intelligence platform eventually sold to Thomson Reuters for $520 million. He is currently the founder and CEO of Pipeliner Sales, Inc., developer and publisher of Pipeliner CRM, the first CRM application aimed squarely at actually empowering salespeople. Also a prolific writer, Nikolaus has authored over 100 ebooks, articles and white papers addressing the subjects of sales management, leadership and sales itself.

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    Comments (1)

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    Hamza Naeem commented...

    Superb Article!

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