Orchestrating User Adoption from the Innovators to Laggards

Words like change, transformation, and automation will always generate a wide range of reactions throughout the rank and file of an organization, and our reaction to these words are good indicators as to which group we belong to on the adoption curve.

Innovators and early adopters tend to be motivated by change and late stage adopters and laggards tend to resist it.  Paradoxically, both groups have roles of equal importance in the user adoption process.

Knowing where users and people belong on the adoption curve and organizing them into user groups will enable a phased approach to managing the user adoption process. This approach to user adoption is preferred and will provide a more seamless diffusion of your innovation throughout each stage of the user adoption process. Furthermore, this will ensure that by the time it reaches the laggard group, the bugs will have already been worked out.

Successful innovations will reach a tipping point – which is the point that it is widely accepted and adopted by laggards. However, by the time that happens, count on the next innovation already being in play, and have a plan in place to repeat the cycle of innovation again.

imgres-1

Documenting business processes, conducting frequent business process reviews, building and running knowledge management and collaboration portals, establishing a talent management program, and investing in the professional development of your people will have a direct impact to continued success of any future business transformation initiatives in the future.

As companies transform, it is important to retain a high level of diversity across the organization. Take into account the tacit knowledge that could be lost when choosing to acquire new talent.

Make the language of change pervasive throughout your organization and create a business culture that is comfortable with change and ready to adapt to it.

On a personal level, be prepared for change, because change will happen. Invest time in your own professional development. Always be learning and be willing to step out of the comfort zone.

For more on this topic, I suggest reading the following two books:

“The Tipping Point – How Little Things Can Make a Big difference” by Malcolm Gladwell.

“Diffusion of Innovations” by Everett Rogers

Follow my blog at Social2Direct.com

The Sales and Marketing Promance (technology not included)

Many businesses lack strong alignment between their sales and marketing organizations. Whether you agree or disagree, it’s important to understand the barriers that prevent alignment. Six common barriers include:

  1. Success in the sales and marketing departments is being measured differently.
  2. Sales and marketing have a different vision of the ideal target customer.
  3. Actionable customer insight sits in disconnected databases.
  4. There is a lack of view of customers and their buying preferences.
  5. Broken processes make it impossible to track what is working.
  6. The technology is too hard to use so that there is limited adoption.

 

These barriers lead to the disconnect and are making it difficult for organizations to make the most of their sales opportunities and go to market investments. As an example, companies are unable to provide the right offers to the right people, at the right time, because customer insights live in disparate locations and the company’s go-to-market strategies are uncoordinated and inefficient.

To address this disconnect, businesses are turning to applications and new technology to help build cohesive sales and marketing alliances. The common mistake businesses have been making in their rush to technology is that they forget to address their people and process challenges first.

The promises of the digital revolution and emerging technologies are often not in line with management’s expectations. Many mid to large sized companies have rushed to replace older systems that worked, to new and unproven cloud based technologies that are not living up to expectations. Many of these decisions were based on unrealistic, pie-in the sky, cloud in the sky promises (no pun intended) and the pain is just beginning to be felt by customers.

The reality is that many companies launched into cloud based technologies without a good business plan. So perhaps 2015 will be the year many companies awaken to a reality check.

The pendulum is about to swing in another direction. Brace yourselves.

Good times ahead.

Cheers,

rvargas@solomonconsult.com

The Best BPM Platforms for Digital Business

In the last quarter of 2015, Forrester Research identified Pegasystems, Appian, and IBM as leading the field of suppliers of business process management platforms for today’s digital business.

This post focuses on the value that Pegasystems delivers to today that is transforming how their clients engage with their customers throughout each stage of engagement.

photoSource: Pega.com The complexity of today’s business makes it hard to truly know a person across marketing, sales and service. There are too many customers, too many permutations of what they need and too many obstacles. Your customer base has grown, and so has your need for more sophisticated technology that not only understands prospect and customer demands but also helps accomplish your business objectives. Initially, your systems did what you needed: track customers and help you market and sell to them. But as your enterprise acquires companies and systems, technology becomes a barrier to how you engage with customers — across departments, time zones and geographies. Complexity has also brought inflexibility, making it hard for systems to adapt to changing needs, changing markets and changing regulations. It also makes it difficult to train employees because they’re battling systems, not servicing customers..Click here to read more.

The 8 white boarding videos that follow will help you visualize the unique value that Pega is delivering value today to their clients customer engagement management initiatives around the customer experience…

Build for Change: Directly Capture Objectives (DCO)

With Pega 7, you capture the policies and procedures that define your business – including rules, data models, UIs, integrations, reports, and organizational structures – in the model. Pega 7 automates the code generation. As the requirements change, a change in the model equates to an immediate system change.

Build for Change: Situational Layer Cake

Situational Layer Cake™ (SLC) architecture enables organizations to differentiate, specialize, and reuse their business applications. Pilot projects can grow into enterprise transformation programs overnight. Instant reuse dramatically accelerates the time to value for organizations seeking to be more agile in response to changing market and regulatory demands.

Build for Change: Case Lifecycle Management™

When a business person starts explaining their needs for an enterprise, they don’t generally dive into process details. And they certainly don’t describe “transactions.” They think in terms of the case and its stages. Rather than drawing an end-to-end process, Pega 7 provides tools for business people to define the major steps of how work gets done – essentially building the skeleton on which you hang the more detailed process. You establish a business view of the data before debating the details.

Build for Change: Mashup

Traditional service or API-based architectures result in hard-coding the UX logic into each channel independently. Process changes must therefore be made in multiple places, making it impossible to deliver a consistent customer experience. By embedding the Pega UX directly into the mobile or web channels, all of the intelligence and capability of Pega 7’s Case Management is brought directly to the customer touchpoint.

Build For Change: Omni-Channel UX

Pega’s Omni-Channel UX delivers an optimized and consistent user experience in every channel. Learn more at http://www.pega.com/platform

Build For Change: Event Strategy Manager

Pega’s Event Strategy Manager gives you the tools you need to turn streams of customer data into valuable business decisions and actions. Learn more at http://www.pega.com/platform

Build for Change: Pega Live Data

Pega Live Data allows users to quickly and easily define the data required to build the apps they need, and then access that data in their running application – all without having to worry about how and where the data is actually stored and accessed.

Build for Change: Next Best Action

The real value from Big Data and analytics comes when every customer conversation delivers exactly the right message, the right offer, and the right level of service to both give the customer a great experience and maximize the customer’s value to the organization. With Pega’s Next Best Action, business experts develop decision strategies that combine predictive analytics,
adaptive analytics, traditional business rules.

 

The Forrester Wave™: BPM Platforms For Digital Business, Q4 2015

Key Takeaways: Pegasystems, IBM, and Appian lead the pack

Forrester’s research uncovered a market in which Pegasystems, Appian, and IBM continue to lead the pack. Software AG, Oracle, Newgen Software, OpenText, Bizagi, K2, and DST Systems offer competitive options. Red Hat and TIBCO Software lag behind. The BPM Platforms Market Is Growing As EA Pros Accelerate Digital Transformation The BPM platforms market is growing because more EA professionals see BPM as a way to address emerging challenges for customer experience and digital business. This market growth is, in large part, because EA pros increasingly trust BPM platform providers to act as strategic partners, helping them transform how they use technology to win, serve, and retain customers in the digital age. Differentiators Include Rapid Development, UX Design, And Case Management As legacy BPM technology becomes outdated and less effective, improved delivery speed and process flexibility will dictate which providers will lead the pack. Vendors that can provide fast ramp-up, flexible mobile experiences, and dynamic case management position themselves successfully to deliver speed and business agility to their customers.

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When to Buy Data

The quality of a company’s data will have a direct impact on the performance of its people, process and technology. Maintaining the quality, timeliness, and completeness of a company’s data will often require working with external data suppliers.

The decision to buy data should only happen after a data assessment, gap analysis and cost benefit analysis have been completed…

The Data Assessment – is an iterative process that aligns to company’s data strategy and go to market plan, and involves:

  • Identifying all data sources
  • Reviewing the data collection procedures
  • Interviewing those responsible for data and analysis
  • Analyzing sample data for quality
  • Setting segmentation based on personas
  • Documenting business process

 

Data assessments provide qualitative and quantitative insights into data’s…

  • Reliability – Data provides stable and consistent collection processes and analysis
    methods.
  • Validity – Data should clearly and adequately represent the intended result.
  • Timeliness – Data should be available at a useful frequency, should be current, and should be
    timely enough to influence management decision making.
  • Precision – Data have a sufficient level of detail to permit management decision making.

 

Gap Analysis – A gap analysis will identify missing, incomplete or inaccurate data through the data assessment process. Below are examples where data may need to be acquired:GapAnalysis

  • Information missing pertains to specific individuals (i.e. email addresses, phone numbers,etc.)
  • Behavioral information like purchasing patterns, memberships and affiliations, technologies used, etc.
  • Credit score and risk rating
  • Online search history unavailable (cookies, device information, etc.)

 

cost_benefit_analysisCost Benefit Analysis – Justifies the decision to buy data using the findings from the gap analysis and data assessment. It is a comparison of the costs of all options against their total anticipated benefits.

DataQualityWhen to buy data | Cleanse, Enrich, Acquire?

Quality data continues to be a challenge for companies today, and buying data does not guarantee its quality. When using purchasing data from a new supplier start small, inspect the data, and test performance.

Work with major data vendors that are known suppliers of quality consumer and business information. Major suppliers like D&B, InfoGroup, Experian, Equifax, TransUnion, Acxiom, and TeraData are able to provide consumer or business level intelligence that includes their interests, spending patterns, financial information, demographics, firmographic information, and so on.

 

Managing User Adoption from the Innovators to Laggards

Words like change, transformation, and automation will always generate a wide range of reactions throughout the rank and file of an organization, and our reaction to these words are good indicators as to which group we belong to on the adoption curve.

Innovators and early adopters tend to be motivated by change and late stage adopters and laggards tend to resist it.  Paradoxically, both groups have roles of equal importance in the user adoption process.

Knowing where users and people belong on the adoption curve and organizing them into user groups will enable a phased approach to managing the user adoption process. This approach to user adoption is preferred and will provide a more seamless diffusion of your innovation throughout each stage of the user adoption process. Furthermore, this will ensure that by the time it reaches the laggard group, the bugs will have already been worked out.

Successful innovations will reach a tipping point – which is the point that it is widely accepted and adopted by laggards. However, by the time that happens, count on the next innovation already being in play, and have a plan in place to repeat the cycle of innovation again.

imgres-1

Documenting business processes, conducting frequent business process reviews, building and running knowledge management and collaboration portals, establishing a talent management program, and investing in the professional development of your people will have a direct impact to continued success of any future business transformation initiatives in the future.

As companies transform, it is important to retain a high level of diversity across the organization. Take into account the tacit knowledge that could be lost when choosing to acquire new talent.

Make the language of change pervasive throughout your organization and create a business culture that is comfortable with change and ready to adapt to it.

On a personal level, be prepared for change, because change will happen. Invest time in your own professional development. Always be learning and be willing to step out of the comfort zone.

For more on this topic, I suggest reading the following two books:

“The Tipping Point – How Little Things Can Make a Big difference” by Malcolm Gladwell.

“Diffusion of Innovations” by Everett Rogers

Follow my blog at Social2Direct.com

The Sales and Marketing Promance | Technology not included

Many businesses lack the alignment between the sales and marketing organizations. Whether you agree or disagree, it’s important to understand the barriers that prevent alignment. Some common barriers include:

  • Success in the sales and marketing departments is measured differently
  • Sales and marketing have a different vision of the ideal target customer
  • Actionable customer insight sits in disconnected databases
  • There is a lack of a 360-degree view of customers and their buying preferences
  • Broken processes make it impossible to track what is working
  • The technology is too hard to use so that there is limited adoption

 

These barriers lead to the disconnect and are making it difficult for organizations to make the most of their sales opportunities and go to market investments. As an example, companies are unable to provide the right offers to the right people, at the right time, because customer insights live in disparate locations and the company’s go-to-market strategies are uncoordinated and inefficient.

To address this disconnect, businesses are turning to applications and new technology to help build cohesive sales and marketing alliances. The common mistake businesses have been making in their rush to technology is that they forget to address their people and process challenges first. 

The promises of the Digital Revolution and emerging technologies are often not in line with management’s expectations. Many mid to large sized companies rushed to replace older systems that worked, to new and unproven cloud based technologies that are not living up to expectations. Many of these decisions were based on unrealistic, pie-in the sky, cloud-high promises (no pun intended) and the pain is just beginning to be felt by customers.

The reality is that many companies launched into cloud based technologies without a good business plan. So perhaps 2015 will be the year many companies awaken to a reality check.

The pendulum is about to swing in another direction. Brace yourselves.

Good times ahead.

Innovation | The Future | A Fresh Perspective

While researching trends in innovation, I read an article that ran in The Atlantic earlier this year entitled “Bill Gates: ‘The Idea That Innovation Is Slowing Down Is … Stupid.” The title of the article is what caught my attention, as many analysts have been projecting that the rate of innovation is slowing down, but it was Gates’ comments on government and education that got me to click through to watch his full conversation with Jim Bennet, Editor in Chief at The Atlantic.

Watch the full conversation between James Bennet and Bill Gates.

There’s no disputing Bill Gates’ contributions to humanity through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the success he’s had in business, but thirty minutes into the interview, the gentle, kind, giving genius and sage, transformed into a benevolent dictator and I realized that this was an impossible topic for him to not have a biased opinion. So I clicked out and continued my search on this topic for other points of view.

My search would eventually lead me to Phillip Coggan’s review of Thomas Piketty’s new book “Capital in the 21st Century” in The Economist, in which Coggan, columnist of Buttonwood’s Notebook, links history and economic data that supports Piketty’s points of view on economic growth, innovation and economic inequality. Coggan ultimately suggests that we are following in the footsteps of the Roman Republic, not post eighteenth century Europe, and we are marching towards our fall.

So, has the rate of innovation slowed down? It’s highly likely that it has and that there’s a correlation between economic inequality and the rate of innovation.

Piketty writes –

“in a quasi-stagnant society, wealth accumulated in the past will inevitably acquire disproportionate importance. The return to a structurally high capital/income ratio in the twenty-first century, close to levels observed in the eighteenth century, can therefore be explained by a return to a slow-growth regime. Decreased growth – especially demographic growth – is thus responsible for capital’s comeback.”

The present economic inequalities compared to other periods over the past three centuries has us on a trajectory similar to that of late eighteenth century Europe where a small aristocracy controlled most of the wealth. Thomas Piketty insists that a “return of the slow growth regime…is responsible for capital’s comeback.” The Digital Revolution in the post Great Recession era is benefiting a very small portion of the population. If you are reading this post it is likely that you are part of this new tech-savvy elite and would not identify with the others that have been left behind. To this much larger group, that continues to expand upward into the upper middle class, average is over, and the level of economic equality from the past is never coming back.

Phillip Coggan reminds us of history and suggests that we are living in a plutocracy similar to years that preceded the fall of the Roman Republic. So maybe we should care more about economic inequality than we do about innovation, because if we don’t we might be doomed to repeat the past.

Empathy should become part of the innovation conversation, because it is ultimately the human sense that failed societies lacked.

Happy holidays!

Rick Vargas

Video: New Thoughts on Capital in the 21st Century – Thomas Piketty

Piketty explains the simple, brutal formula of economic inequality: r > g (meaning that return on capital is generally higher than economic growth).

 

 

The Sales and Marketing Promance | Technology not included

Many businesses lack the alignment between the sales and marketing organizations. Whether you agree or disagree, it’s important to understand the barriers that prevent alignment. Some common barriers include:

  • Success in the sales and marketing departments is measured differently
  • Sales and marketing have a different vision of the ideal target customer
  • Actionable customer insight sits in disconnected databases
  • There is a lack of a 360-degree view of customers and their buying preferences
  • Broken processes make it impossible to track what is working
  • The technology is too hard to use so that there is limited adoption

These barriers lead to the disconnect and are making it difficult for organizations to make the most of their sales opportunities and go to market investments. As an example, companies are unable to provide the right offers to the right people, at the right time, because customer insights live in disparate locations and the company’s go-to-market strategies are uncoordinated and inefficient.

To address this disconnect, businesses are turning to applications and new technology to help build cohesive sales and marketing alliances. The common mistake businesses have been making in their rush to technology is that they forget to address their people and process challenges first. 

The promises of the Digital Revolution and emerging technologies are often not in line with management’s expectations. Many mid to large sized companies rushed to replace older systems that worked, to new and unproven cloud based technologies that are not living up to expectations. Many of these decisions were based on unrealistic, pie-in the sky, cloud-high promises (no pun intended) and the pain is just beginning to be felt by customers.

The reality is that many companies launched into cloud based technologies without a good business plan. So perhaps 2015 will be the year many companies awaken to a reality check.

The pendulum is about to swing in another direction. Brace yourselves.

Good times ahead.

CX | The User Adoption Challenge | Marketing Automation

The word “automation” leads many people to believe that they are at risk of being replaced. The irony in the world of sales and marketing is that people are the key ingredient to automation’s success.

There are three areas where people in sales and marketing must be aligned for any sales and marketing automation program to be successful:

  1. User adoption
  2. Innovation
  3. Continuous transformation

Below are some suggestions to help you take on these areas from within your organization all of which require a little communication:

  1. Create an annual internal social/PR campaign about your program
  2. Set and communicate the goals and milestones reached
  3. Identify your innovators, early adopters, mid-stage adopters and laggards; they all matter.
  4. Ask for feedback and ideas and recognize anyone that shares
  5. Communicate successes, gaps or areas that need improvement

Below are several sample internal communications to help get you started:

Internal Communication #1

What is the Sales and Marketing Automation Program?

The Sales and Marketing Automation Program is comprised of two SaaS solutions that connects to a data warehouse.

Key Features of the Program:

  • Users have access to fresh business information that covers the entire family trees of their target accounts
  • Automated lead progression and qualification based on demographic and behavioral lead scoring algorithms
  • Automated delivery of relevant content to clients that’s based on inferred or intrinsic levels of interest at the contact and company levels
  • Automated trigger alerts with account monitoring to alert end users of sales triggers like executive change, project announcements, mergers & acquisitions, etc. happen

Internal Communication #2:

Goals and milestones reached:

X months have passed since we launched our company’s Sales & Marketing Automation Program and our results to date have been strong. Our lead generation rate and impact to pipeline this year is ahead of last year’s results by approximately X% [Share your demand generation and pipeline summary details]. It’s important to note, that these results were achieved as a direct result of the collaboration between the sales and marketing community. The rollout, to our first group of end users in sales was completed last week. In total, we now have X # of sales and marketing users who are actively using the program. We plan to roll out our solution to the rest of our sales and marketing community over the next X months. Stay tuned.

Internal Communication #3

Identify your innovators, early adopters, mid-stage adopters and laggards:

Driving user adoption took longer than anticipated on our first roll-out. To address some of the challenges posed on our initial roll out, we will host a series of webinars over the course of the year, with the first series of webinars focusing solely on training and best practices.

Internal Communication #4

Ask for feedback and ideas and recognize anyone that shares:

We’ve identified other risk factors that could become barriers to our success, like budget constraints (content development, telemarketing, training, etc.)

Please communicate and share any challenges or barriers to success that you foresee or encounter during our organization’s transformation to the group here.

Internal Communication #5

Communicate successes, gaps or areas that need improvement:

We will monitor program usage, lead acquisition rates, funnel progression, and client interaction throughout our roll out and transformation.

Succinct communications to the users, future users, stakeholders, and leadership is what ultimately drives continuous innovation and adoption to change, and remember that user perception matters in the adoption process:

  1. Relative Advantage: How improved an innovation is over the previous generation.
  2. Compatibility: The level of compatibility that an innovation has to be assimilated into his or her life.
  3. Complexity or Simplicity: If the innovation is perceived as complicated or difficult to use, an individual is unlikely to adopt it.
  4. Trialability: How easily an innovation may be experimented. If a user is able to test an innovation, the individual will be more likely to adopt it.
  5. Observability: The extent that an innovation is visible to others. An innovation that is more visible will drive communication among the individual’s peers, which in turn will create more positive reactions.

Reference sources: Everett Rogers “The Diffusion of Innovations”