What digital transformation means for sales

Digitalization & innovation, 30.01.2020

Digitalization radically changes consumer behavior. Rapid advances in technology mean that customers’ demands are now different from what they were just a few years ago. Sales has to respond to this and adapt, as only those who translate technology into real customer benefits succeed in the market. For sales, this means: simple processes with networked platforms serve as a base for innovative business models, in order to satisfy the changing customer needs.

Olaf Bläser, Responsible for Sales at ERGO

Olaf Bläser, Head of Sales at ERGO

Digitalization as a fundamental attitude

Customers increasingly use digital offers to do their research and to buy products. They read a product review, watch a product video or get advice via online chat – regardless of whether they are interested in a new vacuum cleaner, a trip or even an insurance. Digitalization fundamentally questions previous business models into question. As a result, the market is developing in a new direction as a result. The challenge is to use digitalization to simplify things for customers and sales partners and to provide them with support they directly benefit from. In order to do this, it is essential for there to be close links between online and offline, as well as integrated interplay between offerings and technology. After all, customers want to be able to switch seamlessly and flexibly between different channels. All of this requires a willingness to change and to be open to further development.

How ERGO brings digital transformation to life in sales

At ERGO, we decided to find our own way in bringing digitalization to life for our sales partners and customers. This involves us adapting to our customers’ new service habits – from WhatsApp communication with an insurance consultant and online appointment booking options, to omni-channel enabled products and digitalized advise- and application processes, innovative apps and electronically signed contracts through QR codes. Our sales partners give us feedback, we listen to our customers and aim for a fast communication. To succeed, our hybrid business model is consistently customer focused. We are mainly concentrated on digital health services, artificial intelligence and voice skills. That way we ensure our business model to be future-proof and we strengthen our market position.

Besides all the digitalization, we can’t forget that most customers operate in a hybrid way. They want and expect to be able to switch quickly and easily between channels – which is between digital and in person, depending on the occasion. In particular, products requiring considerable advice will continue to mostly be sold through face-to-face meetings and personal consultation. In order to create additional customer benefits, we can also learn from other sectors. Our recipe for future success? Permanently asking ourselves how we can translate a technology into real benefits for our sales partners and customers.

Olaf Bläser

Olaf Bläser is a member of the Board of Management of ERGO Germany and as such responsible for sales. He is also Chairman of the Board of Management of ERGO Beratung und Vertrieb AG.

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