Why Technology is Business, Not Personal
By Wes Dillingham
A multi-part series on why adopting a CRM and other cloud based technology is not a personal indictment on how you do your job but an absolute must for businesses that want to compete in the future!
When your company asked you to start using a CRM, like the Lead Tool, it may have felt like a personal attack, specifically on how you do your job but it’s not! It’s more of a reflection on the industry and business you work in! A CRM, like the Lead Tool is just the beginning of the change that is required to address the evolving consumer, the inevitable digital transformation occurring to all businesses and of course the quickly changing competition!
CRM (Customer Relationship Management), is a $36 Billion industry, currently the fastest growing business software in the world and with an average ROI of 700+%! It’s not personal, it’s all business!
Have you ever seen the movie TAKEN with Liam Neeson? If not, it’s a great action thriller, check it out! Without spoiling the movie, there is a very dramatic and intense scene in the movie, where Neeson’s character finds one of the villains, a wealthy business tycoon who just completed a transaction to sell Neeson’s daughter in a human trafficking ring! The bad guy, smug and arrogant, and thanks to Liam, very beat up, says, “It wasn’t personal, it was all business,” Neeson takes him out, and responds, “It was all personal to me!”
I hate it when someone says to me, “it’s not personal, it’s business” because if you have to say it to me, it is personal! What is more personal than my job and my career, where I spend the majority of my time? But, when it is a company wide change, it really isn’t personal, it may feel like it because it is impacting your day to day activities, but it is more of a reflection on the business, and in this particular case, the industry you work in!
A company-wide technology update is not personal, it is all business!
There are a number of industries which continue to fight the inevitable technology and digital disruption and because of this, the necessary change is more urgent and going to be more difficult than ever. For many companies, it might even be too late!
Part 1: Statistics you just can’t ignore
The following is a look at some statistics which indicate a shift in the industry and point to why a CRM and other technology changes are necessary!
Please, view these stats with an open mind! That is the power of data and one of the great things about a CRM. Data allows a business owner to view real-time information about their businesses so they are making decisions based on fact, not their gut!
Why Google, Amazon, Apple, and every single modern company in the world wants consumer data…so they can make objective decisions about their businesses!
- Did you know Floor Covering Weekly reported in a recent op-ed titled: HERE COMES AMAZON that Amazon is actively recruiting installers and offering a premium rate in comparison to what the average flooring dealer can offer. The focus of the article was on losing installers when in our opinion it should be on losing business to Amazon. Who needs installers if you don’t have any customers!
- Did you know that not only traditional retailers, but home improvement related retailers are going out of business at an alarming rate (reference infographic below)?
- Did you know Beaulieu Group recently announced chapter 11 bankruptcy? The first major manufacturer in the home improvement space to file!
- Credit Suisse estimates that as many as 8,640 stores (all retail) with 147 million square feet of retail space could close down just this year — surpassing the level of closures after the financial crisis and dotcom bust.
- According to Couchbase Research and a recent survey of retailers, Retail business owners feel that businesses that can’t keep up with digital innovation will survive less than five years before going out of business or being absorbed by a competitor. What’s more, 80% are already concerned that their own organization could be at risk of being surpassed
REMEMBER: ULTIMATELY, THE CONSUMER WINS AND TECHNOLOGY FACILITATES THE CHANGE THE CONSUMER DEMANDS!
- Did you know, the Millennial generation (now 18 to 35 and 90 Billion strong) make up the largest group of consumers in the world and are expected to spend $200+ Billion a year!
- Did you know 81% of shoppers do research online prior to making a purchase! Guess where the majority of them start their online shopping search, and it’s not Google…. 55% of U.S consumers begin their shopping experience on Amazon! THIS IS ASTOUNDING (unless something changes dramatically, this number will only continue to grow)!
- The number of retail transactions impacted by mobile devices is estimated at $1.05 Trillion; Marketers forecast mobile-commerce sales to grow 36% in 2017 to $157 Billion and jumping to $337 Billion by 2020!
AMAZON IS CHANGING THE WAY ALL RETAIL BUSINESSES OPERATE, EVEN IF THEY NEVER SELL ONE THING RELATED TO YOUR INDUSTRY!
- Did you know, Home Depot and Lowes control almost half of the flooring sales in the U.S. and they have invested millions in an omnichannel and digital strategy which is almost unheard of with their competition. Home Depot was recently recognized as one of the top mobile shopping experiences of any retailer and Lowes wasn’t far behind.
- Did you know, WalMart purchased Jet.com for $3.3 Billion, a company that has yet to make a profit. Walmart, who is expected to generate close to $500 Billion in revenue this year can’t keep up with the growth of the company who is expected to generate close to $140 Billion in revenue, Amazon!
- Did you know, Amazon is expanding into brick and mortar (b&m) operations as highlighted by its recent purchase of Whole Foods for $13+ Billion! (Amazon has a distinct advantage over all other B&M Retailers…DATA! They can determine where, when and how to expand based on all of the data they have access to. When Amazon buys a B&M company like whole foods or they open a bookstore — like they have in various markets — They have so much data they use to back up their decisions, which minimizes much of the cost and risk of expansion — the greatest advantage an expanding retailer can have!)
- Amazon on investing in the future: “I would say we have been very transparent that we are continuing to invest in businesses that have four great characteristics,” 1. Customers love them, 2. they can grow to be large, 3. they have strong financial returns and 4. they are durable and can last for decades. That is, in essence, our investment philosophy.” Sounds like anything goes! — The recently started a Home Improvement Category on their website and as mentioned above, they are actively recruiting flooring installers!
So here’s the point to part I
The data doesn’t lie! The world of retail, all retail, is changing dramatically. CRM, similar to the LT is just the beginning of the digital change that needs to, and will occur for companies to continue to compete.
Most large sales organizations can’t imagine life without CRM. Many companies refer to CRM as the central nervous system of the company. For these companies, It is as normal as a POS system or email!
Advancements in cloud computing have made them less expensive for smaller businesses, more industry specific and easier to integrate into other cloud based systems. They are more accessible than ever before for all businesses! They aren’t going away, only getting more and more integrated into the day to day operations of the companies that use them.
Your companies request that you use the Lead Tool is not personal, it’s all business!
Finally, did you know a recession occurs on average every 8 years in the U.S. and the last recession ended in 2009! The stock market is at an all-time high, home values are at an all-time high, unemployment is as low as it’s been since the Great Recession which makes it difficult for businesses to expand physically but not as tough virtually. The interest rate environment continues to be a point of debate as two of the largest generations in history want and needs different things from them. Boomers want them higher to help fund their retirements and Millennials want them low so they can pay off their debt and buy their first home. We are in one of the most interesting times in history with one of the most interesting presidents in history. There is no doubt the future is very unclear in many ways but the one thing we know for sure, technology will change this industry and it will either be by necessity or by choice!
In Part II, I will share a personal experience of an industry which didn’t want to change, and business was out of this world good…and then it wasn’t and all hell broke lose!