Alexa The Spark - Shampa's Blog

An offbeat way to grow sales

When your rep calls a customer to ask for more business, how much does he know about that customer?

Would he know that this is an unhappy customer with multiple unresolved support tickets?
Would he know that this customer has threatened to move to a competitor?
How about the fact this customer has been with your organization for 10+ years and expects special treatment?
Or that they have specific needs and have purchased custom products or services in the past?

You see, the level of information that the rep has access to will determine how that call will go.

According to a recent study, 62% of customers said that a representative’s knowledge or resourcefulness was key to their positive service experiences.

Regardless of how you put it, even in this age of bots and artificial intelligence, there is no substitute for knowledgeable human service.

And study after study show that customers overwhelmingly show appreciation for great service with their wallets.

Not just their own wallets, but also that of their family and friends, in the form of referrals.

So, one of the most important ways to grow sales, even if it does seem a little unexpected, is to empower your reps with knowledge. The more they know about a customer, the more repeat business they will be able to close.

If you would like to know more on how ConvergeHub can help empower your sales reps and customer service reps to close more repeat business, sign up for a free trial here.

Or get a free one-on-one consultation with one of our experts.

September 29, 2022

The Correlation Trap

How much does your organization know about your customers? … and what does your organization do with that information?

Businesses today know more about their customers than they have at any time in history… they know where their customers live, where they work, every last phone number or email address they use, social media handles, birthday, cars they drive, … maybe even their shoe size.

And yet … their innovation process … building products or services that their customers will actually use … remains as uncertain as ever.

Why?

The more you know about your customers, the easier it should be to satisfy them … isn’t it?

So, why isn’t that happening?

Because the data that is being gathered is not necessarily relevant … it does not necessarily cause the behavior/action that we think it does.

Take the case of Marc Jones.

He is 62 years old.

Lives with his wife in the suburbs of California.

He drives a Toyota minivan.

His birthday is 12 October.

His shoe size is 13.

But none of these are the reason why he chose to buy a burger from McDonalds today.

Maybe he was tired of eating healthy all week and wanted a change in taste.

Maybe he was in a hurry and McDonald’s was on the way home.

Maybe he just wanted to chill in front of the TV and he picked the easiest dinner option he could think of.

Point is, companies who collect demographic or psychographic information about him are not going to be able to capture those reasons from the data points they collect.

Knowing more and more about customers … collecting volumes and volumes of data about them … and trying to force a correlation between the collected data points and customer behavior … can take companies in the wrong direction … and can even hamper innovation.

What organizations really need to know when a customer takes a specific action, is what that customer is trying to accomplish in that specific situation.

And that kind of insight can come only when organizations have deep conversations with real customers.

Think about it 😊

If you would like to know more about how ConvergeHub can help you drive Digital Transformation in your company by helping you stay in close touch with your customers, talk to us.

Or, if you like to check it out yourself, go ahead and create a free ConvergeHub account here.

September 22, 2022

Becoming Unstoppable

This is a story about how a blind man escaped from the World Trade Center during the terrorist attack of Sep 11, 2001.. and what it takes to develop an unstoppable mindset like that. Click here to read it on my LinkedIn post.

On September 11, 2001, a blind man escaped the World Trade Center by walking down 78 flights of stairs with his guide dog Roselle.

That man is Michael Hingson.

Michael Hingson is one of the most inspiring and fascinating persons I had the good fortune to meet.

He is a New York times best selling author and an international hero honored and awarded by top organizations worldwide.

Blind since birth, Michael is inspiring thousands, giving readers a transformative look into the life and boundless capabilities of the blind.

Recently I sat down for a chat with Michael. We spoke about life, technology and what makes a person unstoppable.

Click here to listen: https://lnkd.in/d5S6jbHe

What do you think? I’d love to hear your feedback.. go ahead and leave a comment on the LinkedIn post.

If you would like to know more about how ConvergeHub can help your organization becoming unstoppable by helping you execute better at the speed that is right for your business, talk to us..

Or, if you like to check it out yourself, go ahead and create a free ConvergeHub account here.

September 15, 2022

The Efficiency Trap

Here’s a trick question for you – if you think about implementing a new tech in your organization or business … like cloud or mobile or IOT … what benefit do you think about achieving?

Let me take a wild guess here … 😊

You thought about achieving EFFICIENCY in your organization or business …

Which is great …

Efficiency is definitely the inherent primary outcome of most digital interventions in a business …

Efficiency is quickly reflected in the profit numbers.

It is a big short-term win.

And that is why most business leaders focus on that.

But there is so much more to it than that …

A new technology in your organization is a complete business transformation resource …

It can optimize your business processes.
It can drive competitive advantage.
It can create new revenue opportunities.
It can skyrocket your customer satisfaction scores.

But when you are only motivated by the efficiency excitement, you miss all of that.

Because your focus narrows down.

And the strategic thinking that would lead to these benefits is lost.

So … what is YOUR motivation for implementing that new shiny tech in your company?

Think about it 😊

If you would like to know more about how ConvergeHub can help you drive Digital Transformation in your company by helping you benefit with CRM technology in all the areas of your business, talk to us.

Or, if you like to check it out yourself, go ahead and create a free ConvergeHub account here.

September 8, 2022

Waiting and Watching

If you are a business leader or a business owner … and during the early days of the pandemic if you had decided to not move quickly … and instead to wait and watch what your competitors did before taking any action … what would have happened?

Your business would miss out on months and even years of business … and might not have even survived.

You had to take action … and fast.

That’s the next assumption we are going to shatter …

Assumption #3 – Wait and watch what others do

Covid-era has shown us that there are times when we have to move fast, sometimes even to just survive.

And at other times, as I mentioned in my last week’s post, speed can also be a disadvantage.

So … what works??

Should we go fast or slow??

The answer again is … It depends … depends on your situation.

Move at the pace that works for your business and your customers.

Move at the pace that allows you to scale effectively and learn quickly.

Maybe move fast to test innovations.

And once you figure out the right approach, move at your own pace to adopt those innovations in the different areas of the business.

Bottomline ..

There is no easy answer.

No one size that fits all ..

But then again … isn’t that how life works? 😊

If you would like to know more about how ConvergeHub can help you drive Digital Transformation in your company by helping you execute better at the speed that is right for your business, talk to us.

Or, if you like to check it out yourself, go ahead and create a free ConvergeHub account here.

September 1, 2022

The first mover disadvantage

Continuing our discussion on shattering assumptions … let’s pick another assumption to shatter – the first mover advantage …

Before there was Google there was Yahoo and AOL … and we all know who won the search-engine war and who lost half a trillion dollars of valuation …

Here’s the next assumption about digital transformation that we will shatter today …

Assumption #2 – First Mover Always Wins

Does digital transformation need to happen faster?
ABSOLUTELY.
But does it have to be the FASTEST for it to work?
Is it a winner take all scenario all of the time?
NO.
NOT AT ALL.

True, speed can be an advantage.

But there are many risks and missteps associated with being the first mover …

You could misread pain points and solve the wrong problem.
You could rush the design and testing and build an inferior solution.
You could spend too much on educating the users on a new platform.
You could help competitors learn from your mistakes and build a better product or solution.

Digital Transformation is NOT a winner take all scenario.
The key is not being fastest but rather innovating at the right speed.
And leverage all the assets that gives the business its competitive advantage.

Ever heard of Book Stacks Unlimited? It was an online bookstore founded in 1992, 3 years before Amazon.
Amazon did not have first mover advantage. But it moved fast and scaled quickly. It’s doing pretty well I would say 😊
Walmart moved slower, leveraging its assets. And yet it built a sizeable online business.
So did Best Buy and Home Depot.

So, the key question to ask is NOT ‘Are we the first mover?’ … and then give up when the answer is no.
The key question is – How do we innovate faster and execute better and move at the right speed that works best for our business and our customers?
Yes, it’s always more complicated than you think 😊

If you would like to know more about how ConvergeHub can help you drive Digital Transformation in your company by helping you execute better at the speed that is right for your business, talk to us.

Or, if you like to check it out yourself, go ahead and create a free ConvergeHub account here.

August 25, 2022

NOT a Technical Challenge

In my last week’s post I talked about some of the assumptions that businesses had to rethink during Covid times … and while that hurt in the short term, we are now beginning to see that a lot of good did come out of those painful decisions.

So, let’s dive deeper and examine a few of the assumptions that had to be shattered … especially those related to Digital Transformation.

Assumption #1 – Digital Transformation is a Technical Challenge

This assumption feels true, right?

If the transformation is ‘digital’ then why is it not ‘technical’??

Because Technology, in and of itself, does not really do much for a business.

The Business itself needs to change using the Technology as a tool or a medium for change.

And that is very very hard.

Implementing a Technology is the easy part.

Using that Technology to change specific areas of business – operations, customer experience, business models, employee engagement, or anything else – is as challenging as it gets.

But that is what drives the business results.

Technology just enables the options.

It is up to the company’s leadership to actually execute on those options and drive meaningful business results.

If you would like to know more about how ConvergeHub can help you drive Digital Transformation in your company by improving customer experience, communication, and visibility, talk to us.

Or, if you like to check it out yourself, go ahead and create a free ConvergeHub account here.

August 18, 2022

Rethinking

The pandemic has shocked each of us into rethinking our priorities and our assumptions at a personal level … and the same is true for businesses.
Many companies had to rethink the “right” way to do business and many companies had to completely change the way they operate overnight.
As much as that hurt, we are now beginning to see that not everything was bad … a lot of good did come out of those painful decisions.

Many of the assumptions that we had to rethink, were actually long overdue to be “rethought”.
And when we had no options but to adapt, things happened quickly.

Technology that we were so resistant to learning, suddenly became something we couldn’t live without.
Business processes that we thought would never be approved, were never even questioned.
Innovations that were too tough to try, suddenly became easy to implement.
Business models that customers would never accept, became the norm overnight.

Why?
These changes were long overdue.
The trauma of the pandemic just escalated the adoption.
It has also forced many businesses to drive positive changes.
Business leaders now have the opportunity to double down and continue the process of shattering assumptions.

Rethink assumptions on how to identify opportunities.
Rethink assumptions on what your customers want.
Rethink assumptions that affect your decision making.
Rethink assumptions on how your organization should do business.

Not every assumption is wrong, of course.
Not every assumption should be rejected.
But they need to be reassessed.

In my upcoming posts I will examine a few assumptions about Digital Transformation that many business leaders make.

Stay tuned!

Meanwhile, if you would like to know more about how ConvergeHub can help you drive Digital Transformation in your company by improving communication and visibility, talk to us.

Or, if you like to check it out yourself, go ahead and create a free ConvergeHub account here.

August 11, 2022

4 tactics that drive transformation

If we want to make a change in our lives … create a transformation … we must first believe in it … we all know this, right?
And we also know this is easier said than done … right? … thousands and thousands of books and blogs have been written on this topic alone.

But what if you are trying to drive a change in your organization?
Now you must drive change in not just yourself but in a whole GROUP OF PEOPLE …
And that can get VERY hairy … 😊

Maybe you are leading a digital transformation project in your company.
Maybe you are implementing a new software platform.
Maybe you are in charge of creating a new business process.
Or fixing a broken process …
Changing the way things are done around here …
And you are all charged and excited and fired up …

Until …

Nobody moves …
Nothing gets done as planned …
Deadlines missed …
Budget wasted …

What’s going on here?
Your team does not believe in the change that you are driving.
So what do you do to inspire belief?

Here are four things that you can do to trigger a strong commitment to change:

  1. Focus on the WHY – not on the WHAT: Spend less time talking about the details of the change (the What) and instead focus on why the change is the right change in light of the factors that matter most to them.
  2. Use different methods: Different people get motivated by different methods. Try many different methods such as awards, audits, reporting, communication, assistance, etc. Do not assume that others are like you.
  3. Just talk: Nothing beats a good old pern-to-person conversation. Sometimes you just have to talk to an individual to find out what inspires them.
  4. Monitor and adapt: For each team member, monitor the effects and side-effects of the methods you have adopted, and change and adapt as needed.

If you would like to know more about how ConvergeHub can help you drive Digital Transformation in your company by improving communication and visibility, talk to us.

Or, if you like to check it out yourself, go ahead and create a free ConvergeHub account here.

August 4, 2022

Believing in Change

If you are trying to ignite any kind of change in your company and think it is crazy hard to do it … relax, you are right. Studies show that 67% of well-formulated strategies failed due to poor execution, which means that 2 out of 3 corporate programs fail.

And if you are trying to drive Digital Transformation in your company … sorry, the news gets worse (but you probably knew that already).

A report by the Boston Consulting Group states that 70% of digital transformation programs fall short of their objectives—and other studies report failure rates as high as 84%

Why is it so bad? What goes wrong?

In one word – BELIEF

Research shows that the biggest difference between change that succeeds and change that fails is the strength of managers’ commitment to it.

Henry Ford famously said that “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t – you are right,”.

Well, turns out Ford was right 😊

In this day of advanced Artificial Intelligence and Data Analytics, it turns out that the one thing that moves the needle forward in any corporate change management activity in general, and digital transformation in particular, is making people believe in the value of their projects.

There are many different types of beliefs that come into play, here are a few examples:

  • how attractive the possible outcomes are believed to be
  • how much the change is believed to close a gap between the current and the desired state
  • how well the change will actually remedy a problem
  • how much the individual believes in his or her own capacity to perform that behavior
  • what the individual thinks that others will feel about a given behavior

So, when you drive a Digital Transformation change in your company, how do you get your team to believe in it?

That’s our topic for next week 😊

If you would like to know more about how ConvergeHub can help you drive Digital Transformation in your company by improving communication and visibility, talk to us.

Or, if you like to check it out yourself, go ahead and create a free ConvergeHub account here.

July 28, 2022