Your Sales Team Should Be Leading Your Company’s Digital Transformation

Digital efforts have proliferated for years as companies strive to catch up and utilize new technologies in the workplace. COVID-19 accelerated the process, and while many employees look forward to returning to the office, we’ve also grown accustomed to the flexibilities of a digital-first workplace. However, this accelerated pace shouldn’t be confused with the actual digital transformation businesses need to succeed. 

Digital transformation is the integration of modern technology into all areas of a business, fundamentally changing how you operate internally and deliver value to customers. But, it doesn’t happen overnight. For a transformation to be successful, leaders must understand, manage, and communicate throughout all levels of the organization. 

In general, when an organization is looking to implement a digital transformation, many leaders look to the IT department to guide the initiative. While this approach seems like an obvious choice, companies often overlook one department that would be perfect for the job — sales. Over the past few decades, the “traditional” sales department has evolved from leading and implementing transformative technologies that improve revenue performance to creating better employee and customer experiences.

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Sales teams know your customers’ needs well and the importance of your own brand. They also have their own track record of digital innovation. Here is a closer look at why your sales team should be the one to drive your company’s digital transformation: 

Salespeople are the company’s best advocates

Salespeople understand what digital transformation needs to deliver because they best know what the company has to offer. 

In general, when salespeople are speaking with potential customers, they are not only selling the company’s products or services; they also are selling the company’s brand. Throughout the sales process, salespeople are discussing the company’s products or services. As the conversation progresses, the salespeople begin introducing the product team and eventually the customer service team to reassure prospects that support will continue after the sale.

In addition to sales’ knowledge of the process, salespeople also understand the company’s weaknesses, strengths, and day-to-day operations. They have a bird’s-eye view of the organization as well as the ability to depict and define the details that drive the business’ development.

With these particular skills, the sales team can lead and execute a digital transformation strategy through their knowledge of both the customer journey and business development.

Sales teams have comprehensive knowledge of the customer journey

A successful sales process needs to be clearly defined, measurable, adaptable, and customer-centric. Today’s buyers are more knowledgeable and informed than ever. They have many options to choose from. 

When sales reps make contact with a prospect, they have done their research on the company’s background. They are familiar with the pain points that the customer experiences with their existing solution and their company’s evolving needs. After the initial call, sales teams continue to communicate with the prospective customer multiple times through demos and price negotiations. From there, representatives continue to reach out with potential future opportunities. 

Salespeople have comprehensive knowledge of the customer journey and can continue to grow their relationship with customers throughout their time with the organization. For a digital transformation to be successful, businesses need to understand the value delivered to customers. 

For an organization to build a relevant product roadmap, it is crucial to have a proper understanding of its customers’ needs. 

Salespeople embrace innovation in a digital landscape

Salespeople are used to embracing what’s new and it’s no secret that the sales industry has dramatically evolved over the past 20 years. In the 1990s and early 2000s, door-to-door sales and outside sales representatives dominated the industry. Fast-forward to 2021, and technology has made it so salespeople no longer need to travel to the office to make a sale. The days of relying solely on cold-calling and in-person meetings are no more. The innovation of technology is only propelling the industry forward. 

Another reason driving the adoption of technology is the arrival of millennials and Gen Z to the sales industry — generations who have grown-up with technology. In recent years, salespeople began using customer relationship management (CRM) software to monitor and track customers throughout the sales process, as well as sales gamification platforms to help stay on track with goals and keep motivated. Even more, seasoned sales reps have embraced these new technologies and have changed the way they sell. 

Final thoughts 

Salespeople have not only adapted to digital transformation but have addressed them head-on. They have the ability to adapt to the changing landscape, understand their customers, and obtain knowledge of the company. These qualities make them the top contender in leading a digital transformation. 

By having your sales team drive your company’s digital transformation, it will guarantee an immediate improvement to the company’s customer experience, company culture, and communication strategy. 

Brian Trautschold is the co-founder and COO at Ambition, the acclaimed sales performance management platform built for data-driven and millennial-fueled sales organizations. Connect with Brian on Twitter and LinkedIn and start a conversation about some of his favorite topics: Sales, startups, marketing, and NBA trade rumors.

This article is part of the Crunchbase Community Contributor Series. The author is an expert in their field and we are honored to feature and promote their contribution on the Crunchbase blog.

Please note that the author is not employed by Crunchbase and the opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect official views or opinions of Crunchbase, Inc.

  • Originally published June 30, 2021, updated April 26, 2023