2019 Trends for Business; Sales, Marketing, Service

As new technologies are created and innovated upon, our world as we know it changes – bit by bit. 2019 will see a deeper adoption of tech in our society and as a result consumer demands for tighter privacy and protection strengthens.

On The Digital Transformation Show we move through our top 8 predictions for 2019, which you can listen to here. But hey, you’re already here reading the article, so read on: 2019 Trends – The Digital Transformation Show


Blirt’s Top 8 Predictions for 2019

Prediction 1: Artificial Intelligence

If you’ve been following our podcast and articles, you will be familiar with the different tech waves we’ve all moved through. We unpack the different waves of technology in this article about the XMarketer –the 5th wave is AI.

We’re currently in the 5th technology wave and AI is the surging current that all business departments will be swept up in. Wave analogies aside, this means that now all departments are unified using connected systems and using the same data, there is now some powerful tools surfacing that can analyse every piece of information to predict what needs to happen next.

According to Gartner, all software in the coming years will use some form of AI. As a business, the question you need to ask is how can I make AI help me? 

It’s not just leading to accurate sales forecasts, it’s also tracking and automatically logging sales activities (calls, meetings, emails, texts), tracking and analysing contacts, providing sentiment analysis, and virtually coaching sales staff by suggesting next best actions to take.

We see AI exponentially increasing the impact sales operations has on sales results by enabling sales operations to finally provide sales staff at all levels with the sales intelligence they deserve to receive.

For the first time, reps are empowered to be the CEO of their own territories.


Prediction 2: Data Privacy & Security

2018 was not a good year for Facebook. The Cambridge Analytica disaster saw over eighty million peoples data shared inappropriately leading to worldwide awareness into the dangers of security breaches online. 

Marriott disclosed that in December 2018 , 500 million guest information may have been compromised. From names, emails and addresses to credit card numbers, travel locations and even passport numbers.

Quora was hacked by a malicious third party on December too. Basically anything account information you have on Quora was swiped if you were part of the 100 million users that were affected. 

So what can we expect from the top end of tech town? Increased security, better insights, closer tracking, and perhaps the intervening governance of a data security body.

One insight that we have pulled from all the differing reports is that no matter if you’ve had your data compromised, your best bet to protect yourself is to use the best tech.

Salesforce and Microsoft are best in class with near perfect track records for the robustness of their security systems.

The one differentiator that an organisation has over your own, is that they have hundreds of security-tech-nerds working 24/7 on their security, whereas an IT department aren’t equipped well enough to protect you from threats all over the world.


Prediction 3: Personalisation

Persona based marketing is where marketers place leads and customers into buckets for the purpose of tailoring the marketing message.

For example: I love the beach. I visit a website that sells surfboards and look at a few. The next day I start receiving emails and being retargeted with content about surfboards.

Whereas personalisation first tries to understand, then tailor specific messages that will best help the customer and maximise chances of a sale.

For Example: I’m a surfer. I visit a website that sells surfboards. I use a calculator that records my height, weight, skill level and location for the purpose of recommending the right surfboard. The next day I start receiving emails and retargeted with content that shows surfboards that are perfect for my body composition, even showing me the most popular boards that people buy in my area.

The difference between persona-based marketing and personalisation is trying to understand someone to offer the most specific recommendation possible. Not broad categorisation for the purpose of sending marketing communications.


Prediction 4: Resurgence of Brand

As a follow on from Prediction 3: Personalisation, the exploding amounts of data in a lead driven world can diminish core brand values. For this reason, the importance of brand will resurge throughout 2019 to provide more stability in go to market strategies.

Over last 2 to 3 years, brand marketers have been losing their share of the marketing budget to the lead gen focused digital marketers. Why? Because leads are now easier to acquire online at a much cheaper return in comparison with brand.

However the direct response strategy that shows almost immediate gratification loses effectiveness over time, whereas brand has the opposite effect; taking longer to get started but increasing in effectiveness over time.

Ty Heath, Global Lead Market Development at LinkedIn advises that via the IPA Study into Marketing Effectiveness you can reach best results using a 60:40 split. 

Making the 60:40 rule work will take the combination of both creatives and analysts to work in conjunction with each other. Data driven creativity is set to be one of the main differentiators of 2019 and it boils down to getting the customer experience right.

To do that, you need the perfect blend of data and creativity, that’s distributed with relevancy and accuracy. You need creative teams working with the data/analytics teams throughout execution.
“A data-driven approach to creativity helps marketers work more productively, create the right content faster, and deliver that content to the right customer, across the right channels, at the right time,” Stacy Martinet, VP of Marketing Strategy and Communications, Adobe.


Prediction 5: Evergreen Content

Content that is evergreen contains content that is timeless. The main benefit of creating content that doesn’t expires is mainly for SEO and reducing dependency on the content production.

Disclaimer: depending on your industry and products, some content will have an expiry date. E.g. content about health and wellbeing will have an almost infinite relevancy whereas content about 2019’s prediction will have a relevancy period of approximately 3 months.

The key takeaway from this prediction is to create content for a purpose, ensure it delivers value and avoid creating content for the sake ‘getting something out’.


Prediction 6: Simplification of Tech

Tech is complicated.

Throughout many organisations where a business function needs to be improved or innovated on, there is some form of technology that can help. The issue is that with all the differing business functions require differing pieces of technology that it becomes too complex to manage. Data becomes siloed, processes lap over and inefficiencies start to surface.

The requirement for single source of truth systems to communicate across the entire business and its functions will be sought after in 2019.

Simplification of tech into one core platform will be the only way to scale an organisation in 2019 and beyond.


Prediction 7: Outsourced Innovation

When Robert Kiyosaki in his book Rich Dad Poor Dad says that in order to succeed you need to pay the professionals. The individuals and organisations who try to do it all or look for the cheapest possible quote will always lose out in the end.

Often times with digital transformation projects, businesses attempt to self-implement or search for the cheapest possible solution for their innovation. While cost savings are important, it’s more important to invest in the right partner or the job, not the cheapest.

Organisations do what they do and do it well.

Introducing a digital transformation project and expecting your business operations team to execute it can lead to major cavities in workflows, overall productivity and performance.


Prediction 8: Unification of Customer & Employee Experience

We hear a lot about customer experience and how we need to get it right. Equally as important is the employee experience, encouraging our teams with a sense of purpose and positive working environments.

As we move through the different revolutions, we uncover that the 2 types of experience go hand-in-hand.

If you provide a poor customer experience, your employees will have a bad experience dealing with complaints. If you provide a poor employee experience, that will then be transferred to your customer.



How have you positioned your business this year? Have you set the compass through all of the above?

If you need help, speak with me and we’ll see if we can help you get on the right path.

How to use a ‘two-speed’ business to enable digital maturity through transformation. #20

How to use a ‘two-speed’ business to enable digital maturity through transformation. #20

The purpose of today’s Podcast is talk about how a multi gear – or two speed business can enable better digital maturity.

Well first up, what is a multi speed business?
It’s a business that uses different services or products to create slightly different business models that are moving slower or faster than the current business.

Why would a business investigate this type of structure?
Often to iron out more volatile cashflow cycles or to open up new market share.  But always to solve a problem for their customer ……

For example, a business doing a sales cycle of 6 weeks might create a business line that shortens sales cycle to 1 week, therefore creating a different dynamic across sales, marketing, cashflow and customer service.

How can this enable better digital transformation and ultimately a more mature business?
Well first, let’s look at what a digitally mature business is.

Stage 1 – using basic digital tools to improve business operations, eg. email, website
Stage 2 – using advanced digital tools to improve business efficiency , eg. cloud storage, e-commerce, social media, IOT / big data.
Stage 3 – using digital platforms to transform business operations, eg. ERP, supply chain management, channel sales, CRM
Stage 4 – creating new business models on the back of the digital platforms you have and therefore creating a multi speed businessA multi speed business uses digital maturity to spin off new services like cogs in a machine that add value to the core but enable a new customer offering.

OK, so what’s an example, let’s get practical…
Well for some shameless self promotion, Blirt has recently launched a service called http://www.cloudmart.com.au

It’s a good example of a two speed business – customers get fast, quick turnarounds on small and simple CRM projects, whilst we focus on the more complex people intensive projects through our primary consultancy of Blirt.

Where else do we see this? 
One that we’d all know is McDonalds and McCafe….  or Apple with product sales vs subscription sales.
In fact, subscriptions are a great way of launching two speed business models.

We often talk about new business initiatives as adventures and the world of adventuring has a concept that works really nicely….. explain Expedition vs Light & Fast. We give a big plug to https://patrickhollingworth.com and his book The Light and Fast Organisation

What can a business leader do to get practical?
Well, think about where you challenges are and where the market opportunities are, at that intersection is where your problem solving should start.  Don’t start a new venture just because you it sounds like a good idea – it must solve a problem for the customer.

For more information, visit https://www.blirt.com.au

How to design KPIs that work. Leading vs Lagging Indicators #19

How to design KPIs that work. Leading vs Lagging Indicators #19

How to design KPIs that work.  Leading vs Lagging Indicators

In this episode we take you through how to design KPIs that create change and drive performance with least effort. We’ll cover the triangle of performance management + a breakdown of leading vs lagging indicators.

We all know businesses run on results, aren’t KPIs all about delivering results?

  • No!  And that’s the point of this podcast.  
  • It’s helpful to measure what matters most and ignore what doesn’t
  • It also helps to why we measure what we measure.  Not all measurements are equal.
    All outcomes can be put into three categories; Results, Objectives and Activities

What’s difference between Results, Objectives and Activities?

  • Here’s the myth – nobody can manage results.  Results are things that happen to you. You get to these through mutually agreed objectives.
  • Objectives are goals with consent… something two or more parties sign up to and work towards achieving together. But you still can’t manage objectives….. you can only manage systems and process and lead people. 
  • Activities are the only things we control.  Therefore, this is where our key performance indicators should live.  If we manage activities, they lead us to objectives and results. 

So, then, we started of talking about Leading vs Lagging Indicators….. how’s all this connected?

  • Lagging indicators are the things that happen to us… so that’s the ‘results’ and ‘objectives’
  • Leading indicators the the things that tell us we are doing that if achieved lead us to the result, things like response time or sales calls 

What are some common Sales Lagging and Leading Indicators?

Common Lagging Indicators

  • Total Sales Volume
  • Margin Sold or Discount Given
  • Revenue from New Clients
  • Average Contract Length
  • Renewal Rates
  • Acquisition Costs
  • Sales Cycle length

Common Sales Leading Indicators

  • Sales Activities
  • Pipeline Weighted Value
  • Opportunities Created
  • Opportunities Lost
  • Quotes or Proposals Sent
  • Completion of training / learnings
  • Compliance to a Sales Process

For more information, visit https://www.blirt.com.au

A Digital Transformation Journey. Interview with Matthew Taylor, CEO of The Digital Centre. #18

A Digital Transformation Journey. Interview with Matthew Taylor, CEO of The Digital Centre. #18

In this episode, Blirt speak with founder and CEO of The Digital Centre and how he is guiding his organisation through Digital Transformation using Salesforce. 

Matthew leads an innovative and growing print advisory service which is using technology, creativity and leadership to build a better business.

We unpack:

  • the journey so far
  • the joys, challenges and lessons of leadership
  • the experience of Salesforce CRM
  • the future vision and opportunity of digital transformation

For more information, visit: https://www.blirt.com.au

Get that data in your CRM! 4 Ways to do this simply. #17

Get that data in your CRM! 4 Ways to do this simply. #17

In this episode, the Blirt team discuss the importance of having the right data in your CRM, and how you can get it in there. 


Let’s unpack the simple steps to get your ‘big’ data inside your ‘big’ CRM.

We briefly attack ‘big’ data or how to use data to be helpful in running your SME.

At Blirt we love Salesforce as a platform to run your business, so this episode features ways to feed your data directly into Salesforce.

  • We cover:
  • Website data
  • Form and landing page management
  • Email and producitvity data
  • And, the good old upload tools.

Listen, enjoy and if you want to ask us questions just tweet us @blirt_loud

For more information, visit: https://www.blirt.com.au

Define the right problem, deliver the right digital transformation. How to be in the top 16% of transformation leaders. #16

Define the right problem, deliver the right digital transformation. How to be in the top 16% of transformation leaders. #16

In this episode, the Blirt team walk you through one of the world’s most effective problem solving frameworks. 

Digital transformation is exists to solve problems. And, in solving those problems improve the organisation through better customer and employee experience.

Forbes has reported that 84% of digital transformation efforts fail. This is HUGE! So, what could be causing this and how can we better define the types of problems getting solved.

In this episode we unpack a problem ‘sense making’ framework developed by Prof. David Snowden called Cynefin.

This framework breaks every problem down into 4 types and depending on the type of problem the right approach can be executed.

Simple or Obvious – The domain of best practice. Sense, categorise and respond.
Complicated – The domain of the expert. Sense, analyse and respond.
Complex – The domain of innovation. Probe, sense, respond.
Chaotic – The domain of rapid response. Act, sense, respond.

Failing to solve the right problems in the right way may be the cause of many failed digital transformation programs.

Join this episode as we unpack how to use this framework in solving digital transformation problems.

For more information visit: https://www.blirt.com.au