business modelA recent Deloitte survey of CEO’s and Boards found that 91% of CEO’s and 74% of Chairman believed that ‘digital has significantly impacted the way the organisation does business’.

However, the survey made a further observation:  “What is concerning is that while there is greater awareness of the impact of threats such as digital disruption and global competitors, companies are still reacting to change, rather than actively creating change in their business model to create competitive advantage.”

This is backed up by what we are observing in the revenue creation areas of businesses – sales and marketing.   Those reacting to the change are trying to do more of what they have always done in a ‘digitalised’ way and are hoping they are keeping up with the market.

In marketing it has typically been seen by a shift of everything that was once done via snail mail and through hard copy into a digitalized format.  Instead of measuring responses to a mail out, they measure responses to an email blast and use digital surveys to capture feedback instead of bits of paper.

In sales it is seen in the dialogue sales managers are having with their staff:  use the CRM more, use your iPad to show your slides instead of a hard copy, make more calls, do more training and so on.

In both scenario’s there has been a reactive change to digitalisation, but for most organisations there has been no proactive reflection on the underlying business model that drives their top line growth and the changes that need to happen.

The shift to a digital world has not been just about how people prefer to receive their information (though that has been a part of it).   It is about how they are now choosing to engage with organisations, when they are choosing to engage with them and ultimately how they are now looking to buy.

If your underlying business model has not been amended to reflect these changes, you will be playing catch up for a long time.  Businesses need to take time to reflect on their end to end revenue creation process and ensure that the things they are measuring, the way in which they are reaching out to the market and the underlying business model employed fits with our changing world and drives growth.